Lavender Magazine Community Award – Ally: Krystyne Frandson

Photo courtesy of Kyrstyne Frandson
Photo courtesy of Kyrstyne Frandson

Sometimes it takes a spark to take the lead in a community.

Between St. Cloud and Fargo is Fergus Falls. It is there where SAGA (Sexuality and Gender Alliance) Youth lives and puts on Fergus Pride in a community of almost 14,000 residents. 

Because of the resilience and leadership demonstrated in this community in western Minnesota, Lavender Magazinebestows one our Community Awards to SAGA Youth’s founder Krystyne Frandson. 

For Frandson, it all began when her son came out to her at the age of 10. “[I]mmediately,” Frandson explained, “the mama bear came out. I was like, “Okay, I’m going to fiercely protect this child.” And he benched me. He said he didn’t want any help, he didn’t want me to go to bat for him at all. He didn’t want to draw any attention to it at all. He was just very comfortable being who he was, and it was hard to watch.”

In the meantime, Frandson knew she had to do something. That idea came from her son, Jette. “[S]o he said,” explained Frandson, “’You should start something.’ And that’s the first he’s ever suggested that I do anything in the realm of being very vocal about our support of the LGBTQ community. So, I ran with it. And when I say run with it, I mean I look back right now and it was only a year ago, April 30th is when I started SAGA. Within 18 days, I had Fergus Pride planned, and within four months, I had a center open. I kind of look back at it and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, how did I do that?’” 

From the formation of SAGA Youth and histing the first Fergus Pride, Frandson knew she had something. The reach of SAGA Youth and Fergus Pride is now reached communities near and far – from Alexandria to Wahpeton. All of these communities lack immediate resources to support their LGBTQ residents – in particular, LGBTQ youth. “[I]t’s not just the kids and the parents that are reaching out because they don’t feel like they have any resources,” Frandson explained. “My list of vendors this year for Fergus Pride Picnic, they’re within an hour radius in all directions. So, word is getting out.”

It does take a spark to fill a need. That need came in the form of SAGA Youth and, now, the second Fergus Pride being held from June 23rd to the 26th. All because of Frandson’s son coming out some ten years ago. She has stepped up and created a community in a place where it is truly needed. 

On behalf of Lavender Magazine, it is our honor to bestow Krystyne Frandson as recipients of this year’s Community Awards. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Prior to the publication of this issue, Lavender Magazine learned of the sudden death of Jette Kriston Frandson, the son of our Community Awards recipient, on June 8 at the age of 20. We extend our deepest condolences to Krystyne, the Frandson family, everyone at SAGA Youth and the Fergus Falls community. This award is dedicated in his memory.

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