Equality and inclusiveness – that’s the goal of one local organization that will be holding special celebrations this week in honor of Pride Month.
Pride Minot recently changed its name to Magic City Equality in efforts to become a nonprofit.
With that nonprofit status, the organization can essentially do more to advocate, network, teach, support, and lead the Minot area in all things Pride.
Magic City Equality’s treasurer, Jordan Laducer, said, “We want to make sure that everybody is welcome, that everybody has a voice and that everybody feels belong.”
Equality for everyone will be especially celebrated this week, but the goals of Magic City Equality go beyond that.. so that its values are embraced every day.
“No matter if you’re straight, gay, lesbian, no matter what on the spectrum across the rainbow,” said Laducer, “You are always welcome with us.”
Although the organization’s name has changed, the mission remains.
“I want to hear fewer people say, ‘I didn’t know there was a pride organization in Minot,” added Shannon Krueger, Magic City Equality’s secretary.
Through a youth group, support services, health and education opportunities, and events like this week’s pride festival .. the goal is simple: to bring people – of all walks of life – together in unity and understanding that everyone needs a safe place.
“Being gay in Minot is not easy when you don’t have friends and support,” MCE member, Dan Scott, said.
Scott’s tagline is that he’s North Dakota’s oldest performing drag queen, and he said he thanks Magic City Equality for being one of his biggest support systems.
He added, “Prior to meeting people in this organization, I didn’t have a lot of friends.”
Friendship and acceptance for the LGBTQ plus community are what has Magic City Equality and its many members celebrating one another with pride.
“It’s just kind of nice to know that there are these events going on even in this state where it’s maybe not as accepted,” said Quintawna Long.
Her friend Mitchel Warnke added,” It’s just nice to know that there’s representation in town .. and acceptance, others like us.”
As a nonprofit, the group can now apply for grant funding so that they can continue to host events like Pride Week plus the many events that take place throughout the year.
Events kicked off Sunday with a pre-pride brunch and will continue with an even bigger kick off downtown happening this Thursday with much more to follow.
Thursday, June 27, 6 pm: Pride Festival Kick-off Party @ Arny’s 2.0
Friday, June 28, 7 pm: Magic City Mistfits’ Rocky Horror Picture Show @ Mouse River Players
Saturday, June 29, 10 am: Pride in the Park @ Roosevelt Park
Saturday, June 29, 7 pm: Over the Rainbow Drag Show @ Minot Armory (18+)
Sunday, June 30, 1 pm: Drag Brunch & Bingo, Arny’s 2.0 Lounge