Provo Pride

Among many central themes behind the Provo Pride Festival, acceptance and local politics were significant to this year’s gathering.

The Provo Pride Festival was organized Sept.17 at Memorial Park.

One of the core values promoted was a rediscovery of identity.

19-year old Brian Whetten, talked about his recent experience of coming out to his parents. “I’ve been in the process of coming out to members of my family. A couple months ago, I came out to parents, it’s been difficult since then. It’s been a process of acceptance and figuring out how to love. My mom didn’t think she would have a son who likes guys. I’ve invited her here, so we’re going to celebrate who I am and be proud of who I am together.”

Whetten said that it will be a longer process of acceptance with his father.

There were individuals who expressed discontent in regards to this year’s presidential election.

YJ and Dana Birch-Swindle pointed out their opinion on our binary two-party system.

“It should be about inclusion and everyone should have a chance to be included in the process and everyone should have a chance to be represented. The way it is, our system right now, one is it’s just an either-or. You’re either for this or for that. That’s what the whole problem is,” YJ said.

However, local elections for congress this fall suggest more hope. Tryon reminds Utah the importance of voting. Steven Tryon is the democratic candidate for U.S. congress here in the 3rd District of Utah. He is running against Jason Chaffetz. Tryon discussed disappointment with the lack of representation from his congressmen. “I’m here at Provo Pride today, I think Chaffetz should be at Provo Pride today. Orrin Hatch should be at Provo Pride, Mike Lee should be at Provo Pride.”

According to Tryon, “It’s all about protecting all of the people of the United States. That’s why in that first critical part of the constitution, the bill of rights, that first 10 amendments; we have amendments that protect critical liberties. We’ve continued to amend the constitution in ways that protect parts of the American population that need protection. The gay and lesbian community is traditionally a population that’s been marginalized and persecuted. It’s the job of representatives to pay special attention to taking care of those people and making sure that their rights are respected. I’m offended, that my congressman doesn’t think it’s important enough for him to be here at Provo Pride,” Tryon said.

When asked about the “no promo homo” laws, Tryon acknowledged the detrimental idea of keeping it quiet. “I find the idea to be completely abhorrent. Human sexuality is a gift, in whatever form it comes in, consensual of course.

I think we should supportive of every young person and we should be
trying to help them. Especially in a state when the leading cause of death is suicide for children between the ages of 11 and 17.

There will be a live debate between Jason Chaffetz and Steven Tryon at Utah Valley University Oct. 19.

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