Twin Cities Pride 2016 – mourning Orlando and increasing trans visibility
What a great weekend at Twin Cities Pride in Minneapolis. After Orlando, Pride seemed more important this year, somber in remembrance, and also deliberately joyful in a refusal to be suppressed. It felt important to be seen, to be proud, to celebrate and laugh and cheer as well as mourn. To show that no death, not one, not forty-nine, can erase or suppress the move to equality. There were 132 groups marching in the parade, from churches to schools, from businesses to organizations like the ACLU, theaters, leather guys, the Minneapolis and St. Paul police… And all kinds of booths at the park, with art and music and food and clothing and toys and flags and support groups and more. And so many different people, (and dogs and even a cat in a stoller.) Rainbows, and trans flags, and bi pride and Ace T-shirts, and Pulse shirts and even tattoos, and community.
Pride this year also really seemed to be about a joyful acceptance and openness about gender as well as orientation. Lots of trans and fluid and non-conforming and agender folk participating, lots of trans flag blue/pink/white merchandise alongside the rainbows. I put out free trans-support pins with #IllGoWithYou – 250 of them and they were all gone by 2 pm on Sunday, and almost everyone who took a pin stopped to put it on, before walking away.❤ As awful as the anti-trans legislations are, as sad and dangerous and depressing and unfair, they are also, I believe, increasing activism, visibility, and turning passive trans supporters more vocal and active.
A group of us got together as the “Midwest Gay-Romance Authors” to promote the genre and sell books. I didn’t expect much, but it went great. Original forecasts called for “dangerous thunderstorms, severe winds and damaging hail” on Saturday, and we were braced for the worst. It was windy enough for us to end up strapping down all the paper swag, (and tying down the 3-foot-tall bookcase that almost killed Posy Roberts, as it tipped toward where she was sitting, despite sandbag weights) but that was all that happened. Some lighting in the distance, a lot of heat (95 degrees F) but compared to the forecast it was wonderful. And Sunday was lovely for the Parade, with a breeze.
I came home hot and tired and happy. (And we actually sold some books.) It was wonderful to meet so many people, including online friends. I hope we get to do it again next year. Thanks to my fellow authors Posy Roberts, Edmond Manning, J R Jen Barten, Rory Ni Coileain, Jessa Ryan, Nicole Forcine, Penny Wilder, Denise Shirley Carter, Kathie, Katie, plus some of their friends and family, and everyone who stopped by, who made our booth a success.