RACE, RELIGION + SOCIAL JUSTICE

Utah Pride Center lays off staff, suspends September programming

Aug 23, 2023, 12:35 PM | Updated: Oct 17, 2023, 9:22 am

Weeks before Pride Month starts up, Spy Hop is celebrating love in all of its forms with Queer Prom...

Participants walk during the 2023 Utah Pride Parade in downtown Salt Lake City on June 4, 2023. Weeks before Pride Month starts up, Spy Hop is celebrating love in all of its forms with Queer Prom. The event is free to attend.(Ryan Sun/Deseret News)

(Ryan Sun/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Pride Center announced that it has laid off its staff and suspended September programs so that it can reorganize in attempts to stay in business. 

In a statement released to the press, the organization’s remaining leadership said they “acknowledge the disappointment and outrage of the community regarding the instability of [their] organization.” 

The Utah Pride Center said their organization is in massive financial turmoil. According to former employees of the Utah Pride Center, the organization has come to depend on revenue from the annual Pride festival. This year it lost money on the festival. However, it is not clear if this is the cause for the suspension.

The email said the team is hopeful for the future, but they do not currently know what it will look like. “The center might close, revive, or reset,” the center said in the email. 

The authors noted that the center “has developed a negative reputation.” And cited financial instability, staffing crises and “precarious leadership,” as the causes. 

The remaining leadership team has asked for the community to trust them as they put plans in place for October 1. The email said the community has changed drastically over the years. Those changes, the center said, necessitate a reset to the organization’s mission in order to remain relevant and supportive for members of Utah’s LGBTQ+ community. 

Community members can give feedback to the Utah Pride Center on social media. They can also subscribe to the organization’s newsletter to stay informed.

Aimee Cobabe contributed to this story.

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Utah Pride Center lays off staff, suspends September programming