6 People Tell Us What Pride Weekend in SLC Means to Them

After the glitter settled from the Pride Weekend celebration in Salt Lake City, we asked we asked people to submit their answer to the following question, “What does Pride Weekend mean to you?” Below you will find stories ranging from short to long, from a diverse representation of people identifying on the LGBTQ spectrum.

(For the sake of anonymity and an emphasis on the message, not the recipient, only first names or “anonymous” were used for attribution.)

“In a state that tends to feel like a bubble, Pride represents the critical recognition and celebration of inclusiveness, equality and diversity. The ever-increasing turnout of attendees each year is a refreshing reminder that even in one of the most conservative states in the Union there is a great appreciation of the “live and let live” attitude. It’s events like Pride that make me feel less isolated as a gay individual and give me hope for future generations.” -Anonymous

“I have lived my entire life in a place where anything but conservative makes you an outcast. It’s easy at times to feel as though change is just a dream. That forward thinking is an illusion. And that equality is nonexistent. Going against the mainstream can seem like a daily battle. Being at this years pride parade seemed like a breath of fresh air to me. Celebrating difference, cheering for all kinds, and overall supporting support, was an incredibly unifying feeling. I felt the tiny bit of hope I had in me, grow. The hope that someday love will win out.” -Catherine

“It is all too rare that we are able to celebrate, embrace, share, express, and most importantly BE our REAL selves. PRIDE serves as an annual reminder that no matter who, how, or what you love—celebrate that. And above all? Love yourself.

I view PRIDE as a window into Utah’s future. These small yet steady steps towards equality are so valuable and exciting. Religious groups, Planned Parenthood, animal rights societies, sports teams, corporations, and everyone in between come together and physically parade their support–bringing out those actively seeking that ever hopeful, completely equal tomorrow.” -Natalie

“I am an ally to the LGBTQ community. Being an ally of course means so much more than attending the many festivities during Pride weekend. Nonetheless, Pride weekend continues to remain important to me to not only provide solidarity to my friends and family, but to watch and participate in a themed party of difference all weekend long. Pride weekend produces a brief pause in our cultural negativity towards variance through our ability to revel in our differences and love that in some small way we are similar, we are all queer. I am proud that Salt Lake City’s LGBTQ community shares this queerness with me. I am your ally.” -Victoria

“I get excited for Pride weekend. I went to the Miss City Weekly pageant on Thursday night and had a blast watching the drag queens perform and dancing the night away. And I went to the parade on Saturday morning – as did the rest of the entire city. If you were there, you were not thinking, “Jeez, sure is a shame no one showed up for this.” Thousands of people lined the parade route, and almost as many marched during the two hour-long procession. It makes one wonder – where are all these people the other 362 days of the year? Among us. We work with them, love them, need them – we are them. If the people who showed up at the parade showed up at the capital – we could get a lot done. I’ll bring the candy.” -Kyl

“When asked to write about “What Pride Means to Me”, I began thinking back to when I first accepted my sexuality. I moved to Utah in April, 2001 in an attempt to run from my friends and family in Florida for fear that I would not be accepted. Needless to say, you cannot run forever. And thankfully, I have found acceptance near and far.
Over the last decade, I have witnessed a huge growth of acceptance throughout the community I live in. I know this may seem hard to believe, however Salt Lake City has an enormous amount of diversity and I am proud to live in such a great place.

LGBTQ Pride represents a sense of community. It is a time to feel a part of something bigger. To me, it means loving yourself and showing it.

The parade is an event so that everyone can get together and show they’re happy with who they are while seeing supporters from all beliefs. Attitudes are changing where it doesn’t make a difference whether someone is gay or straight. This transformation takes place every day and I am proud to witness it.

Pride is no longer just a day of celebration, but a weekend of events allowing me to be me in public worry free. Most people I know, including myself, do not wear rainbows and boas during everyday life, but over the weekend it allows all people a time for self expression. People are allowed to be themselves while being subjected to far less judgment.
Sexuality and love is something that should be free. If you find true love, you should be able to grab onto it, hold onto it, and marry it.

We have come so far, but how did this happen? Pride makes me think about all the people who went before us, who made all of this possible.

I will close with this:
Having “Pride” in ourselves as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Queer people can be a journey, where ‘shame’ is gradually replaced by a wonderful self respect and a conviction that we are wonderful people and that we as LGBTQ people should celebrate our amazing uniqueness and identity.” -Erik

Comments

  1. Peg coleman says:

    Thank you all for your posts. As a social justice advocate, I have been inspired by and held accountable to issues of justice and inclusion by my sisters and brothers in the Lgbtq community.
    It is an honor to stand in support

Share Your Thoughts