Twin Cities Pride parade
Photograph by Rebecca Jean Lawrence, Flag: Shutterstock
On June 28th 1969, LGBT citizens and supporters rioted in New York City after the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar, was raided by police. It was a galvanizing moment in the national struggle for gay rights, and in 1972, an era in which homosexuality was still considered a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association, less than 100 people gathered in Loring Park for a picnic to honor it. It was the start of something so colossal that it would go on to fundamentally change the Twin Cities. Forty-four years and about a million LGBT rights milestones later (with about a million still to go), what began as a tiny gathering of outsiders and outcasts now sees annual attendance in the 500,000s and has become one of the most inclusive, important, and life-affirming events of the year.
All the major to-dos of Twin Cities Pride 2016.
June 4: Pride Night at the Minnesota Lynx game, Target Center
June 19: Pride Family Picnic, Como Park Pavilion
June 23: Colombian Passion Fashion Party, Muse
June 23: Pride Presents Kathy Griffin, Orchestra Hall
June 24: The Pride Beer Dabbler, Loring Park
June 24: Pride Night at the St. Paul Saints Game, CHS Field
June 25: Pride in Concert with the Pointer Sisters and Adore Delano, Loring Park
June 25–26: The Pride Festival
June 26: Rainbow Run, Boom Island Park
June 26: The Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade, Hennepin Avenue
[Department of Important Questions]
How exactly did rainbows become the symbol of gay pride anyway?
These days rainbows and gay pride are so inextricably linked, it’s easy to forget that at some point someone had to put them together for the first time. But who? And why? We asked Twin Cities Pride executive director Dot Belstler for the story behind the rainbow:
“There are a few schools of thought on the rainbow. One that might have inspired [civil rights activist] Gilbert Baker to sew the first rainbow flag in the late ’70s was that because Judy Garland was a huge gay icon, the flag may have been a tribute to ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ from the Wizard of Oz. [Baker] first made the flag in eight colors, each one with a distinct meaning. Generally the flag is seen with six colors now. The Pride banners on Hennepin Avenue during June each have one of the words with that color featured—red: strength, orange: enthusiasm, yellow: happiness, green: growth, blue: confidence, and purple: power. There are also bisexual, transgender, etc., flags. The Pride logo used to be a purple triangle with a lightning bolt through it, but we updated to rainbow colors when we rebranded in 2012.”