Twin Cities Pride postpones virtual LGBTQ+ parade, vows to fight systemic racial inequality

Tuesday, Twin Cities Pride announced they are postponing the 2020 virtual edition of the LGBTQ+ Pride Parade, honoring Ashley Rukes, along with the virtual concerts scheduled for that weekend.

Pride organizers cited the death of George Floyd and the recent unrest that followed, stating "We do not feel a celebratory Pride Parade is appropriate at this time."

Due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19, the organization was planning on broadcasting the event live on June 28.

The intention was to present more of a variety show format for this year's iteration, with the hope that the funds raised would ensure there would be a standard in-person parade after social restrictions are lifted.

"We owe an apology to the Black, Brown, and Trans community for our complacency and our lack of bravery to be leaders in breaking down systematic racism and oppression. This is especially valid in the month of June as we remember that the Pride Movement was catapulted by the trans and BIPOC communities. We FAILED you and we are sorry," the Facebook post from Twin Cities Pride said in part.

The Twin Cities Pride Festival is among the nation's most well-attended Pride events, drawing hundreds of thousands to the metro area annually.

The Facebook post announcement also stated that the organization's chair of Pride's board of directors, Darcie Baumann, stepped down from her position, effective immediately. They added they were working to evolve their recruiting tactics to focus on inclusivity.

Bo Nabozny, the interim Pride chair, released the following statement Wednesday night:

"The murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police has deeply impacted our community and our organization, and it highlights the systemic racial inequity that still exists in Minneapolis and across the nation. 

The Pride movement started when the LGBTQ+ community said enough is enough. We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, and we must take action in the fight against racism in our communities. 

We do not feel a celebratory Pride Parade is appropriate at this time, and the inclusivity of all community members will be the focus of our events moving forward.

Instead, we will use our platform and our voices to support the social justice groups that plan to march on June 28th in Minneapolis."