Metropolitan State students, staff and alumni came together to represent the university at Twin Cities Pride last weekend. Metropolitan State has been involved with the annual celebration for several years and 2015 marks the largest turnout ever following the recent decision on nationwide same-sex marriage by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Women’s and LGBTQ Student Resource Center and the LGBTQ student organization, Lavender Bridge, hosted a Metropolitan State information booth during the two-day festival where 17 volunteers spoke to hundreds of alumni, and current and prospective students.
On Sunday, a team of seven students participated in the Rainbow Run 5k. The runners began at Boom Island, traveled over the Hennepin Avenue Bridge and ended at MCTC, just before the parade. Sign Language Interpreter Ezra Kesler, Disabilities Studies, ran for the second year in a row. “It’s always so cool to come down Hennepin Avenue and have complete strangers yell and cheer for you.” said Kesler. “It gave me chills. My five-year-old son met me about 200 yards from the finish line; he hopped into the run and crossed the finish line with me.”
The 2015 Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade Grand Marshal was Metropolitan State alumna and Alumni Association Board Secretary Andrea Jenkins (’99). Andrea is a community leader, an accomplished poet and writer who leads the Transgender Oral History Project at the University of Minnesota. Jenkin’s message as grand marshal was Together We Can End Transphobia and Black Lives Matter, including a die-in demonstration during the parade.
The Women’s and LGBTQ Student Resource Center is located at Founders Hall 140, Saint Paul Campus and is open Monday through Thursday during the summer to connect students with community resources and support. For more information contact Saby Labor, Women’s and LGBTQ Student Resource Center coordinator, at 651-793-1544 or firstname.lastname@example.org.