A group providing support to families and friends of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people has started meeting regularly in Cache Valley. While the paperwork is still being processed to become Utah’s fifth branch of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Cache Gay Families offers a social support group and educational outreach resource to the community.
“Obviously we love the (queer) support groups on campus and in no way are we trying to replace them,” said Amy Bailey, vice president of the group. “But we could see a need for a group like this in the community. We want to provide everything from a social atmosphere for support to helping provide educational resources to curb bullying in schools.”
Planning meetings have been held since October, but the first activity, a Valentine’s Day dance, attracted around 50 people of all ages and orientations from around the valley.
“It was such a terrific cross-section of Cache Valley. We had parents, college students, members of the community. Everyone was represented,” she said. “It was such a huge success, we’re really excited to see how big we can grow.”
Weekly meetings are held at the public library and while the group is still growing, there are people from all backgrounds and stages in acceptance that attend, Bailey said. People with religious backgrounds are encouraged to attend and everyone will be welcomed.
“We want to make it very friendly to members of the LDS Church and I think it’s really important that we keep that bridge there,” Bailey said. “If you come to the meeting you’ll find people with similar backgrounds to yours, no matter what your history may be. We would especially like to encourage people who grew up in Cache Valley but still have family in the area to ask them to attend. It can be a good resource for parents and we need all the help we can find.”
Offering support and education is paramount for the group, said Patsy Marx, president of the group. Safe schools and helping foster an environment for young LGBT students and their parents is one of the biggest concerns for the area, she said.
“What I’m hoping for is to offer both education to the community and support for its members. Local parents or parents around here don’t have too many options to find that support. There was nowhere to turn for support,” Marx said. “We’re hoping to let everyone know that if they have anything to discuss they can come to us and we can work on it together. We’ll work on finding the answers together.”
Meetings are held the first Thursday of each month, 7 p.m., at the Logan City Library, 255 N. Main St., Logan. For more information, email [email protected].