It’s PRIDE week in Minneapolis, and we couldn’t be more excited over here on 2nd ave! PRIDE is a a key ingredient in who we are, so much so that it is in our mission statement here at The Firm. As we celebrate PRIDE week in our community, we wanted to highlight members of our community that inspire us, and have been participants in our PRIDE float in the Sunday parade! Someone that quickly came to mind was Gerald Strauss. We LOVE having Gerald in our family! Read his PRIDE interview below!
1/ Can you tell us a bit about your path and how you landed here at the Firm, in Minneapolis?
-I was actually recommended Brad Wagner’s parents book by a friend, and The Firm is included in the book so when I was moving here and touring gyms I had to check out the Firm. I remember walking up the stairs to the Firm at the old Aldrich location and I immediately knew that there was something unique about the place. I was in search of a good step class, and naturally my tour was with Doug. I took Doug’s Step class on a Wednesday night a week later and I’ve been doing high kicks ever sense.
2/ What inspired you to be a part of the fitness community?
– I was drawn in by the Firm’s sense of community and purpose. I remember hearing Lisa Bendson and Doug talking about the Red Ribbon Ride and I thought it was awesome that a gym was sponsoring a team to raise money and awareness for HIV/AIDS. This kind of community involvement really spoke to me.
I’ve been a client of the Firm now for 6 years now and I’ve met some really great people that I am now able to call my friends. Above all I’ve really learned to cherish all the gifts that I have and most importantly learned to believe in myself.
3/ How many years have you been a part of The Firm’s Pride float?
– I’ve been doing the pride float since 2011 with a few breaks in between. The Firm float is the most exciting float during the parade. The music blasting and Doug rallying the crowd. And not to mention all of the Firm Clients and friends who walk with the float dancing and singing along – being proud.
4/ What is one of your favorite PRIDE memories?
-I think my favorite PRIDE memory was the Pride before the MN Marriage Amendment vote in where we did the choreographed dance routine on the float. It was so much fun learning and practicing the routine weeks before the parade There was just so much energy and enthusium and the crowd was cheering us on 100%. It was so wonderful being able to experience that. I do believe that the Firm Float won an award for our performance!
5/ If you could tell someone one thing about Pride in Minneapolis, what would it be?
-To paraphrase a quote from Doug, Pride in Minneapolis isn’t one day or a weekend it’s truly a way of life. Twin Cities Pride remembers and honors all of the GLBT people that fought to break down their closet doors. We are not afraid of making queerstory in our state and we celebrate all of the achievements that we have made and recognize that while there is still a lot of work to do, we have come a long way. All of these heroes allowed us to live our lives openly and with pride.
We LOVE you Gerald! Thank you for being a member of our FIRM Family!