SAFE leaders to host second Sandy Pride
For one month every year, members of the LGBTQ+ community celebrates pride in their identities and honor those who pioneered the movement toward equality. To celebrate in Sandy, local action group Students Advocating for Equality will host a Pride gathering from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, June 25, at Centennial Plaza, 39250 Pioneer Blvd.
"(It's important to celebrate Pride because it offers) a sense of community for LGBTQ+ people," said SAFE co-manager Amaya Peralta. "LGBTQ+ people can feel very isolated. That's why we want to have an event where they can be loved and appreciated."
The group hosted their first Sandy-based Pride in 2021, and while the community hasn't had many Pride events in the past, SAFE co-manager Makayla Bogle said: "seeing how many people show up is an eye opener."
Though there has been anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment expressed loudly in Sandy and that continues, Bogle said SAFE will continue to host events that welcome and affirm the community.
"Discomfort strikes change and pushes people to learn," she said. "There's so much positivity that speaks to say Sandy needs this."
"It's one thing to find this (community) with our peers and another to see it with the older generation," co-manager Brinna Reynoldson, who uses she/they pronouns, added.
In the two years that SAFE has operated in Sandy, the group has partnered on multiple occasions with the Sandy STAND UP Movement to promote anti-racism, hosted multiple Pride flag waves and demonstrations and worked to be a resource to their marginalized peers. Recently, they opened a Dropbox folder for students and community members to submit anonymous testimonies to.
"Hopefully this will inspire them to open up and be more vocal about what they believe in," Peralta said.
"It's cool to see that as 17- and 18-year-olds we can have an impact," Reynoldson added.
The current managers of SAFE attribute not only the opportunity to lead in their community but also, for some, the encouragement to feel safe being out and themselves to the founding managers Molly Izer, Jake Billard and Josiah Rothwell, who graduated last year.
"They paved the way, and we wouldn't be able to do any of this without them," Peralta said. "They led by example. I'm excited for Pride. I think there has been a lot of change within SAFE, and I'm excited to see how we can build our foundation."
The Pride event on June 25 will offer refreshments, music, care packages, a chance for attendees to tell their stories, access to mutual aid organizations and more.
"We want to acknowledge the pioneers of the community and how far we've come, but also how much work is left to do," Bogle said. "This is a party but also a call to action."
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