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Aiden Bettine hold a hockey puck from the Twin Cities Gay Hockey Association, which is held in the UMN Tretter Collection. (Photo/Adria Carpenter)

Aiden Bettine hold a hockey puck from the Twin Cities Gay Hockey Association, which is held in the UMN Tretter Collection. (Photo/Adria Carpenter)

Soon, people will gather for the 51st Annual Twin Cities Pride Festival from June 23-25, just one of many local celebrations for Pride Month this June.

Though Pride is an opportunity to celebrate present day strides and the hope for a more equitable future, it’s also a chance to reflect on the long history of the local LGBTQ+ community.

Aiden Bettine, curator of the University Libraries’ Tretter Collection in GLBT Studies, is available to provide expert commentary on the history of Twin Cities Pride.

Aiden Bettine

“Preserving LGBTQ history in archives such as the Tretter Collection in GLBT Studies grew directly out of the Gay Liberation Movement of the 1970s and early Pride celebrations. LGBTQ people have always been aware of the political importance of our history to gain visibility and find both ourselves and each other. 

In June we celebrate pride in our community today, but also look to the pride we have in our history fighting for our rights, building community and advocating for queer and trans liberation. The Tretter Collection is a public resource that documents that history, and reminds community members where we have come from and that we have always existed, two critical projects in our cultural and political moment where trans youth are under state-level attack across the country.

With the passing of Jean-Nickolaus Tretter in December, this June serves as a moment to honor and celebrate his legacy, one of stubbornness and foresight, that resulted in the foundation for a collection like ours to grow at the University of Minnesota Libraries.”

Aiden Bettine is the curator of the Tretter Collection in GLBT Studies. He is an archivist and historian who researches and teaches local history pertaining to race, gender and sexuality in the Midwest. He specializes in oral history, public history and community engagement with archives. His community work prioritizes creating generative spaces for LGBTQ people to learn, share and research our history.

About the University of Minnesota Libraries

The University Libraries is a strategic resource of the Twin Cities campus and also provides integral information system support for the University’s four campuses in Crookston, Duluth, Morris, and Rochester. Composed of 12 library facilities with collections of more than 8.1 million volumes — and with special collections valued at nearly $1 billion — the Libraries has a history of strength in research collections and a longstanding record of contribution to resource sharing within the state and beyond. Learn more at

Mark Engebretson

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