By Amy Brockman
It started with someone being inspired by the Women’s March and the huge numbers of people who participated all over the world. The idea for an LGBT rights march on June 11 in Washington D.C. was posted on social media by David Bruinooge on January 26 and the idea went viral. Soon InterPride (the international Pride organization) was involved and helping to set up a national committee of people to help create this march. InterPride requested that local pride organizations, like Twin Cities Pride, devote time and energy to create a sister march or other event that would bring the spirit of the Equality March to their areas. Twin Cities Pride is proud to have taken on this task and is working hard with community partners to create a sister march for the Twin Cities area.
On Sunday, June 11 the Twin Cities Equality March will begin at 11 a.m., with people starting to line up for the march at 10:00 a.m. The details of the march route are still being finalized as of this printing, so check www.tcpride.org or the Facebook event page for updates. There will be a rally at the State Capitol from 12 to 1:30 p.m. with a tribute to Orlando Pulse victims, plus speakers and music. After the rally ends people are encouraged to attend Golden Valley Pride (12–6 p.m.), the Telling Queer History event (2–4:30 p.m.) or, later on that evening, the Queer Prom (starts at 7:30 p.m.).
We request that people register for the Equality March at www.tcpride.org to help with planning purposes and there is also a place to donate to help cover the costs of the march. Twin Cities Pride estimates that staging, sound, bathrooms (we will have 100 port-a-potties!), and other logistics for the march and rally will total $50,000. Sales of T-shirts, co-sponsorships by organizations, and individual donations will help to cover the cost of the march. T-shirts are available for purchase online at www.tcpride.org and will also be available for purchase at the Grand Marshal Awards Reception and Art Show Opening on June 8 at Radisson RED in downtown Minneapolis from 5:30–8 p.m. T-shirts will also be available at sign-making parties and other events as posted on Facebook and at the rally on June 11.
The planning committee consists of almost 30 local activists that have met numerous times to plan the march and they developed the following mission statement:
Twin Cities Equality March inspires people of all gender and sexual identities to fight for love, justice, inclusion, and equity in a way that unites our community and creates space for people to show up as their whole, true, and authentic selves.
The committee also developed a 13-point platform for the Twin Cities sister march, available for viewing at www.tcpride.org and on the Facebook event page. The goals of the national march include using the Equality March for Unity and Pride, and sister events across the country, to give voice to our concerns, and to support, uplift, and bring attention to those in our communities who are targeted due to immigration status, ethnicity, religion, skin color, gender, and disability. The platform for our local march echoes this sentiment.
So, what do else do you need to know?
Who Should Attend: Everyone who is LGBTQ and allies to our community are welcome! Adults and children are welcome. We intend for this event to be welcoming for all people that support our rights and our community. For those of you who have longed to have the Pride parade be more of a protest march, this event is perfect for you!
Transportation and Parking: We recommend that as many people as possible take public transit to the march and rally. If you want to drive, we recommend parking near the Capitol and then walking or taking public transit to the start of the march. For the rally, the Capitol is on many bus lines and the Green Line.
What to Bring: Please bring plenty of water, snacks, and sunscreen. This is a zero-waste event, so plan on packing up any trash you make! We will have free water available at the rally to refill your water bottles. Remember to dress for the weather, wear comfortable shoes, and bring signs for the march — we hope to see some good ones!
There will be a disability seating area at the rally and sign language interpreters. If you have any questions about the Equality March or rally, please reach out to Twin Cities Pride at 612-255-3260 or firstname.lastname@example.org.