Trans Joy Fest celebrations bring Twin Ports community together

Trans Joy Fest celebrations bring Twin Ports community together

Trans Joy Fest celebrations are bringing Twin Ports community together with Drag shows, local non-profit connections and LGBTQ+ inclusivity.

Trans Joy Fest celebrations brought the Twin Ports community together down at Park Point. People could enjoy Drag shows, explore local non-profit connections and experience LGBTQ+ inclusivity.

For the past three years, the day of acceptance has gotten bigger, better and busier than ever. The celebration brought members of the LGBT+ community together. Sean Hayes, the founder of Trans Joy Fest says the event started from a tragic loss.

“Trans Joy Fest all began after really a tragedy happened in our community. When a dear friend of mine and a really beloved community member and advocate died by suicide,” Hayes said. “So the idea came to me as I was walking through a park. Where him and I had been planning to host one of the very first Trans Pride events in this area.”  

Hayes says Trans Joy Fest slowly grew with the help of small businesses, non-profits and other organizations. With support from the Twin Ports, Trans Joy Fest helps people feel pride in who they are, without facing prejudice.

“The importance of it is that Trans, gender expansive and two-spirit people face so much discrimination, violence, hostility out in the world just trying to live our lives. Creating spaces like this of joy is that much more important,” Hayes said. “In order to connect with community members and really find a place where folks have that sense of belonging.” 

Trans Joy Fest is not just for people in the trans community. It’s an all encompassing event for people in the LGBT+ community, but also allies. Nykia Ronning says having more events in the Twin Ports during Pride month helps provide a safe space for people to be themselves.

“We have people all over the spectrum. We have our amazing allies who really helped put this together this year as well,” Ronning said. “So it’s really a space for everyone to just come out and feel just love for who they are. Even if, they aren’t openly out, this is a place where you can feel loved for being exactly who you are.”

Nykia also says people who feel accepted in the community, helps people struggling with their own identity. Ash Tifa with Rainbow Health says Trans Joy Fest helps people get connected with local organizations that can help them express who they truly are.

“We do our name change clinics in the cities every two to three months and then we’re really looking to expand into greater Minnesota. Maybe remote options, we did one in Duluth here yesterday,” Tifa said. “We had a bunch of people come out to the first ever name change clinic in Duluth, which was super exciting.”

For more information about Trans Joy Fest celebrations you can read more here. Also for other stories with the LGBTQ+ community you can read more here.