TheColu.mn is a nonprofit LGBT media organization under he fiscal sponsorship of Springboard for the Arts.
Our writers have made a huge impact on the public debate in Minnesota and nationally. Just a few exemples include: Michele Bachmann hiding in the bushes. Stories of the struggles of LGBT students in the Anoka-Hennepin School District. Exposing the high school ministry of Bradlee Dean and You Can Run But You Cannot Hide. Bringing to light rampant discrimination against LGBT people in the jury selection process. The trial of Cece McDonald. Exposing the corporate funders of the Boy Scouts of America.
As we embark on a new path, TheColu.mn is producing Face Off HIV, a project that is bringing the rich and diverse stories of Minnesotans living with HIV and AIDS to a multimedia format including a documentary film and a coffee table book with a goal of ending stigma.
TheColu.mn is also producing a book documenting the history of the marriage equality debate in Minnesota from 1969 to the present.
So, we are transitioning to a nonprofit media organization. Our new mission has four goals: preserving and elevating the rich and unique history, arts, and culture of LGBT Minnesotans; confronting agents of intolerance who spread lies and misinformation about our community; holding government, businesses, and our own community institutions accountable to full equality for the entire spectrum that makes up our community; and promoting, and providing a platform for, LGBT and allied creatives.
The first goal will be accomplished by obtaining and publishing the old archives for Eleventh Avenue South and the Minnesota Independent, two online presences which have recorded much of Minnesota’s LGBT history in the last 10 years. In addition, the first goal will be accomplished by recording the myriad of artistic and cultural events that shape our community with an eye for issues and events that don’t get the media attention they deserve.
The second goal will be accomplished by monitoring anti-LGBT hate groups in Minnesota, and exposing their words and deeds. In addition, we will monitor Minnesota’s media organizations to ensure that the LGBT community and our issues are fairly represented. And we will follow the money to see who is bankrolling organizations that promote inequality.
The third goal will be accomplished by solid, objective, and thoroughly researched reporting on issues affecting our community. We will work to identify inequalities in the law, and expose politicians who seek to block equality. We will work to expose businesses who refuse to hire, provide services, and contribute funds to anti-equality efforts.
From drag and comedy to fine arts, slam poetry, music, theatre, and film, the LGBT community has been — and continues to be — leaders in the arts community. The fourth goal will be accomplished by covering events and installations by artists and creatives, providing coverage to new art movements, and offering artists and other creatives space on the web to feature their content.
Meet the Staff:
Andy Birkey is our Editor-in-Chief. A graduate of the University of Minnesota with a degree in forestry, urban studies and sociology, Andy has been active in Minnesota’s LGBT community for the eight years he has lived in Minneapolis, and has worked with and volunteered for a number of causes including LGBT rights, HIV prevention and care, transportation issues and environmental research. He has been writing Eleventh Avenue South, a blog about Minnesota LGBT news, issues, and politics, for five years, and for three years has reported on healthcare, religion, and the LGBT issues for the Minnesota Independent. Andy welcomes news tips, complaints about coverage, and where to find the cheapest happy hour in town with the cutest men. Email: Andy@thecolu.mn
Keith Pederson As a long time activist and professional queer, Keith has thrown in his two cents where it is not desired in too many places to count. For the past decade or so Keith has been working in mental health and public health. His writing and podcasting can be found many places on the Internet, but mostly he’s known around these parts as Mrs. Pederson. Keith is the Style Editor for TheColu.mn. This is just a glorified way of saying he is in charge of all things lifestyle and nightlife related. If you have events you need publicized or events you would like to see covered please contact him at Style@thecolu.mn.