It’s the year 2020. Pride is postponed—if not yet cancelled. This is very hard to say out loud. It feels like saying we’re cancelling joy and progress. Of course, the cancelling of Pride—the festival, the parade, the week when tens of thousands of far-flung LGBTQ peeps come streaming home—represents an act of love to keep people healthy.
But its absence presents us with an opportunity to consider all the profound and important local LGBTQ landmarks that built Pride—and often disappeared. Living in a city is complicated. Each of us lives in a different Twin Cities: We share the Foshay Tower and the Mississippi, but we go home to different bars and bedrooms.
LGBTQ cultures have, historically, needed to hide their bars and bedrooms for fear of eviction, firing, imprisonment, or worse. As Ricardo J. Brown put it in his St. Paul memoir, The Evening Crowd at Kirmser’s—one of the