First ever Provo Pride is in the books

PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – One of the most conservative cities in the state hosts its first ever pride festival.
PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – One of the most conservative cities in the state hosts its first ever pride festival.

Organizers say Provo Pride is opening doors to acceptance in Utah County.

"Provo is my hometown and it's really cool they are hosting this. A conservative city hosting this and it's really nice seeing the community branch out," said festival participant, Steven Janke.

The four hour festival at Memorial Park included games, music and vendors.

"It's just an amazing, amazing moment for the gay and lesbian community to have this happen," said Anissa Marty, festival participant.

A moment that got off to a bumpy start.

"There were a couple of bureaucrats at city hall that said we were required to submit stuff that we weren't required to submit with the application," said organizer, David Pate.

Once the application was submitted, the process played out without a hitch.

"Ever since they accepted our permit, it's been smooth sailing. The city has been great as a whole," said Pate.

A step towards accepting people for who they are, but according to organizers there's still a long way to go.

"30% of youth suicides are committed by LGBTQ youth and 40% of youth homelessness are LGBTQ youth," said Pate.

He says changing that begins in the home.

"The difference in numbers between suicides and homelessness for LGBTQ youth is explained simply by the rejection of their parents," said Pate.

For organizers it doesn't stop there, it extends to the community as well.

"We want to foster understanding between the LGBTQ community and the larger Utah County community," said Pate.

Organizers say this is just the beginning. The long term goal is to get a LGBTQ Community Center in Provo, like the one in Salt Lake City.

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