Photo by David Bowman for Out
Minnesota Vikings' Chris Kluwe has been announced as the Grand Marshal for the 41st annual Twin Cities Pride celebration due to his proven dedication to LGBT rights. He broke down barriers in the Twin Cities and throughout the U.S., helped opened doors for discussion about LGBT issues in sports, and is a strong ally to the community and gay marriage.
"To me, it’s not about being an athlete speaking out about gay marriage or equality. It’s about being a human being saying ‘It’s not acceptable that this huge population of individuals have any less rights than me because they are gay’," Kluwe said in a statement released to the press. "I am proud to stand with Twin Cities PRIDE as an Ally with PRIDE!"
Twin Cities PRIDE Executive Director Dot Belstler added: “His voice has provided hope, encouragement and excitement to a huge population of supporters in our community, and it is my honor to have him as a part of our celebration."
Kluwe has also given his voice to the organization’s "I HAVE PRIDE" video campaign (watch below), and will participate in the Grand Marshal Reception on June 21 and lead the Pride Parade on June 30. No word as to whether his wife will allow him to walk the parade shirtless...
Preceding the Twin Cities PRIDE festival, Kluwe will also be releasing his first book, Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies, on June 25, which is a collection of uncensored personal essays and will tackle issues and topics ranging from guns, athletes' salaries, and the Pope's Twitter feed while also addressing time travel, growing up in the 20-teens, the pay-per-view future of in-helmet cameras, and the end of the world.
"Chris Kluwe's book is just like Chris Kluwe," says Editor John Parsley said in a release. "Sharp-tongued, forthright and committed to exposing and eviscerating our society's density as quickly and completely as possible."