Now in its 9th year, Moab Pride inspires visibility

Programming scheduled for Sept. 26-28

Moabites march in a past pride parade, organized by Moab Pride, a nonprofit organization with the mission of creating “queer visibility” and “accessible LGBTQIA programming and safe spaces.” This year’s event will be held Sept. 26-28. Photo courtesy of Moab Pride

Moab Pride, a nonprofit organization celebrating its ninth year in southeastern Utah, will be hosting its annual Moab Pride Festival Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 26 to 28. The multi-day event is geared toward creating visibility for people such as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual persons, and people of historically marginalized sexual and gender identities.

“Our mission is to create queer visibility while providing accessible LGBTQIA programming and safe spaces for the community,” Moab Pride said in a press release. “Accessible LGBTQIA programming means creating awareness, dialogue, safe spaces and visibility through art, workshops, and celebrations that are inclusive for all ages.”

The events will include workshops on topics including poetry and consent culture, a poetry slam, a dance party and, on Saturday, a Visibility March. Many of the events are meant for people of all ages, including youth, particularly the workshops on Thursday and Friday.

“Show your support by participating in the 2019 Visibility March: grab a friend, a rainbow flag or two, make a sign geared towards the themes of love and acceptance, and dance your way through downtown Moab,” Moab Pride said in a press release.

Schedule of events

Thursday, Sept. 26

  • 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Moab Arts and Recreation Center: Youth Workshop on Poetry & Identity (WTD Poetry Club)
  • 6 p.m. at Star Hall: Film Screening of “Alaska is a Drag” (Moab to Monument Valley Film Commission)
  • 6 p.m. at Mobile Moon Co-op: Organizers Tea Ceremony

Friday, Sept. 27

  • 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Moab Arts and Recreation Center: Youth Workshop
  • 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Moab Arts and Recreation Center: Creating Consent Culture workshop
  • 6 p.m. at Star Hall: Spit Love: A Queer Poetry Slam
  • 9 p.m. at Woody’s: Orange Party

Saturday, Sept. 28

  • 12:30 p.m. at Swanny City Park: Opening Circle before the Visibility March (Taiko Drumming, Mayor Emily Niehaus, and Lily’s Hope with Marcy Till)
  • 1 p.m. at Swanny City Park: Visibility March
  • 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Swanny City Park: Gay-La in the park
    • Vendor Booths, Food trucks, and Entertainment
    • 2 p.m.: Masturbating Hearts
    • 3 p.m.: Fists in the Wind
    • 4 p.m.: Stop Karen
  • 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Moab Arts and Recreation Center: Moth Closet: An All Ages Dance Party
    • 8 p.m.: Shaun Carley
    • 9 p.m.: Haven of Hues
    • 9 p.m.: Ava Lux

Notes about terminology

For years, pride parades and marches have served around the world as celebrations of people of non-normative and oppressed sexual and gender identities, namely identities that are not heterosexual or cisgender. At times, these parades have also served as political demonstrations for legal rights such as same-sex marriage.

One function of pride parades, creating visibility, is a way of creating awareness of people with non-normative sexual or gender identities. Since these identities do not always or usually manifest themselves in obvious, visible ways, pride parades in part serve to connect people who share these identities and to inspire public recognition of them.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual, terms that together form the acronym LGBT, describe a spectrum of sexualities and gender identities. The initials for intersex, asexual, questioning and other sexuality- and gender-related terms are sometimes added to the initialism to extend it (e.g. LGBTQIA), by way of explicitly including people in those identity groups.

Today, the word queer, which began as a pejorative term for people with same-sex desires or relationships, is widely used as an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities who are not heterosexual and not cisgender, though some members of the LGBT community criticize its usage.