Babson Pride’s Ethan Ide ’26 Unites Campus and Community at Boston Pride Parade

At least 80 members of the Babson College community participated in the 2024 Boston Pride Parade. (Photo: Nic Czarnecki)

Ethan Ide ’26, president of Babson Pride, had walked only a few rainbow-flag-bedecked blocks during Saturday’s Boston Pride parade when he started to notice a change in some of his Babson colleagues and fellow marchers.

“It was the same thing that happened to me when I walked in my first Pride parade,” Ide said. “I could see people’s eyes widening as the parade went on. When you first show up, you don’t know what to expect, but once you start marching and everyone is cheering and clapping for you, it really does something to you. It instills a sense of pride that the whole community stands on.”

Dozens of Babson’s LGBTQ+ community, joined by allies, family, and friends, lined up on Boylston Street near the Boston Public Library in the early morning hours Saturday to show their support. And, Ide had a special reason to encourage a show of force at the parade this year.

“As the president, I wanted to do something big for Babson Pride’s 40th anniversary,” Ide said of Babson’s undergraduate LGBTQ+ student group. Babson Pride has more planned for the important milestone, but the Boston parade was a great kickoff, Ide said. “For us to be in the parade on our 40th anniversary as a huge group … it meant a lot.”

Babson Pride President Ethan Ide ’26 takes a selfie with Roger, Babson’s community resource dog, during the 2024 Boston Pride Parade. (Photo: Nic Czarnecki)

Reflecting further on the experience, Ide shared, “I was super happy. This was the first time in my time at Babson that I saw the entire community come together. We had undergraduate students, grad students, faculty, staff, alumni, family, and friends all participating. It was a powerful statement of unity and visibility, especially in a time when there’s so much pressure for the LGBTQ+ community to retreat into the shadows.”

This year’s parade was more than just a march; it was a reassertion of presence and pride in the face of growing challenges for LGBTQ+ rights across the country. The American Civil Liberties Union is currently tracking 516 anti-LGBTQ bills that they’ve identified in the U.S.

“The need for visibility is greater now than ever, especially with the laws that are being passed against our community. It’s important to be seen so that others feel comfortable joining the community,” Ide emphasized.

A Day of Pride

Planning for the event began a month and a half ago, with Ide coordinating with various campus partners to ensure a broad and inclusive participation.

Participants joined a parade lineup of 301 groups, with Babson marching between Harvard’s LGBTQ Center and UMass Boston. A group of Babson public safety officers, including Babson’s community resource dog, Roger, sporting a rainbow handkerchief around his neck, also contributed to the lively atmosphere.

The Babson College community came out in force to take part in the 2024 Boston Pride Parade. (Photo: Nic Czarnecki)

“Seeing our public safety officers getting involved, using their sirens, and high-fiving people was amazing. It showed how invested they were in supporting us,” Ide said.

The march lasted about two hours, covering a 1.7-mile route that concluded at Boston Common, where a festival awaited. The excitement was palpable, with Babson alumni and allies cheering from the sidelines and even joining spontaneously.

“One rising sophomore saw us from the sidelines, ran across, and joined the march. It was such a heartwarming moment,” Ide said.

Looking Back, Moving Forward

For Ide, the day was not just about the parade but about the connections and reflections it inspired. “It was incredible to be representing Babson in such a significant way on our 40th anniversary,” he shared.

The success of the parade has set the stage for a year filled with pride and community building at Babson. Ide and Babson Pride members are planning a series of events to celebrate the anniversary, including a big drag brunch, a trip to New York to connect with LGBTQ+ alumni, and potentially an overnight trip to continue fostering a strong, supportive network.

Babson College participants showed off their colorful support during the 2024 Boston Pride Parade. (Photo: Nic Czarnecki)

“Babson Pride is not just a school club, It’s a lifeline. What I find is that students come to Boston to grow into themselves and their sexuality,” Ide said. “Babson is in a unique place to be at the forefront of this change given our entrepreneurial nature and the sheer amount of resources that are being funneled specifically into our LGBTQ students.”

The biggest step forward this year will be a new informal campus joint task force to join all queer people, allies, and resources on campus–from the Out Network, Babson’s graduate student LGBTQ+ group, to staff, faculty, and alumni representatives.

“The goal is to be more unified, and to show how diverse and multifaceted this community is,” Ide said.

Expanding Horizons

In addition to leading Babson Pride, Ide is taking part in Babson’s Summer Venture Program (SVP) to bolster his startup, the Boston Queer Club.

“It’s about providing purely social events for queer college-aged people in Boston, from concerts to comedy shows, so they can connect outside of the more traditional or romantic spaces,” Ide said.

The venture has been a labor of love, created with Ide’s younger self in mind. When Ide decided to come out, he lived in Los Angeles and had the backing of his parents and his community.

Babson’s participation in the Boston Pride Parade is one of many events planned to celebrate Babson Pride’s 40th anniversary. (Photo: Nic Czarnecki)

“I had all the support, but I didn’t have any peers that looked like me or talked like me. It was terrifying not seeing myself validated in the world around me. I didn’t feel ‘gay’ enough or like I fit the queer model,” Ide said. “It wasn’t until I began seeking those people through unconventional channels that I was able to find my community, but it wasn’t easy. The process was inefficient and painful, and unfortunately, it’s a common story. That’s why I chose Babson. I came here to change the narrative.”

Like any good entrepreneur, Ide spotted a need in Boston’s LGBTQ+ social scene. He created the Boston Queer Club to serve the vast number of LGBTQ+ college students in Boston.

“The LGBTQ identity is so much more than what we see on the surface,” Ide said. “Right now, the options are really limited if you are an LGBTQ person, and you want to meet other LGBTQ people like you.”

Ide’s Boston Queer Club already has received strong support from Babson’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, and now the SVP is providing invaluable resources and mentorship.

“This is why I love Babson so much,” Ide said. “The venture program has exceeded my expectations. We get access to experts in various fields, and the emphasis on pitching has been incredibly helpful.”

Looking ahead, Ide is eager to build on the momentum of the march and continue advocating for a more inclusive and connected community at Babson and beyond. “It’s not just about Babson; it’s about creating a network that extends throughout Boston and supports LGBTQ+ students everywhere,” he concluded.

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