Another year has gone by and Pride is upon us, that beacon of acceptance for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. Salt Lake City is practically humming with its arrival. I’m sure you’ve seen the advertisements.
Truthfully, like many of you, I have not attended a Utah Pride Festival before. I always viewed it as an excuse to party and lose inhibitions publicly, a place where the veil of sexual acceptance makes people unaware of their actions. Honestly, I felt that the festival represented the community in a bad light.
But upon researching the local impact and true nature of the event, I feel compelled to go and support a community that without fail always supports me. And I implore and recommend that you do as well.
Pride today is turning to the past and getting back to its roots. Widespread acceptance including support for gay rights, and being able to hold your partner’s hand in public wasn’t always as present as it is today. Pride was made by a grassroots congregation of gay individuals reaching out to others to create a safe environment and grow as a community with an eye towards the future.
This year’s celebration will prove just how positive Pride is and how the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community not only throws the best events, but the most informative kind of party. One of the best things about Pride is that it brings bars/clubs and people together. And I believe this year that feeling of camaraderie that happens during Pride might even last the whole year.
This year’s event is being conducted around values it was founded upon — education, support and safety. For example, the Utah Pride Center’s tents will have helpful information about safe sex and coming out. Also, Püre’s outdoor club experience on the festival grounds will hopefully open a conversation between people who would normally never interact with one another.
Have I made my point about the event? Just go! Open yourself to the Pride experience and take pride in yourself and the people who have worked hard to ensure a more accepting future for younger generations.
Moving on, no Pride goes without many events piggybacking off the hype. This year there are a few worth recommending. First, Janice Dickensen (the self-proclaimed “first supermodel”) will be at Püre and no doubt cause more drama than necessary, but I won’t miss a moment of the her over-the-top performance. She is a wild ,passionate woman who has gone from the cover of magazines to owning her own modeling agency. This night with her will be one to remember.
I’d also like to recommend JuJu Be at JAM. She received 2nd place in RuPaul’s Drag Race and will certainly bring many laughs, and, I’m sure, embarrassing moments as she calls on the crowd and stirs up the evening.
Lastly, Studio 27 is having its grand opening! Located at The Trapp Door’s old location, it is nestled close to most of the “usual” downtown stomping grounds. I haven’t heard much about this new club, but I am willing to give it a try. I hope you’ll all join me in welcoming a new establishment hoping to provide a great atmosphere, friendly bar staff and unique environment.
So when all said and done, this year’s Pride is going to draw in a great crowd, great talent, and informative information for the entire gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. The parties will run rampant in private homes, the parties at the clubs and bars we know and love will be grand, and the main party downtown will be something to talk about. See you all there.