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Ogden Pride Center, Running Toward Equality

Jun 01, 2016 09:40AM ● Published by Cassidy Ward

By Cassidy Ward | cassidy@ogdensource.com

Ogden - Awareness of gay and lesbian individuals and rights concerns really came to a crossroads in the 1980s. Since then, public opinion has shifted primarily in favor of acceptance and the extension and enforcement of equal rights for homosexual couples and individuals. The prevailing mindset in the United States has finally shifted to a point that harassment based on sexual orientation is no longer tolerated. It took a long time but change did happen. This very same battle is now being fought by the transgender community right now. They’re in the early stages of awareness as a society right now. This is the first time they have collectively acknowledged that they are out there, that they are marginalized by the system and that their needs and criticisms should be addressed. 

Fortunately, they’ve walked this road before, many times. Social change doesn’t happen in a vacuum, it is effected by those movements that came before, by organizations who have fought the good fight and are bringing that expertise to the next round of societal revisions. If sexually oriented prejudice is a bug in the software of humanity, then the Ogden Pride Center is crafting the patch. 

Formed on October 11, National Coming Out Day 2014, the Ogden Pride Center became the fourth such organization in Utah and the first in Ogden. Less than a year later, the Ogden Pride Center put on their first pride festival in Ogden, at the Ogden Amphitheater. The center is currently planning the second annual pride festival which will take place August 6 of this year at the same location. 

In an effort to raise funds for the festival, Ogden Pride Center is putting on a 5k Fun Run Saturday, May 14 at 8 a.m. The run will begin and end at MTC Learning Park, kids and dogs are welcome and encouraged. Entry cost is $15 and all proceeds will go toward paying for the pride festival later this year. Prizes will be given out to the overall winner of the race, as well as the best costumed human and the best costumed pet.

This year’s pride festival has the theme “Pride Elevated” this is an homage to the slogan for the Utah Office of Tourism, “Life Elevated.” It also makes reference to the raised stakes of this social movement. While things are better than ever for members of the LGBT community, there is still plenty of work to be done and improvements to be made. 

The Ogden Pride Center stresses the point that their events are family friendly. Currently, there is no pride parade, unless you count dozens of people running in a 5 kilometer circle in costume, of course. The 5k and this August’s festival will both be family events, appropriate for all ages. The festival will have performers, music and most importantly, a welcoming and accepting community. The only thing not suitable for children will be the beer, made available through the sponsorship of Ogden City. 

The Ogden Pride Center is currently taking enrollment in the 5k Fun Run and is looking for vendors and performers for the upcoming pride festival. You can contact the Pride Center at www.ogdenpride.org.

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