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Pride in Print: Remembering the Local LGBTQ+ Publications of Yesteryear

Plus Royce White's GOTV fail, car thefts decline, and an old cop bar reopens in today's Flyover news roundup.

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of important, overlooked, and/or interesting Minnesota news stories.

Looking Back at the Queer Twin Cities Press

While Minnesota is a famously queer-friendly state, and the gay nightlife scene seems to be morphing into something new and beautiful, it’s important to note that, not too long ago, that wasn’t always the case. For many, publications like Q Monthly, Equal Time, Lavender, and Focus Point provided critical information and connections at a time when being outed could mean losing your job or your housing. Ava Kian spoke with a few folks who worked at those outlets in this excellent MinnPost piece.

During the ‘70s through the ‘90s, queer publications were the place to find LGBTQ+ news, discover gay-owned businesses, and find new roommates, friends, and lovers via classified ads. “The mainstream press did not include us unless there was a murder in Loring Park or something,” says Quatrefoil librarian Kathy Robbins. These days, only the bi-weekly Lavender remains in publication. While progress has been made, that doesn’t mean there isn’t still work to be done, and many of Kian’s subjects point out that the shuttering of so many of these papers is still a big loss.

“There’s a little bit of absorption of, I would say, gay energy or gay perspectives into the mainstreams,” says Claude Peck, the former managing editor of Q Monthly. “But not something that, to me, substitutes for, or replaces, a vibrant and varied number of queer publications like we used to have.”

Royce White Didn’t Vote for Himself

Royce White, the Minnesota GOP-endorsed candidate for U.S. Senate, poses a peculiar dilemma for publications like us. The hoops star turned wacky politician likely to do and say many ridiculous things between now and November, most of which won’t be especially newsworthy but most of which will be incredibly fun and easy to mock. Obviously we can’t cover White every day, so how do we choose which fish to shoot without blowing too many bullet holes in the barrel? 

We’re still working on that one, but today’s a slow news day locally so let’s spotlight Axios’s amusing discovery that White didn’t vote for himself when he ran against Rep. Ilhan Omar for Congress in 2022. Quipped Axios's Torey Van Oot, "As he runs for U.S. Senate, Royce White is asking Minnesota voters to do something he has repeatedly failed to do himself: cast a ballot." And as a little bonus laugh, White did vote in the 2020 general, which contradicts his claim that he’s never voted in an election. White responded by claiming not to respond: "Royce White will not provide a response as Axios does not engage in journalism but rather seeks to promote an agenda harmful to our state and nation." 

Anyway, Royce White didn’t vote for himself. That’s pretty funny!

Moriarty Touts Youth Intervention Program

Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty hasn’t had the smoothest of years so far in 2024. After taking heat for her decision to prosecute state trooper Ryan Londregan for the shooting of Ricky Cobb II, she ultimately decided to drop the case. But yesterday Moriarty took a bow as she reported that car thefts in Hennepin County have decreased by 30% in 2024 compared to this time last year. 

Moriarty credited the decline to a new system that allows law enforcement to refer juvenile offenders to a program that connects them to social services, saying that 81% of the participants had no new charges as of May 15. "This initiative shows that when prosecutors, law enforcement and social workers work together to intervene early, and support young people and their families, we can prevent crime from occurring," Moriarty told the Star Tribune

Any discussion of the decline should note that there were a historically high number of car thefts in 2023. But it’s certainly heartening that an innovative program like this shows potential. Too bad the Strib also had to quote Brian Peters from the Minnesota Police & Peace Officers Association, who had no way to refute Moriarty but said anyway, “the data we have is being interpreted by a leader who has a strong bias against law enforcement." Because, as we know, nothing stops crimes except cops. And when cops don’t stop crime, that’s because we need more cops.

St. Paul Cop/Chicago Bears Bar Alary’s Reopens Today

Last June, downtown St. Paul’s Alary’s Bar announced that, after 74 years, it would be closing. But it turns out you can’t keep an old cop spot down, and after a little over a year (and some pop-up events) later, it’s officially back. Its new owner, Bill Collins, managed to morph Lowertown’s Camp Bar from a queer club into a Packer’s/comedy/theater spot, though it doesn’t sound like a dramatic vibe shift is coming to Alary’s. “Absolutely, now, more than ever, we need to support LEO,” its team announced via a Facebook post about reopening. “We are offering free pizza and soft drinks to on-duty and ½ price beverages to off-duty to LEO, Firefighters, and other first responders.” Alary’s is also doubling down on the Chicago Bears; the bar will air all games, including media blackout games. 

There will be some changes, like 20 more TVs and a renovated bar and patio. And while Alary’s is only serving Heggie’s right now, the plan is to get the full kitchen up and running sometime soon. (Collins hinted to the Pioneer Press back in April that the space could host a ghost kitchen instead should the right biz proposal come along.) One thing that Alary’s probably won’t be anytime soon? A Vulcan Krewe bar. While it once hosted notorious bacchanalias for the group, that ended in 2007 after a trio of female bartenders sued the bar, eight Vulcan members, and the St. Paul Winter Carnival for sexual assault.

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