Locals + Culture

Of the many events we attend each and every year, the HRC Gala ranks among our very favorites. We've got a wouldn't-miss-it-for-the-world kind of attitude about this one, which shouldn't be surprising, given the efforts of this incredible organization.

One part fundraiser, one part celebration

The Annual HRC Gala (this year's was the 14th, to be specific) takes a tone that is equal parts jubilant and focused--for as good of a time as it may be to party in the name of progress, there's also no better time to keep a fixed eye on work still to be done. We've made headway on issues from transgender non-discrimination to anti-"conversion therapy" in varying states, but a closer look reveals the patchwork of rights in our nation. Click here to see a State Equality Index map, realeased at the start of 2018, that reports how each state ranks on LGBTQ+ issues such as public accomodations, housing, hate crimes, and transgender healthcare, among others (Utah...you better work, bitch).

And so the gala is thrown each year. Thrown to remember, to excite, to remind everyone why the fight is still happening and what we can do to help. Thrown to dance and drink and dress to the nines in the name of equality. We came together, as ever, in the Grand America ballroom where the Salt Lake Acting Co. was awarded the Equality Award, JJ Totah (of Champions!) received the Visibility Award, and Carol Gnade was given the Champion for Equality Award (she was also named QSaltLake's Person of the Year) for her countless efforts in LGBTQ+ community. Some incredible items were auctioned off (think: trips to Puerto Vallarta, $10k shopping sprees, artwork, concert tickets, and the like), and we were entertained by the likes of Ada Vox. Add DJ Young One to the pre- and post-parties and there was little chance for anything but success all around.

fairness should be fundamental.

But, for all our wins, the LGBTQ+ community has seen erratic progress at best, and we still have far to go in the fight. At its roots, the HRC "envisions a world where LGBTQ people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community." To that end, the group works tirelessly, year after year, to "increase understanding and encourage the adoption of LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices." It's an organized effort that we should all take part in, no matter how involvement looks for you. Mark your calendars for next year...we'll see you in the ballroom.


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