Explore Minnesota, a taxpayer-funded organization meant to boost tourism in the state, is facing criticism online for an explicit video it produced to promote “Pride” weekend in Minnesota.
New ad from Minnesota State’s Tourism Department promotes drag shows, trans kids, and “gender care” pic.twitter.com/Ulnx847W5Y
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) June 28, 2023
Explore Minnesota’s Instagram reel was captioned, “Happy Pride, Minnesota! We hope you have a wonderful weekend celebrating you and the ones you love.”
The Twin Cities Pride festival took place from June 23-25, a weekend-long celebration, but was just one of the many events that occurred throughout the month of June.
The weekend entertainment featured a “midwestern mom drag competition,” a queer circus, and a Sunday service from All God’s Children Metropolitan Community Church.
Explore Minnesota has an annual base budget of $18.3 million, plus millions more in one-time funding, according to a press release.
The state agency previously spent $11,700 to pay Wanderful Wives, LGBT social media influencers, to attend the Pride festival and promote the Minnesota LGBT community. They shared in their budget review that this type of content “helps potential travelers discover themselves in MN and feel welcome.”
Explore Minnesota also has an “LGBTQ+ Travel” campaign that serves as a guide on “LGBTQ life in Minnesota.”