- LGBT organizations continually work toward equality in Utah
- The importance of allies in the LGBT community
- pinkdot events come to Utah, by way of Singapore
I was covering a segment of the Salt Lake City population that I knew little about. The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community is flourishing, more now than ever, within the confines of a religiously oppressive and overly conservative state. In order to discover the factors that contributed to this surprising actuality, I decided to immerse myself in the culture by attending events and talking to organization leaders within the LGBT community.
I started by telling friends what I was assigned to cover, and I’ve got some lesbian and gay friends. They gave me plenty of ideas for topics to cover, but most importantly, they directed me to a coffee shop downtown that is a safe haven for LGBT people to gather and interact. After looking into it, I found out that it was called Café Marmalade and its building also housed the Utah Pride Center.
With the task of coming up with my own story ideas, and being new to journalism altogether, I knew this would be the place to start my adventure.
I was nervous.
I navigated my way through unfamiliar territory, on the west side of downtown, to find Café Marmalade. With horrible experiences in downtown parking in the past, I pulled into an unmarked spot in the parking lot next to the building uncertainly. I got out of my car with almost no plan at all, and made my way toward the building, full of apprehension.
Little did I know, I was about to experience journalism in its truest form for the first time ever and I would love it. The butterflies in my stomach would disappear and I would suddenly know that I was meant for this.
When I walked into the LGBT coffee shop as a straight person, I could almost feel a hush fall over the room. Friendly baristas and a professional and courteous staff at the Utah Pride Center led me to the person I needed to talk to.
Valerie Larabee, the director of the Utah Pride Center, graciously sat down with me for my first ever one-on-one, in-person interview over coffee.
This was the first step on a path that exposed another side of the community that I never would have known without this beat. I connected with neighbors, friends and colleagues along the way. I wanted a better understanding of a segment of the community, and they wanted to be better understood.
The discovery of a mutually beneficial relationship between reporter and interviewee deepened my passion for journalism this semester. I realized the importance and power of reporting the news and I will continue to wield it.
I have always loved sports, and I have always been told that I have a talent for writing. Those things have led me to where I am today, pursuing journalism at the University of Utah. I’m focusing on sports because that’s my passion, but I’m writing about anything and everything that comes my way. In my brief career, I’ve already gained a wealth of worldly knowledge and become a more rounded individual. My passion for journalism continues to grow as I dive deeper and deeper into reporting. Working full time, studying full time and writing full time for the Daily Utah Chronicle combined to create a chaotic life lately, but I love the experience. If only I could still find time to ski.