Correction: an earlier version of this article had the incorrect location for the poetry slam event Spit Love. The correct location is Star Hall (159 E. Center St.).
Moab Pride is known for hosting events that create visibility and demonstrate support for the LGBTQ+ community and are really, really fun. (LGBTQ+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and other sexual orientations and gender identities). While pandemic safety concerns have led organizers to forego some popular events this year, including the annual Visibility March and Orange Party, there will be two in-person events open to residents of the Moab-area only.
Spit Love, a queer poetry slam, is happening at Star Hall (159 E. Center St.) on Friday, Sept. 25, starting at 6 p.m.
The following day, the Moth Ball intergenerational, drug- and alcohol-free dance party will be held at the Swanny Park pavilion (400 N. 100 West) starting at 5:30 p.m. The Moth Ball will include drag shows by several local performers.
Masks must be worn and social distancing observed at both events. There is no charge to attend, but donations are welcomed to support Moab Pride’s year-round programming, including the Rainbow Club for students who identify as LGBTQ+.
During the Spit Love poetry slam, performers will explore love, community and connection from LGBTQ+ perspectives. Seating is limited and attendees are encouraged to reserve space ahead of time at moabpride.com or on the Moab Pride Facebook page. The event will also be broadcast live on the Moab Pride Instagram profile.
Moab Pride organizer Cal Bee (whose pronouns are they/them) said there will be at least three locals performing, two of whom are notably young. There will also be three poets coming from Salt Lake City. All performers identify as LGBTQ+ and Bee noted the performances include perspectives from several transgender persons.
“It’s so important to center the voices – and listen to the voices – that are directly impacted,” they said. “It has to be that way, it’s literally their fight.”
Bee added, “We’re lifting those voices that are almost never heard in Moab.”
A statement by Moab Pride organizers said the poems shared at Spit Love show how the experienc of being queer “colors the way we pass through the world” and “all the ways in which love and connection are truly universal.”
“If you come to Spit Love, we can pretty much guarantee you’ll hear at least one poem that resonates with your own life experience, and at least one that helps you look at the world from a new perspective,” the statement said.
Bee spoke about Moab Pride’s recognition that persons have intersecting identities of gender, sexual orientation and other personal attributes, and experience oppression in different ways because of this.
Bee noted that the movement for LGBTQ+ rights has been largely led by “queer and trans people of color” and that while progress has been made, there is an “ongoing struggle to be able to exist safely.”
And, Bee said, “to work for safer queer space, we have to work for safety on every front.”
“What we really want in Moab is for all to feel welcomed here,” they said. “That’s what Moab Pride is about.”
Moab Pride is a registered nonprofit and all donations are tax-deductible. Donations to Moab Pride may be made via PayPal or by mailing a check to 375 South Main St. Suite #236, Moab, Utah, 84532.