Our Mission & Vision

Our mission is to build power within Minnesota’s 2SLGBTQIA+ communities and address inequities through intersectional organizing, advocacy, education, and direct support services.

We envision a safe and equitable world where all members of our communities are free to lead lives of opportunity, autonomy, and full self-expression.

Theory of Change

OutFront Minnesota believes that lasting change requires a multifaceted, intersectional, and cooperative approach to addressing inequities at every level. We engage in collaborative work that spans legislative advocacy, community organizing, culture change through education and training, and direct aid to address the needs in our communities. All of this work is community-centered, prioritizes systems change, and is carried out through meaningful community partnerships. We believe that through these actions we can advance 2SLGBTQIA+ rights and build a more just and equitable Minnesota for all.

Statement of Inclusion

We are committed to an inclusive vision of the LGBTQ+ community where all—including Two Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, gender expansive, intersex, asexual, aromantic, questioning, and other individuals regardless of the labels and language they use—feel welcomed, supported, and reflected in our work. The movement for queer and trans rights is strongest when we are all working together to provide support and build a better future.

Statement of Intersectionality

OutFront Minnesota is committed to intersectional and inclusive work across all that we do. We recognize that the work of LGBTQ+ equity is deeply intertwined with racial justice movements, disability justice, gender & reproductive rights, immigrant rights, Indigenous rights, labor movements, environmental justice, and many other civil and social justice movements. Our work is shared work and our solutions must be comprehensive. Together, we seek to build on the strengths of those intersections, to engage in meaningful partnerships with organizations and individuals across these spaces, and drive change that reflects and supports the diversity and depth of our communities.

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Kelly McCann

Operations & Administrative Manager, she/her
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C. Michael

Community Advocacy & Training Specialist, they/them & he/him
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Kat Rohn

Executive Director, they/she
Safe Harbor Youth Services Coordinator, they/she
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Seth Goodspeed

Director of Development and Communications, he/him
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Karlton Laster

Director of Policy and Organizing, he/him
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Ashley Harp

Co-Director Anti-Violence Program, they/them or she/her
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Hannah Edwards

Training Manager, she/her
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Audra Massetti

Co-Director Anti-Violence Program, she/her or they/them

Aliya Finman-Palmer

Director of Educational Equity, she/they
School Equity Manager, they/them

Chelb McMurray

Communications Coordinator, they/them
Associate Director of Religious Organizing, he/him or they/them
Associate Director of Development, they/them

Join Our Team

Join a dedicated, passionate staff and board who are deeply committed to making Minnesota a state that is equitable and affirming for all LGBTQ+ people.

Explore opportunities to work with OutFront Minnesota

As an intern you will gain valuable experience in learning about organizing for the LGBTQ+ community, the legislative process, and build connections with our team and partners.

Sign up to be a volunteer! Help OutFront Minnesota at our signature events like Youth Summit or the Gala, help us at the many Pride Festivals across the state, or sign up for one of our weekly drag brunches!

Co-Chair of OutFront Minnesota's 501(c)3 Board | Founder, Elton EyeCare, Inc. | he/him

Kelsey Waits

Chair, OutFront Minnesota PAC | Executive Director, TransParent Alliance
Board Member | Consultant, TACKLE | He/They
Board Member | Therapist, Seal Dwyer Counseling LLC | She/They

Jared Mollenkof

Board Member | Public Defender, Hennepin County

Marta Tierney

Board Member | Co-Founder, IDEA Hastings

John Eavin McPherson

Board Member | Senior Quality Engineer, Neovasc Inc.

Edward Weinberg

Board Member | Senior Consultant, Xcel Energy

Sara Pournoor

Board Member | Social worker, Institute for Sexual and Gender Health, University of Minnesota

Nikhil Enugula

Board Member | Director of Diversity and Inclusion, BI WORLDWIDE
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Malcolm Lee

Co-Chair | Teacher, Minneapolis Public Schools

Emma McBride

Board Member | Principal, Park Street Public

Leading Minnesota Toward LGBTQ+ Equality

OutFront Minnesota was founded in 1987 to fight for LGBTQ+ justice and equity. Over the past 36 years we have worked to ensure that our values of liberation and intersectional justice guide our work until full equality under the law and full equity in practice is realized.

We successfully passed a statewide nondiscrimination law that included sexual orientation AND gender identity as protected statuses in 1993—the first law that included protections for our trans community members. We won marriage by defeating an anti-marriage amendment at the ballot box and passing marriage equality through the legislature in 2013. We ensured that our kids have safe and supportive environments to learn in by passing the Safe and Supportive Schools Act in 2014 and the Trans Toolkit in 2017. In 2023 we passed both the Conversion Therapy Ban and the Trans Refuge Bill. Our fight is not over and our supporters are needed more than ever.

OutFront Minnesota Milestones

Shortly after the Gay and Lesbian Community Action Council (GLCAC, now OutFront Minnesota) was formed in 1987, they were brought on to lead the Northstar Project, the first LGBTQ+ community survey in the state.

For more than 30 years, Minnesota Senator Allan Spear championed LGBTQ+ inclusion into the Minnesota Human Rights Act. With the support of colleagues and community, in 1993 it finally passed.

Minnesotans United for All Families fought to defeat a ballot question put before the voters in November 2012 that would have defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman in the state constitution. The ballot question was defeated, and subsequent legislation legalized same-sex marriage in Minnesota in 2013.

The issue of bullying rose to national prominence in the 1990s. Following years of research and advocacy, both the House and Senate passed the Safe and Supportive Schools Act, being signed into law by the governor on April 9, 2014.

Following a decade of local, municipal-level bans, Minnesota passed a state-level ban in 2023 protecting Minnesotans from the harmful and discredited practice of so-called conversion “therapy.”

Combating national legislation against the trans community, in 2023, Minnesota became a refuge for trans people, supportive families, and the care providers who serve them—letting everyone know, You Belong Here.

A Foundation of Local Activism

Minneapolis' former Gateway District was home to the origins of the city's LGBTQ+ community. Permitted within its boundaries, gays and lesbians could be open in their identities, forming community and the foundations of local activism.

FREE was one of the largest and earliest LGBTQ+ student groups in the country, taking root in the counter-culture movement of the 1960s and developing a generation of LGBTQ+ activists in Minnesota.

In 1971, Jack Baker and Michael McConnell became the first same-sex couple to marry. Their journey brought the issue of same-sex marriage all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Minnesota's first LGBTQ+ lobbying organization advocated early on for LGBTQ+ protections in state and municipal law. This organizing work would lead founder Stephen Endean to Washington, D.C., where he would go on to found the Human Rights Campaign.

In the 1970s, both Minneapolis and St. Paul passed non-discrimination ordinances protecting LGBTQ+ rights. As a reflection of the time, Minneapolis continued to expand, whereas St. Paul became a battleground.

Facing a national backlash against LGBTQ+ progress, activists at home and across the country mobilized against the voices of discrimination.

Out North: LGBTQ History

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Local LGBTQ+ History Resources

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LGBTQ+ History Tours

Minneapolis and St. Paul have a long and storied LGBTQ+ history. Use the interactive maps for a self-guided tour through our shared and diverse past.

Hosted by Twin Cities Pride and the Minnesota Historical Society.

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Quatrefoil Library

Quatrefoil Library is a community center that cultivates the free exchange of ideas and makes accessible LGBTQ+ materials for education and inspiration.

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Telling Queer History

Telling Queer History is a series of storytelling gatherings that connect LGBTQ+ people across generations and identities.

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The Tretter Collection

The Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies is the largest LGBTQ-specific archival repository in the upper Midwest.

Learn More