As the expression goes, everyone loves a parade.
But for Marcy Till, the Visibility March and other Moab Pride events are more than that.
“It’s a demonstration in support of equality, diversity, acceptance, inclusion and empowerment for all people, of any kind, exactly as they are,” said Till, a member of the Moab Pride planning committee.
“It’s an opportunity for Moab citizens and organizations and groups to take a stand in support of the LGBTQIAP community,” Till said.
Moab Pride uses the expanded acronym LGBTQIAP (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and pansexual) to represent the myriad of identities within the community.
“The Pride Festival reminds the Moab community that we are very diverse and that we complement each other,” Till said.
The annual festival returns from Sept. 25 to Sept. 28, presenting film screenings, youth workshops and fabulous dance parties. The Visibility March is on Saturday, Sept. 28, at 1 p.m.
Since moving to Moab this past March, Earl Dax has joined the festival’s organizing committee and is the organizer of this year’s Orange Party at Woody’s Tavern on Friday, Sept. 27. Dax is an experienced performance curator, night-life promoter, event organizer and artist manager.
“The Orange Party is a highly anticipated event in town,” said Dax. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a good dance party and I am planning to deliver one appropriately fabulous for Moab.”
Performers for the night include Popstar Nima who will perform “in gender-drag with backup dancers,” said Dax. San Diego’s Sylvia London will also perform along with Tam Taco, a Diné DJ from Flagstaff who will open the event for headlining DJ Gant Johnson. Attendees are encouraged to wear orange.
Dax said that “it’s great that people who don’t identify as queer will come out to Orange Party and support Moab Pride while respecting this queer space.”
The Orange Party is but one of seven planned events comprising this celebration this year. See the full schedule of events online at www.moabpride.com/schedule
This year’s events aim to raise awareness about the challenges encountered by this culture on a daily basis. Queer poetry and films delve into and express this angst, as well as the beauty and joy stemming from the ability to express one's true self without fear of repercussion.
“I think existing as a queer person in a rural and isolated community is a form of resistance in and of itself,” said Steph Hamborsky, a member of the Moab Pride steering committee.
“For queer youths specifically, they are targeted by both their peers, students, their teachers, their families and other members of the community. In recent years, Moab Pride has shifted its focus to supporting queer youth in our community.”
Marcy Till is passionate about using Moab Pride to create safe spaces for queer youth.
“I feel that this is an ongoing mission for Moab Pride: youth programming services and support,” Till said.
To that end, all funds raised go towards supporting Moab Pride programming, Rainbow Clubs in Grand County public schools and LGBTQIA programming during the year in Moab.