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It’s Pride Month across the nation, and members of the South Coast LGBTQ+ community are celebrating their successes and recounting the struggles.

“Being stuck in any kind of closet is a terrible thing,” said Bev Baccelli, who sat down with her wife Liz DiCarlo to tell The Light their story.

Rev. Donnie Anderson, pastor of Pilgrim United Church of Christ, shared the challenges of coming out as a transgender woman considering the many anti-LGBTQ+ expressions of the Christian faith.

When a group is devalued by the broader society, Anderson said the group must come together and affirm what some people see as negative. “And giving it back to them in a way that says ‘This is who we are and we are damn proud of that.’”

“If I am not proud of who I am, who else is gonna be?” asked Crystal Diamonds, founder of the Queens of the South Coast, a drag production team active for about eight years. Pride is important to spread love, but not just once a year, said Diamonds. It’s an everyday celebration.

Since their first New Bedford Pride in 2008, Baccelli and DiCarlo said they believe more and more straight people have shown their support — understanding that they have more similarities than differences with members of the LGBTQ+ community.

“Pride every year … has given people the opportunity to not just stand in the corner across the street and watch,” said Baccelli. “But to cross that street, and enjoy.”

Email multimedia reporter Eleonora Bianchi at

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