Snaps & Slaps

SLAP: Boyd K. Packer

You know, there’s just nothing funny, witty or even acerbic to say when a religious leader makes poisonous anti-gay statements one month after at least nine gay teens across the country kill themselves, and barely two months after three gay Utah teens kill themselves. “Shame on you, Boyd K. Packer!” seems too polite, and the other alternatives are pretty much unprintable, even for a paper that doesn’t exactly hold back on the cussing. And as for changing the wording of some of his remarks to better reflect that he wasn’t calling a same-sex orientation sinful? Please.

SNAP: Boyd K. Packer Protests

Kudos, however, to the community’s quick response to Packer’s remarks and to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth those remarks may have hurt. Just a few days after October’s General Conference, activist Eric Ethington organized a silent protest to take to the sidewalks around Temple Square. That same week saw protests in St. George and Ogden, a show of support by Salt Lake City’s PFLAG chapter, and a three-day conference dedicated to supporting queer youth (though in all fairness, this was just a coincidence, as the conference had been planned months before Packer’s speech). Coming together in a loud, large-scale show is the best thing to do in response to anti-gay statements, and this time we really outdid ourselves. Now here’s hoping the people most affected by Packer’s words saw us.

SNAP: Family Acceptance Regional Conference

It didn’t exactly go off without a hitch (note to the Center: We also support 90-minute sessions instead of 50-minute sessions), but the Utah Pride Center’s first ever conference on involving families in supporting their gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning youth filled a huge need in our community: training parents, guardians and youth service professionals about the unique challenges queer youth face. We agree with the Utah Pride Center that this is some of the most important work being done in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer rights movement today, and hope this conference has a long, long life.

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