Minneapolis’s Pride Festival is one of the largest events of its kind in the country. The celebration honors the Stonewall riots that occurred in New York City on June 28, 1969, but the Twin Cities festival has become an event unto itself.
It’s more than a time of remembrance; it’s a visible symbol of solidarity and community recognition. It can only be summed up in the old euphemism “We’re here! We’re queer! Get used to it!” And used to it the Twin Cities has become as people attend the event in the hundreds of thousands every year. This year’s celebration June 25-26 is the 44th year since the event first Twin Cities Pride Festival in 1972.
The crammed schedule offers events as diverse as the region’s LGBTQ communities. Margaret Cho is slated to perform Sunday at Orchestra Hall; a 5-kilometer race called the Rainbow Run, in which the first 500 people will get a swag bag, will begin at 8:30 am Sunday on Boom Island; and with hundreds of vendors and exhibitors, there will be plenty to look at and listen to this weekend.
Metropolitan State University will be there to help celebrate LGBTQ pride. As in the past, Metropolitan State will have a booth at the festival. People who take and share selfies at the booth will be eligible for a drawing for a $25 student bookstore gift card. The Lavender Bridge, Metropolitan State’s LGBTQ student organization, will also be on site with a table and games. Play a round of bean toss with Lavender Bridge volunteers and win some prizes, which include sunglasses, Metropolitan State T-shirts, keychains, lip balm and other items.
The Lavender Bridge student organization is a community resource to create dialogue in the LGBTQ community. Prizes and booths are merely an entry to engage in conversations with attendees of the festival. They’re also there to connect with Metropolitan State alumni and community members to let them know of the opportunities available at the school.
“I think the most important thing I would like the students at Metro State to know would that we really work hard to represent the voices of all the students, and we know that it’s hard with everybody’s busy lives and other responsibilities in their lives, but just to know that there is an organization that is there for them,” said Bril Macias, the president of Lavender Bridge.
Lavender Bridge always needs more officers, student involvement and volunteers, so if you’re interested in helping don’t hesitate; the group provides training and support.