Not long ago I was researching the early days of Twin Cities or Minneapolis Pride, and I came across some articles written by Lavender’s own Steve Lenius. In one piece, Steve described the initial Pride celebration as a picnic. Humble beginnings for what would grow into one the largest, annual celebrations of identity—on the planet.
For those who were around for year one, I’m guessing 2020 looked familiar, attracting a similarly sized crowd. This time wearing masks, weary to gather for different reasons—if they gathered at all. With no official (at least, typical) Pride events held, people were left to hold it up on their own.
And they did.
Things moved to a virtual setting; some people gathered in small groups. Others took part in Lavender’s Pride @ Home party kits—and we shared the memories on our website and in the pages of Lavender. People found that much needed familiarity.
This year, we’re treated to a “hybrid” Pride; a step in the right direction. The Pride Grand Marshal MASKqueerade Party is set for Thursday, June 17, from 7-9:00 p.m. at the Granada Theater. You can also livestream the event.
“Join us for a new Grand Marshal event loaded with entertainment and fun and bling your mask up for our MASKqueerade Party—featuring Musician Jamecia Bennett, Comedian Maggie Faris, Drag Show by Nina d’Angelo and DJ Keezy spinning the music,” according to tcpride.org.
Pride Family Fun Day and the Rainbow Run 5k are also posted on the Twin Cities Pride website. Other events are still up in the air. Other, smaller events are being held independently. Some are outright canceled.
People lost a lot in 2020, and this summer might be the start to getting some of those things we lost back. We’re looking at less than a month left under heavy COVID restrictions, with mandates set to expire in the near future. Some losses, of course, won’t be healed by lifted mandates.
As we step into another summer, we start adjusting again. This time the new normal is the old normal, so that should prove helpful. In no time we’ll be reflecting on that time we murdered the flu for a year.
Maybe don’t burn those masks just yet.