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Summit Pride raises Pride flag, spreads awareness about legislation affecting the LGBTQ+ community

To mark the first day of Pride month, Summit Pride, formerly the Park City LGBTQ+ Task Force, raised a Pride flag outside Miners Hospital. The group also highlighted challenges the community has faced in Utah this year.

Summit Pride aims to help LGBTQ+ people in the Wasatch Back feel safe and provide a sense of belonging. To celebrate the beginning of Pride month, the organization raises a Pride flag.

Cami Richardson is one of the founders of the organization who raised the flag. She said it's been thrilling to see how much the organization has grown. The task force was launched in 2021 and Richardson said she remembers the first Pride flag raising and Fourth of July parade.

“I can remember just having tears in my eyes when I felt the love from everyone,” she said.

Member John Hernandez said raising the flag raises awareness.

“My generation, we sort of go under the radar just because it was easier back in the day. But this sort of visibility is a good way to counteract some of the narratives that are going on now, in the media and in the public discourse about who we are,” he said. “When we're out in the public, it's like, ‘No, you already know us, we're already part of what makes this community really great.’”

Raising the Pride flag was not only a celebration of Summit County’s LGBTQ+ community but an opportunity to raise awareness about laws affecting the community. In a presentation before the flag was raised, treasurer Sean Udell talked about the trans-legislation Utah has passed in recent years.

Utah lawmakers passed a bill in 2022 banning transgender girls from competing in public school girls’ sports, though the legal battle over the bill continues. In 2023, the Utah legislature passed a bill banning youth from receiving gender-affirming health care. This year lawmakers passed legislation restricting transgender people from accessing gender-affirming bathrooms in government-funded facilities.

“With each piece of homophobic and transphobic legislation that is introduced in our state house, the drafters intend to reduce our sense of dignity, self love and self respect,” Udell said. “This is why it's so important that we are here today.”

Now that the Park City LGBTQ+ Task Force has rebranded as Summit Pride and is a designated nonprofit, Udell said the team is working with Park City to ensure there are gender-neutral restrooms and changing rooms in the recreation center. The team also plans to work with the Park City School District and local libraries to figure out how to comply with Utah’s new sensitive materials and bathroom laws while keeping the spaces welcoming to all.

Summit Pride will host a legislative update with Equality Utah at the Park City Community Foundation June 11 at 6 p.m.

Park City and Summit County have officially declared June LGBTQ+ Pride Month in support of the community.