Twin Cities Pride Festival marks 50 years since Stonewall

A protest in New York City that became a turning point for the LGBTQ community is marking its 50th anniversary.

In the Twin Cities, this year's Pride Festival, which is underway at Loring Park this weekend, is honoring the Stonewall Riots.

"It's really the pivotal point that started the gay rights movement,” said Bo Nabozny.

June 28, 1969: The Stonewall Riots.

On that day, community leaders stood up to the discrimination and the hate, and paved the way for the future of LBGTQ community.

"It wasn’t easy, put it that way. And it takes a group. Individually, it’s tough to make change, but as a group you can make change, and that’s what happened that day,” explains Karen Graham.

Karen Graham says the power of those riots, of the gay rights movement, is evident now.

"I remember coming to the park, and being able to feel like once a year I could hold my girlfriend's hand, and now today, July will be two years being married, and we have our stepson here."

Half a century later, hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Loring Park for Pride Weekend, a weekend that, this year, falls one week earlier because of Stonewall's 50th Anniversary. The change is for those like Nabozny, who will head to New York to celebrate at the WorldPride Festival.

"I don’t quite know yet what that’s going to mean when I stand in front of that stone wall and really take in that this is where it really all started for us in the U.S. And I think it’s going to be emotional!" Nabozny said.

50 years later, Karen, her wife, and their son see how far the movement has come and how far she says it still has to go.

"We have a lot to do yet. We’re not there."

Sunday morning at 11 a.m., the Pride Parade will kick off in Minneapolis at 11 a.m. along a changed route.