‘Best day ever’: Portraits of Pride

The party started Friday morning as news broke that the Supreme Court of the United States had made gay marriage legal across the land, and continued at Twin Cities Pride events throughout the weekend, including Sunday’s parade down Hennepin Avenue. This is what love – and history – looks like, in words and photos:

MinnPost photo by Jim Walsh

Reagan Sirisavath, Minneapolis (far right): “We represent Adonis Bodywear, a men’s underwear boutique in downtown Minneapolis. We relocated from Uptown to downtown, near the 19 Bar and across the street from the Nicollet Diner. We are a gay-owned business, and I’m proud of it, and I’m proud of us, and it’s a very happy day across the nation today because of what historically happened and we’re proud to celebrate it all here today. Businesses are now supporting the GLBT community where before they weren’t: Some even asked me if I had rainbow flags they could buy from my store, and that was really warm and friendly of everyone.”

MinnPost photo by Jim Walsh

Lavelle Warfield, Minneapolis: “I’m with the YMCA of Minneapolis, and this year I took over the gay organization for the Y. I was really taken aback on Friday. Seeing the rainbow flag on the White House had a major impact on me, and to think that people are actually supporting us and gay marriage is awesome.”

MinnPost photo by Jim Walsh

Roxy Marquis, Minneapolis: “It’s amazing. When I first heard, I was really still and in disbelief and started crying. I mean, I remember … I was from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and for us gay pride was one lesbian walking her Doberman pinscher up and down the block while four of us watched. And now I’m part of this, 20 years later.

I’m so grateful it happened in my lifetime. Everything’s rainbow, everyone’s coming together, and I think it’s important we remember to treat people with other views with sensitivity, because I think it’s been a rough week for them. We have to remember that they have a right to their views, but we have a right to exist. I’m in love with the decision, and as long as you’re working with love, what can be bad?”

MinnPost photo by Jim Walsh

Sonya and Clara Calgren, Minneapolis: “I’m here because I support all families, and I want my daughter to grow up in a world where everybody is welcome to love everyone they want to love,” said Sonya. “Clara has a best friend who has two moms, and we have a lot of friends who we love and who are gay who have been married in Minnesota, but now that it’s all over the United States, it feels like Roe v. Wade, separate but equal, and it’s exciting. I’m really proud of our country, and our Constitution, and the Supreme Court.”

MinnPost photo by Jim Walsh

Kade Aver (center), Minneapolis: “I came out when I was 15, and came to my first Pride when I was 16. I told my mom, ‘Oh, I’m going to the Mall of America for the weekend,’ which was a lie. She said, ‘We know you went to Pride. We’re not stupid, Kade.’ Versus now, when you can be gay at work, you can be gay with your friends, you can be whatever you want to be, basically. There’s more work to be done, though. Someone said, ‘It’s finally OK to be gay,’ and a black friend said, ‘Hopefully next it’s OK to be black.’ Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere.”

MinnPost photo by Jim Walsh

Jordan Gotcsacker, Sheboygan, Wisconsin: (in the “Best Day Ever” shirt on the W Hotel float): “This is my first Pride. It’s a beautiful day.”

MinnPost photo by Jim Walsh

Evin Shultz, Minneapolis: “[Friday’s decision] means that everyone’s free and has the rights they should have had originally, and I’m here today because I’m proud. I feel like everyone’s extra happy because of what happened Friday. Amazing.”

MinnPost photo by Jim Walsh

Laura Johnson (second from left), St. Paul: “I’m here with Family Tree Clinic, because I used to work as a sexual health educator there, and the reason I started working there is because it’s the first place I received queer-friendly services when I was a teen. The Supreme Court decision for me is like a warm, fuzzy thing letting me know that the world is moving towards queer being more widely accepted in different domains.”

MinnPost photo by Jim Walsh

Ben Moss (center), Minneapolis: “I’m with Quorum, a networking for LGBT members in the Twin Cities community. I’m 25, I’ve been coming to Pride for six years. I used to come in for Pride always from Eau Claire, but I’ve lived in the Twin Cities for two years now. Today feels bigger and better than ever. The energy is amazing, and everyone feels ecstatic to be here. I bawled my eyes out for two hours Friday morning; I messaged my boyfriend of five years, who’s in Prague right now, and said, ‘I love you so much, I wish you were here.’ Everyone is living off of Friday’s events right now. We’re all so happy and full of love and excited for the future.”

MinnPost photo by Jim Walsh

John Wallace, Joanne Schubert, Roger Garbanzo, Minneapolis: “We’ve been marching at Pride for 10 years now, but today the excitement from everybody and (the Supreme Court decision) makes it feels like it’s the first time,” said Garbonzo.

MinnPost photo by Jim Walsh

Andrew Dunker, Bagley, Minnesota: “This is my first Pride; I came out about a year ago and moved down here last July. I’m here with Youth Link, a homeless youth drop-in center for Hennepin County. We’re a nonprofit, and we would love to have anyone contribute anything they can to what we do in helping homeless youths.”

MinnPost photo by Jim Walsh

Merete Larson, Minneapolis: “This is my first PRIDE parade; I’m here to support love. Friday was historical and a win for our entire nation.”

MinnPost photo by Jim Walsh

Lynn Sessions, Bloomington: “I’m here to support the LGBT community and the geek community. We’re very inclusive, which I feel is a great fit for this parade. [Princess Leia] would say that the Supreme Court’s ruling is a great success for democracy and how we listen to the people rather than just listen to the minority.”

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by David Willard on 06/29/2015 - 10:18 pm.

    Heartbreak

    Identity can be difficult. When we lose our Creator’s purpose for our lives we scream off in odd directions. When this confusion is legitimized, it seems comforting.

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 06/30/2015 - 07:57 am.

      Care to clarify?

      Just what “odd directions” are you referring to? And what confusion? (I don’t remember seeing any “confusion” in Jim’s article).

  2. Submitted by Jeremy Brezovan on 06/30/2015 - 12:19 pm.

    I don’t want to speak for anyone

    But I think it’s the confusion of trying to follow the dictates of varying translations of a 2000+ year-old book, instead of listening to and understanding the hearts and minds of those living around us, right now.

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