The 2022 Twin Cities Pride Parade celebrated 50 years of Queer Identity. Photo taken by Zack Benz in Downtown Minneapolis

Mill City Museum celebrates Minneapolis’ queer history with new exhibit

A Mill City Museum exhibit is celebrating the history of LGBTQIA+ communities and community spaces across Minneapolis.

1 min read

In celebration of Pride Month 2023, the Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) is proud to celebrate LGBTQIA+ history with its new exhibit, “Going Out, Coming In: LGBTQ+ Spaces in Downtown Minneapolis,” at Mill City Museum.

“Going Out, Coming In” brings to life the sights, heart, and energy of Downtown Minneapolis’s LGBTQIA+ community spaces in their first decades. The exhibit immerses visitors in queer resistance, love, and community as it tracks the neighborhood’s evolution from the 1940s to 2000.

The exhibit features information and visual elements of various sites where queer Minnesotans organized or created community while addressing the systemic challenges of legal and extralegal discrimination, urban renewal, and the HIV/AIDS crisis. 

“One of the key goals of ‘Going Out, Coming In’ is to deepen understanding of the people who lived, visited, and worked in downtown Minneapolis,” said Gale Research Fellow Noah Barth. “We hope visitors leave with an understanding of the importance of community spaces, a sense of empathy and solidarity with LGBTQIA+ people, and a feeling of belonging and empowerment in seeing queer history woven into the landscape of the city.”

The grand opening will take place on Thursday, June 1 from 7:00 pm–9:00 pm. The evening event will exude the vibe of “going out,” as reflected in the exhibit’s stories of Downtown LGBTQIA+ spaces. The Mill Commons will provide a space for visitors to mingle, snack on hors d’oeuvres, enjoy refreshments, dance to curated music by DJ Michel.Be, and explore the exhibit at their own pace. The event is free, and registration is encouraged, although not required. Registration and additional information can be found at

“Going Out, Coming In” is part of an ongoing partnership between the Minnesota Historical Society and Twin Cities Pride. It is inspired by the Twin Cities LGBTQ+ History Tours developed by MNHS and TC Pride in 2022.

This exhibit is made possible through funding provided by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Lois Lane

Lois Lane is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter at the Daily Planet. The daughter of General Sam Lane, she grew up learning hand-to-hand combat and survival techniques. After being hired by Perry White at the Daily Planet, Lois coined the name "Superman" and, because of incisive reporting on the Super Hero's incredible adventures, her career is forever linked to the Man of Steel. She remains one of Superman's strongest allies.

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