From The Editor – Fifty Years of Pride

Photo by Randy Stern
Photo by Randy Stern

Fifty years ago, we first celebrated our community in what is now called Twin Cities Pride

According to several online sources, the first march occurred in 1972 to “commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots. It was sponsored by members of Gay House and the University of Minnesota’s F.R.E.E. (FREE/Fight Repression of Erotic Expression) organization, which was one of the first sanctioned GLBT student groups in the country.”

This event continues to be the cornerstone celebration of the LGBTQ community for the Upper Midwest region. Twin Cities Pride continued to celebrate our people and the ebb and flow of our history – from the AIDS Crisis to Marriage Equality to celebrating BIPOC and Trans communities. 

Twin Cities Pride has always been on my radar going back a couple of decades. The first time I went, a friend decided to drop me off with the North Country Bears marching contingent en route to marching with his corporate one. It was so muggy that day, I passed out when we got to Loring Park. Not a great start to a 20-plus year personal history with Twin Cities Pride, but things did progress for the better over the years. 

One thing that amazes me about Twin Cities Pride is it becomes the one time each year you get to see people that have been in your life for decades. Every year, they just pop up out of nowhere onto Loring Park. You might not have time to catch up with each other – and you always try to schedule something afterwards for dinner – but, seeing them makes that year a bit better. 

I am happy to see that Twin Cities Pride is back in its regularly scheduled and traditional time slot. I’m happy to see the return of the Ashley Rukes Parade. 

To celebrate, Lavender Magazine offers its annual Pride Edition – our largest issue of the year! 

If you flip the cover of this magazine, we began our two-part celebration of these past 50 years of Twin Cities Pride. We explore its history, along with the history of the many aspects of our community. 

Afterwards, go ahead and flip the magazine to the back. There are many stories we tell inside of this issue. So many that I could not fit onto this column. Let your fingers do the flipping (albeit backwards in the print edition) and take in what we have in store for you! 

Welcome to our month! The month of celebration of ourselves, our diversity, and our place in society. Remember, we will always be stronger than those who deny our place in the world. Always have, always will! 

Our pride does not stop with just one month. It is year-round. No matter when or where, let’s fly our flag high and proudly! 

See you at Loring Park and at the Ashley Rukes Parade! 

Lavender Magazine

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