New Features at TC Pride All About Inclusivity and Keeping the Peace

Dancers holding off protesters, a space for those with autism, and more

The month-long Twin Cities LGBTQ+ Pride celebration comes to a close this weekend with a festival in Loring Park and a parade on Hennepin Avenue to celebrate inclusivity.

And the inclusivity is real: running Saturday and Sunday, the festival will feature 400 exhibitors ranging from big-time city retailers such as Target to local health clinics, Minnesota colleges, and representatives of the Minnesota Twins. On the festival’s four stages, performers will include DJs and rappers as well as bluegrass artists and drag queens.

The parade starts at 11 a.m. on Sunday, where many of this year’s new features will make their debut—starting with two new flags. Thirty by fifty feet in size, each flag will represent those who are bisexual and transgender, respectively. Stickers will be available so attendees can wear their preferred pronouns—she/her, he/him, they/them—or write in what they would like to be called.

Another inclusive gesture made by Twin Cities Pride this year comes in its partnering with the Autism Society of Minnesota to create an Escape Space for people with autism or other sensory disabilities. The space will have fans, water bottles, gadgets to fidget with, small trampolines, and other comforting items.

Some activities, of course, will just be for fun, including a comedy show by modern queer icon Tig Notaro on Thursday and free rides on a mechanical unicorn this weekend. Another new addition comes twofold: it’s a fun activity that also anticipates an inevitable downside to Pride. Don’t You Feel It Too (DYFIT) is an organization that promotes dancing to music in public, where each person listens to their own music with headphones on. The practice is an individual experience in a group setting, similar to yoga, where participants can appreciate independent control while also learning from one another. The movers and shakers of DYFIT will use their bodies to act as a buffer between expected protestors and the rest of the festival. DYFIT will also hand out headphones and lead dance breaks on stages throughout the day for others who want to get involved.

Pride understands that LGBTQ+ folks, allies, and friends need fuel to get through the emotionally charged and energetic events, so of course, food trucks will be parked nearby.

Pride Dog
Courtesy of Twin Cities Pride