After joining Twin Cities Pride in 2009, executive director Dot Belstler will retire from her position at the end of September. We asked her to reflect on the last 13 years at a nonprofit unlike any other.
As you look back on your decade with Twin Cities Pride, what are some of your fondest memories? What are you proudest of?
Being in the History Pavilion back in 2009, reviewing the Tretter Collection’s historical panels moved me so much that I wanted to work here. This might sound silly, but one of the things I’m most proud of is the lighting on the 35W and Lowry bridges as well as other landmarks in rainbow lights. It shows that the LGBTQ+ community is seen and valued.
On the 50th anniversary of that first Pride protest, why does the festival remain so important?
While Pride has become more of a celebration now, there are still fights to be fought and won. There are still young people (and adults) coming out every day and they need to see the Pride community supports them.
What are your wishes for Pride as it moves into the future?
I would like to see Pride grow into a larger movement here in the Twin Cities. We have such a large platform to support the community; internal growth and community representation are tools that could help with this.
Can we still expect to see you at Loring Park even though you’ve passed the baton?
I wouldn’t miss it for the world!