At their first fundraiser, the Purple Soirée, GenderBands will present awards to two recipients, Julian Gian for the Trans Pioneer Award, and Tyler Domgaard for the Volunteer of the Year Award.
Genderbands’ Trans Pioneer Award
“Growing up I didn’t see individuals who looked like me in the media. I felt other. I felt different. I didn’t think it was possible to be where I am today. I didn’t think I was someone people would clap for. As a child, I loved makeup, hair, and fashion. I would get in front of the mirror and dream of being famous. But it was just that, a dream.
“As I grew older, I would have my insecurities proven right by the people around me. This ‘dream’ of mine was ridiculous. I was encouraged to straight and narrow onto college. Even though it’s not what I wanted. I had to take a lot of breaks from school for my health. During those breaks, I started my Instagram. I talked about my journey — my health, fashion, and advocacy.
“My story continued to grow. Telling it went from not just helping me, but everyone else too. As a trans-masculine disabled person, I’ve beaten many odds to get here. I want the people who need to, to see this. Everyone deserves to feel seen, heard, and represented. Whenever I get discouraged, I just remember that I did all of this from my bedroom. And if nothing else, I think that’s pretty incredible.”
Genderbands Volunteer of the Year Award
Tyler Domgaard has been involved in many parts of the ecosystem of resources that support young LGBTQ+ Utahns. When not working at the John William’s Encircle House, he spends his time volunteering for Genderbands. He enjoys watching tv with his partner, Danny, and smothering his cat, Arthur, with unwanted love and kisses.
These awards will be presented at the first GenderBands Purple Soirée. Tickets are available at Genderbands.org/gala