Happy Twin Cities Pride!

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Come out to support the LQBTQ+ community this weekend, June 25-26 at Loring Park to celebrate the Twin Cities Pride Festival! Visit the Hennepin Healthcare table and meet team members from many specialties, including Between Us where you can learn about our services and ask health questions. We’ve pulled together some history and a quick snapshot of some of the feature organizations, businesses, and artists you can meet this weekend:


Twin Cities Pride started in 1972 as a 50-person protest, 50 years ago this weekend. In 1971 students at the University of Minnesota elected Jack Baker as student body president. Baker was not only the first openly gay student body president at the University of Minnesota but also the first at any major university in the county. Because of this, he was invited to be the grand marshal at Chicago’s pride parade.

Jean Nickolaus-Tretter whose work led to the creation of the Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies at the University of Minnesota was the organizer of the first Minnesota Pride. He said, “If Chicago can have Gay Pride, Minnesota can have Gay Pride”. The first Minnesota Pride was held in two places, Loring Park, where it is now, and then at Nicollet Mall. They did this because the protesters were sure that at least one group would get arrested and the other could bail them out of jail. However, no one was arrested, and the protest was peaceful. Shortly after there were plans for a second Gay Pride event the next year.

This year Minnesota’s 50th annual Pride theme is “past, present, and future.” There will be hundreds of vendors and an expected 500,000 guests.


There are many amazing organizations in the Twin Cities working to further the health and well-being of LGBTQ+ people. Here are a few:

Between Us: A grant-funded program that promotes and advocates for teen-friendly and accessible services at Hennepin Healthcare!

Pediatric Gender & Sexual Health Clinic: Primary care and mental health care to children, adolescents, and young adults who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, gender-questioning, or gender-nonconforming.

Adult Gender & Sexual Health Clinic: Primary care to adult gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, gender-nonconforming, and non-binary patients.

Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition: Care for trans and gender nonconforming individuals. They provide free services like vaccines, monthly HIV testing, support groups, and access to a food shelf.

Institute for Sexual and Gender Health: Revolutionizing the sexual and gender climate by eliminating barriers and advancing healthy sexuality.

Rainbow Health: Working for equitable health care access and outcomes for people who experience injustice at the intersection of health status and identity. They center individuals and communities at risk of living with HIV or facing barriers to equitable healthcare access and outcomes because of their identity as gender, sexual, and/or racial minorities.

LGBTQ+ businesses

Pride is a month dedicated to celebrating the liberation of the LGBTQ+ community. It is a time for many to acknowledge their gender and sexual identities and advocate for LGBTQ+ rights in the world. Often, large corporations capitalize on the holiday by “rainbow washing,” meaning they sell LGBTQ+ related products but donate their funds to organizations that work against the community. To combat this, you can support the community by buying from local LGBTQ+ small businesses during Pride month (and the rest of the year too!).

Check out these queer-owned businesses and artists:

Food & Drink 




Check out a full list of LGBTQ businesses in Minneapolis!

See you this weekend and Happy Pride!

About Between Us and our interns

Between Us is a grant-funded program from the Minnesota Department of Health that creates access to confidential reproductive healthcare for youth and young adults who receive their care at Hennepin Healthcare. Teens have the right to confidentiality for certain kinds of care under Minnesota’s Minor Consent Law. Between Us transforms primary care into a more teen-friendly environment, welcoming teens and their parents and providing confidential care when needed.

The following interns contributed to this article:

  • Claire Weiss is a current Master of Public Health student at the University of Minnesota studying community health promotion. She is an intern at Between Us with Hennepin Health Care and is passionate about health equity surrounding sexual and reproductive health, and rural health!
  • Madie Anderson-Sarno is currently a Master of Public Health, studying community health promotion with a minor in sexual and reproductive Health. She is interested in sexual and reproductive rights as well as making comprehensive sexual education available to all.
  • Sophie Gonzalez is a second-year Master of Environmental Health student at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health. Sophie is interested in increasing access to sexual health and facilitating conversation with adolescents.
  • Zach Schmit is a Master of Public Health student at the University of Minnesota studying community health promotion and sexual health. He is also a graduate assistant in the School of Social Work. Zach is most passionate about health equity for LGBTQ+ people, particularly teens and adolescents!
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