Proudest Year Yet: Twin Cities Pride 2023
Bigger than ever and full of fun things to do, this year’s Twin Cities Pride is an absolute can’t-miss experience! Whether it’s your first time at Pride or your fifty-first, there will be plenty there for you to enjoy. Executive Director of Twin Cities Pride, Andi Otto (he/him), who has worked with Twin Cities Pride for sixteen years as a volunteer, and has been Executive Director since October 2022, says, “Our goal is to have a little bit of something for everyone, from 4 stages that are full of talented artists, vendors selling their goods, amazing food, our Youth Hideaway, beer gardens, and most importantly—the resources in our community to help live your most authentic life. We create our own LGBTQ+ village in the heart of the city.”
It’s no secret: it’s been a challenging time for LGBTQ people in the United States recently, and there is nothing more rebellious in the face of lawmakers’ homophobia than LGBTQ joy. Going to Pride either as a part of the community or an ally shows that we are here to stay, here to make the world a more open, loving place, and here to simply enjoy our lives. Otto says, “ The most amazing feeling is to sit back during Pride and watch the people filled with sheer happiness. It feels like home, and everyone is family.” When you’re at Pride, you’re part of the big, beautiful family too.
This year, Twin Cities Pride is also expanding its reach! According to Otto, “I knew that we needed to move out of our little 500 sq. ft. office, and that I wanted a space where people could come visit, meet up, or even work. When I walked in to 1618 Harmon Place, I just knew it was the spot. Not only did it have the best view, but it felt like home.” Otto also adds that the progress doesn’t stop in-office: “As we continue to grow, we realized that we needed more space and it seemed like a natural progression to incorporate our neighboring park, [The Sculpture Garden]. We are working together with the Pride Beer Dabbler and showcasing our amazing LGBTQ+ and BIPOC Artists here in Minnesota.”
There will be plenty of fun things to check out at the new office and in the park—especially during Pride, but also year-round! Otto says, “The space will hold our Rainbow Wardrobe for those seeking gender-affirming clothing all year round. We will have community programming, meeting space, and our hope is so much more.” Having a resource like Twin Cities Pride in the neighborhood is extremely important, especially to queer people who are still searching for community, struggling with their identities, or feeling alone. This year, Twin Cities Pride will include lots of new amenities for the community as well. Otto explains, “New this year is our New Youth Hideaway, our Silver Zone, a Family Services area which has changing tables both for disability needs and youth, a lactation area, a new and bigger dog area, 3 Beer Gardens, 5 food courts , and expansion of Living Well Park.”
Another incredible feature of Twin Cities Pride’s fifty-first year of Pride is the announcement of the 2023 Grand Marshal, Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd (they/she), the Chief Education Officer and Medical Director of Gender Health at Children’s Minnesota. Otto says, “Dr. Goepferd has been on the front line during an extremely challenging time for the transgender community, trying to educate and inform the public, while still diligently performing their duties at Minnesota Children’s Hospital. We are very pleased to be able to recognize their efforts.” It is such an honor and a privilege to get to hear from such an outstanding and influential member of our community.
Twin Cities Pride is also making an effort to support BIPOC and queer BIPOC. This year, Otto says, “We’re offering more space to BIPOC folx, priority to BIPOC and LGBTQ+ Folx for vendor space. The BIPOC community has not only my support, but the community’s support as we navigate the injustice that has plagued their community for too long.” As we all know, the first Pride was a riot, and it was started by trans women of color, specifically Black women. The queer community owes so much of our progress to BIPOC, and Twin Cities Pride honors and celebrates this. Otto says that in the past, working to make sure BIPOC voices were heard, “is something that we have not done well, and I am determined to change that.” Making positive change to highlight Black and Brown stories and lift BIPOC voices means a better community for everyone. Twin Cities Pride is delighted to support Black, Indigenous and People of Color’s voices this year and every year.
Andi Otto says, “[working with the queer community] means family and home. When you are in a space with the queer community you don’t have to pretend to be what society wants you to be, you can be authentically you.” Come be exactly who you are with a ton of other people—all being exactly who they are—this year at Twin Cities Pride. Enjoy a beautiful weekend celebrating the beauty of being queer and enjoying queer performance and art. Take it from Otto, “If you are looking to watch the most epic parade, make your way to Hennepin Ave on Sunday and watch the rainbow shower down on the onlookers.”
Don’t miss out on the queer event of the year! Visit Twin Cities Pride from June 23rd-25th for some great food, music, performances, community, and queer JOY! Want more information? Check out Twin Cities Pride’s website at www.tcpride.org
2023 Festival Dates:
June 23rd, 6pm-9pm
June 24th, 10am-7pm
June 25th, 10am-6pm
Loring Park/Parade Park, Minneapolis, MN