Why The Utah Pride Festival is important to me.

Three years ago I made my first post on my blog, and it had to do with the Utah Pride festival and some of my observations. I am now home from my 6th pride festival, exhausted, sunburned, and completely humbled. I don’t feel like I should add any photos to this post because it really isn’t relevant, even though it is always so fun and colorful.

This week has been a pretty intense one in the Utah drag community, which I have been involved in for quite some time, and I guess gay community because it does relate. I remember when I first made friends with some of the local drag queens, I was so in awe (don’t get me wrong, I still am) but now we are friends and I am part of the group. Whether I am flipping omelettes at Salt Lake’s award winning drag brunch or helping someone get ready for a performance backstage, I have made many friends and I am very protective of each of them. Thursday was the kick-off to pride season and it started with the Miss City Weekly pageant on. It is a drag pageant that a local publication has held for the last 7 years. Two queens were hosting, an unfortunately one of them said some very hateful and trans-phobic things, probably thinking she was funny cause she was drunk, but it made EVERYONE uncomfortable and made some people emotional and some very angry. This queen has now alienated herself from the community that loved her, where she was very popular and consistently booked to now being fired from gigs that she had. Now her Facebook page has been deactivated. It has been the topic of conversation at each event I have been to because it is so relevant right now, it really struck a nerve. The only word for what happened, is unfortunate.

I wanted to preface this entry with that because today my heart was so full. I have always loved pride season because people are out being and showing who they are instead of hiding. Some people I am in awe of how open they are because deep inside I wish sometimes to be that way, and some people are being open for their first time and it is such a good feeling know they have a place they can do that. Everyone is just happy to see each other, even if they don’t know you. Today my friend, Miss City Weekly 2015 Harry-it Winston, and I were walking around the festival and a mom approached Harry-it telling her daughter, “see it is ok to dress up.” This mother had tears streaming down her cheeks because my friend told this beautiful little girl, who is going through a male to female transition at a VERY young age (I would say she was maybe 8?), that the path she is on is her path and to follow the arrow because it is hers to follow. The mother said that her child was bullied really bad last year and they just really needed resources for the transition. My heart was so humbled and always is, when parents can allow their children to be who they know they are. Even more to bring them to this event to show her that she is ok being who she is and that everything will work out. I asked her name and she told me her boy name, I gave her a big hug and kiss on the top of the head, and told her to just keep being her. I feel this moment will stick with me for a very long time and I pray that mother will find the support their family needs.

I am truly blessed to have amazing friends in the LGBTQ community and I honor their rights as human beings and I am so glad I get to be an ally and a friend.

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