Ogden City Council, mayor proclaim Pride Week

The Ogden City Council and Mayor Mike Caldwell proclaimed the week of August 1 through 7 as “Pride Week” at Tuesday’s Ogden City Council meeting.

Out city council member Marcia White read the proclamation at the meeting, prefacing her comments with, “When I first ran for council, I didn’t think that there was anybody who would accept me on this dias. I’ve really appreciated the support that not just this group gives the LGBTQ+ members gives our community, but the support the mayor and the administration does, too.”

WHEREAS, Ogden City is a vibrant and diverse community that celebrates and values the
contributions and experiences of all its residents. Our city remains steadfast in its
commitment to fostering a culture of inclusivity, acceptance, and respect for all
individuals; and
WHEREAS, The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, and other
(LGBTQ+) community is an integral part of our diverse society, enriching our
cultural, economic, and social landscape. Their invaluable contributions to the arts,
education, and social advocacy significantly contribute to the betterment of our
community; and
WHEREAS, The origins of Pride celebrations can be traced back to the Stonewall Riots in June 1969, where LGBTQ+ individuals courageously stood up against discrimination and
violence, sparking a pivotal moment in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights. Despite
significant progress, members of the LGBTQ+ community continue to endure
discrimination and violence; and
WHEREAS, Pride Week is an opportunity to acknowledge the history, struggles, and
achievements of the LGBTQ+ community, as well as to promote acceptance,
equality, and inclusivity for all individuals regardless of their sexual orientation or
gender identity, and
WHEREAS, Since its establishment in 2014, Ogden Pride has supported the LGBTQ+
community by working to build and strengthen inclusivity. Through its inclusive
events, educational campaigns, and valuable services, Ogden Pride has touched
countless lives, defending and protecting basic human rights, such as life, liberty,
and freedom from violence and intimidation.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Ogden City Council and Mayor Michael P.
Caldwell hereby proclaim August 1-7, 2023:
in Ogden City. We encourage residents, schools, businesses, and community groups to take advantage of Ogden Pride Week as a valuable opportunity to engage in learning, listening, and demonstrating love. We appreciate the significant efforts of Ogden Pride, including organizing and administering the Ogden Pride Festival, which is now entering its ninth year. This year’s Festival will take place August 4th–6th at the Ogden Amphitheater.
PASSED AND ADOPTED this 1st day of August 2023.
Angela Choberka, Council Chair, and Michael P. Caldwell, Mayor

The proclamation was passed unanimously by the council, followed by a standing ovation. Ogden Pride board members shook the hands of the council members and took a group photo after the vote. Council Chair Angela Choberka noted that the Ogden City signs were lighted with rainbow colors.

Ogden Pride President Sean Childers-Gray spoke at the meeting about Ogden being a “very diverse city.”

“I stood here five years ago,” Childers-Gray started. “Five years ago, we made a proclamation. And in that five years, a lot has changed. In 2019 we had about 5,000 in attendance at the Festival. This year, we are looking at 8,000, and we want to grow because we represent a large group of Ogden.”

“Ogden Pride does not just mean the LGBTQ community. It means people of color. It means our marginalized community members. It means Ogden can stand proud and embrace diversity, something we all absolutely need in our lives,” he continued. “And just as humanity was lost in 2020, the LGBTQ community has been attacked continuously, especially this year. Across the country, over 750 bills were entered into debate. Debate about who I am. Debate about how we live and how we are able to receive care. And our most marginalized community members are youth.”

“We protect youth because we give them a safe space to be themselves. We don’t question their identity. We don’t question their sexuality. We just say we have a space where you can be whoever you are, whoever you want to be, and whoever you will become.,” he said. “That’s a value we should embrace as a city. And in all of the festival and the things we have coming up this week coming up, it has been a great pleasure to serve and be a leader of an organization that, in Utah, tends to be looked down on. Nine years in Ogden is just a fraction of the time that the civil rights started for the LGBTQ+ community. But we’re not going anywhere. And we continue to build and thrive, and rely on our relationships with our city officials and our safety officials. And it has been a wonderful, wonderful journey to work and build that, especially with our Ogden Arts group. So we do welcome and invite you to join us for this weekend. As we celebrate for the very first time three days in a row at the Ogden Amphitheater.”

“Starting on Friday, we have our youth talent show. Give them a space for safety so they can showcase who they are, so that we can help them to build to become better adults. Give them a space to be recognized. So we are giving them the stage. We invite you to come, and watch and support them as you see just a glimpse of what makes them proud as young adults,” Childers-Gray announced. “And then, after the show is over, we are going to kick you all out. We have a parent corral that you can join and socialize with other adults just outside the Amphitheater. We’re going to give the kids their own space to have a Pride Dance. We’ve hired a DJ so they can have that space. And that event is only possible because we received the Ogden City Art grant. So, thank you for that.”

“The next night is a fundraiser because it takes money, we know, to run things. It takes a lot of money to feed kids. It takes a lot of money to take them skating, as we do. And t takes a lot of money to make sure that we have the services and resources that they need. We do not require our youth t pay a single penny to participate in our events. So we pay for everything that we do for our youth. So Saturday is a concern that starts at 5 p.m. We have two amazing bands, Shecock with A Vengeance and Ginger and the Gents. Then we are going to close the evening with an energetic and entertaining drag show. Because drag is valid. Drag is a part of the LGBTQ community in history. It was drag queens and trans women who stood up and threw those first, not just stones, but shot glasses. So we’re going to be closing the evening with a wonderful drag show. And all those proceeds will help us sustain our programs. You can buy tickets on OgdenPride.org.”

“And then Sunday is our ninth annual Ogden Pride Festival with the theme, “The Future Is Inclusive.” It’s a beacon of light to tell people that we are here and that we all belong, and yes, while we walk and we climb and we reach the peaks of the mountains, we will win. And even though our lives are legislated daily, we still will win.

So join us on the festival grounds from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. with two stages of wonderful entertainment, over 150 vendors, including food vendors, arts and crafts, merchants, and we are bringing back our Kids’ Zone with six activities and some amazing stuff,” he continued. “It is our largest festival to date, and it is a wonderful honor to be a part of that and to lead my amazing board. So thank you again for this wonderful recognition. Not just for us, but this is for Ogden. Ogden Pride is strong.”

See the City Council meeting here:

For more information on Ogden Pride, see OgdenPride.org

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