Park City LGBTQ+ Task Force Plans Pride Month Activities

When police raided the Stonewall Inn in 1969, a gay club in New York City, protests and clashes with police lasted for days, serving as a catalyst for the gay rights movement.

Today, pride celebrations are taking place around the world to honor the uprising over 50 years ago.

Joe Urankar, a member of the LGBTQ+ task force, said while progress is being made on gay rights, there is still a long way to go, especially here in Utah.

“Without having these spaces where we can authentically live, protesting has become a way of being ourselves in public, of being able to go out and hold hands so that we can go out and be with our loved ones and not be worried,” Urankar explained. “So really, pride is both; a form of activism – a form of gathering. But it’s also a place where we can be ourselves in a world where we can love, for example, most people don’t know, in Utah, if you’re LGBTQ, you can still be legally kicked out of Utah. a restaurant just for holding your partner’s hand.

The local task force was formed in 2020 in response to a low score in the Municipal Equality Index report.

Another task force member, Virginia Solomon, says they have met with local rotating groups and the Gay Straight Alliance at Park City High School and invite anyone interested to join their task force by emailing at [email protected]

“We want the working group to be as diverse as possible. We want as many different voices as possible. We recently implemented a paid participation initiative to increase the diversity of those involved, we know that volunteering can be a privilege. And so, for people who need childcare compensation during time off to participate in working group meetings and decisions, we have paid participation funds available for that.

Pride – or rainbow flags – which reflect the diversity of the LGBTQ community – will be flown on five flagpoles in Park City and on streetlights on Main Street. The Main Street cart will be packed with pride colors and Urankar says they are seeking city approval to paint a pride flag on the old Maverick building on Bonanza Drive.

“Trying to create some visibility, since LGBTQ people are inherently invisible, and you can’t look at yourself and see if you know if you’re gay or if you’re bisexual. So that’s a way of letting everyone know the world that we are here and to create a certain pride.

On June 18 at the Park City Library between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Task Force members will meet with community members one-on-one to share their stories. This is called the Living Library.

“And you can consult us like books. The idea is that there is no subject that is prohibited. It’s a safe space, to ask tough questions to try to understand ourselves and our experiences and really create different kinds of connections that you might not otherwise have. You know, maybe you are a parent with a child who is having a hard time accepting or fitting in in some way. Maybe you’re an adult dating later in life. Or maybe you’re someone who just doesn’t get it, none of that. You know, the terms the acronym, it’s huge, you know, and it’s sometimes complicated. So I just want to de-stigmatize and break down the barrier.

A picnic will be held June 25 on the library grounds with live music, food trucks and a gender-affirming clothing swap. A donation bin will be set up in room 101 of the library from June 18.

The task force backed out of its request to light the McPolin barn on SR 224, saying it first wanted to have a broader community conversation about inclusion and visibility.

Sara H. Byrd