HRC Blog

Utah Shows Its Real Pride

This post is by Zack Hasychak, Membership Outreach Manager.
 
We just wrapped up another amazing year here at Utah Pride! Thousands of attendees, both LGBT and supportive Allies from across Utah, Idaho and Wyoming gathered in downtown Salt Lake City to celebrate Pride this weekend, with performances by Prince Poppycock, Frenchie Davis and many local acts. In my job, I travel to 8-10 Pride festivals each year, and the most common question I get is which is my favorite. To many people's surprise, I always answer by saying Utah Pride. There's just something about being in the capital of the Mormon church and seeing thousands of people walk around in rainbow colors, embracing their true selves. Being openly LGBT in one of America's most conservative state isn't easy - discrimination is a real tangible thing here in Utah, but this weekend, the community gathered to celebrate who they are. It's a lovely thing to watch.
 
This year, for the first time, members of the Mormon Church participated in the Pride Parade, at the personal invitation of Dustin Lance Black, the Pride Grand Marshall and screenwriter of "Milk" and "8." Hundreds of Mormons, in their Sunday best, marched alongside HRC and other LGBT groups and supportive businesses while thousands of Utahns watched the parade pass through downtown Salt Lake City. I had a chance to chat with Margaret, an 18-year old lesbian whose mother was one of those marching with the LDS church yesterday. "I'm just so happy that I have a supportive family who can reconcile me being a lesbian and a Mormon. I know a lot of people in my position aren't so lucky. I have friends who have been disowned, kicked out of their homes and left to fend for themselves. I think this is a huge step - hopefully in time, we'll see more members of the LDS church become open and accepting to their LGBT children, family and friends. We need that here in Utah."
 
Pride events are happening all over the country this month, from coast-to-coast. To find one in your area, please visit www.hrc.org/pride.
 
Happy Pride Season, everyone!

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