With large public gatherings canceled for now, Boston officials and members of the city’s LGBTQ community celebrated Friday what would have been the 50th annual Pride celebration, staging a “virtual” flag-raising and remembrance ceremony.

In a live-streaming video, Patrick Fandel, LGBT Community Liaison to the City of Boston, opened the ceremony, reminding the public that the Pride celebration was born out of strife and the oppression of LGBTQ people, including by law enforcement.

“It should never be forgotten that the first Pride began with a riot against police brutality,” Fandel said. “It was black trans women who took to the streets 50 years ago to challenge the status quo and spark the public fight for gay liberation.

“In that spirit, it is incumbent on all of us who sit in places of power that we reaffirm now and always that black lives matter, black trans lives matter, and black queer lives matter,” Fandel said.

Speaking in prepared remarks, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said he’s proud of how far the city has come, but added that “We know that the fight is far from over, and we know there’s a long way to go.”

Walsh thanked the LGBTQ community for helping make the celebration happen despite the restrictions that led to the cancelation of the traditional parade this year.

“We cannot wait to have the best celebration yet when we get through this difficult time,” Walsh said.

In an address recorded at the State House, Gov. Charlie Baker praised the now 50-year-old Pride tradition.

“This community has been so successful in making their concern and their fight, everybody’s concern and everybody’s fight,” Baker said.

State Rep. Elizabeth Malia, a Pride board member, recalled the unique achievements of Boston’s and Massachusetts’ LGBTQ community.

“We were the source of the first equal marriage legislation in the country,” Malia said. “Have a good Pride, stay healthy and we’ll see you in 2021, in healthier times.”

Among other speakers in the line-up was freshman Boston City Councilor Liz Breadon, who represents the city’s Allston and Brighton neighborhoods, who introduced herself as “an immigrant and lesbian from Northern Ireland,” who lives with her partner of 23 years.

“When I first came to Boston, I’d never been to a Pride parade before,” Breadon said. “It was such an exuberant, joyful and affirming experience. It was truly life-changing.”

Adding a note of dark humor to the ceremony, Pride Treasurer and Board Member Malcolm Carey said, “It was wasn’t supposed to be this way. We were all supposed to be standing under a flag pole at Boston City Hall Plaza, holding our hands over our hearts during the National Anthem, watching our flag raised up the pole.”

“Our 50th anniversary of Boston Pride was supposed to be the grandest celebration of our fights and rights that we have ever borne witness to," Carey said. "Instead, a monsoon of pandemic drenched our community.”

But, noted Carey, “We’ve been through far worse,” citing struggles for equality in the 1970s, and resiliency during the AIDS crisis of the '80s and '90s.

“Our community will once again be standing here at the end of this rainy, rainy year, looking up at the rainbow we left behind,” he said.

Carey said that Boston Pride will hold events, all staged virtually, throughout the month of June.

Carey announced two parade marshals for 2020. The first, Dorothy DeMarco, was the group’s longest volunteer, Carey said, who “fed our volunteers breakfast, mended and cleaned our flags, washed our parade safety vests, and sewed our banners,” Carey said. “Dottie inspired all of us to volunteer.”

The parade’s grand marshal this year, Carey said, is “You, our community, the spirit that continues to inclusivity, equality and respect.”

Athena Vaughn, director of the group TransCEND, said she was humbled to be able to speak on behalf of and thank the contributions of trans women of color, “who made it possible for us to have this opportunity. Without them, we would not be here.”

But, said Vaughn, the celebration is overshadowed by the fear and reality of continued violence, including by law enforcement, against trans women and the trauma and devastation of continued discrimination.

“There is a lot of change that still needs to happen. And I want that change to come so that we have a right to celebrate,” said Vaughn.