The Utah Pride Festival announced Monday that the grand marshal for the Utah Pride Parade will be trans* advocate and bestselling author Janet Mock.
“This year, we looked for a grand marshal who could speak to the vital work still needed in our LGBTQ community,” said Jen Parsons-Soran, co-director of the festival. “With marriage coming to Utah last year, some people are asking ‘what else is there to do?’ We know that discrimination is still a real thing, particularly in Utah. We know that the trans* community lives under the cloud of violence and murder. We know that youth are still feeling so trapped in some places that they are taking their own lives. The Utah Pride Festival committee feels that the message Janet Mock can bring this year is one that needs to be heard.”
Mock is a New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and advocate for trans women’s rights. Her memoir Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More is the story of a trans girl growing up in Honolulu, Dallas and Oakland. It celebrates self-actualization and self-revelation. Janet regularly speaks at universities and on television, hosts the weekly culture show “So POPular!” on MSNBC’s Shift network, and serves as a contributing editor for Marie Claire.
Mock was honored by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network with the Inspiration Award last year at the same ceremony that the Park City Gay Straight Alliance was awarded national GSA of the year.
Mock will be honored at the Grand Marshal Reception on Friday, June 5th and will lead off the Utah Pride Parade on June 7th.
For more information on all of the Utah Pride Festival celebrations, please visit: www.UtahPrideFestival.org.