While the Utah Pride Center does its best to represent the LGBT community as a whole, they recognize that each individual area, spanning gender identity and age, needs its own support group to provide education and promote tolerance with people who may not know or understand what it means to be that particular gender. Helping represent the T in LGBT, TransAction Utah had great success in 2014, ending it with activities they helped plan during Transgender Awareness Month. But for a while now the group has started to see a lackluster response from its own members and is in need of new leadership to help guide where the group is headed. Today we chat with Dayne Law of the Utah Pride Center about how they've been doing in their new house, the history of the group and what you can do to take part in it. (Pictures courtesy of their Facebook page.
Gavin: How have things been going for the Pride Center since moving into the new building?
Moving has given us a highly visible, highly accessible space. We are in the heart of downtown with a Trax station at our front door. The new space has allowed us to accommodate more groups and we are looking forward to finishing the downstairs space so that we can offer an even better space to the community.
Gavin: How did TransAction Utah come to be a part of the Pride Center?
In the Spring of 2009, the Utah Pride Center received a grant for transgender youth programming, which was used to promote youth leadership development and activism. That summer we held the first meeting of TransAction Utah, a youth-led organization for education, advocacy, and outreach.
Gavin: For those who may not be aware, what is the mission for TransAction Utah in regards to the LGBT community?
TransAction Utah is a voice for the Trans* community. Its mission is to promote visibility, unity, and safety through advocacy, education, and outreach. TransAction celebrates gender diversity by building bridges between communities.
Gavin: November was Transgender Awareness Month. What role did the group have in events that took place during that time?
Since its inception, TransAction Utah has been involved in planning and organizing the GendeRevolution Conference as well as planning events for Transgender Education and Awareness Month (TEAM) every November.
Gavin: As you and I have discussed, the group has been in flux recently. What's the biggest issue causing the group to lack stability?
This is a diverse community with many differing visions for the future and the focus of the group. This has lead to challenges in creating strong leadership and clear vision.
Gavin: What kind of leadership roles are you looking to fill and what would those people need in order to really take control and guide the group?
The current group has always defined TransAction’s leadership roles. This has lead to a large variety of styles and methods of defining the group. Today, TransAction is looking for a small group of motivated individuals who have a clear vision and are willing to commit to a year in a leadership role. We are looking for trans-identified individuals or allies. Interested parties can contact me at email@example.com
for more information.
Gavin: What are the biggest things you currently need from the community to make this group a permanent addition?
We need willing, enthusiastic support year round. People tend to want to pop in and out for specific events, but either lack the time or commitment to stay involved year round. We also need sustained funding.
Gavin: For those interested, what can they do to help and when does the group usually meet?
The group is currently meeting on the first and third Tuesday of every month. We need continued involvement and investment from the trans and ally community to continue to provide education, advocacy, outreach, and other events.
Gavin: Is there anything else you'd like to promote from the Pride Center in 2015?
We have a lot of great things going on. We will have our annual youth Queer Prom in April as well as the youth Masqueerade
in December. Our annual Utah Pride Festival will be June 4-7. November is Transgender Education and Awareness Month, which includes the GendeRevolution conference. It would be super awesome if City Weekly
could do a piece right before November to help promote our events including the GendeRevoltuion Conference. We also offer Community Counseling, wellness programming, youth drop-in hours, and are looking forward to expanding Bi Awareness month this September.