LGBTQ+ Task Force takes Pride in this month’s educational and social events

Living Library, picnic and letter reading on the schedule

Participants of last year’s Pride Month Living Library, facilitated by the Park City LGBTQ+ Task Force, take a minute to gather at Lucky One’s Coffee at the Park City Library. The Task Force will bring back the Living Library, a program where people who want to learn more about the queer community can schedule 30-minute sessions to ask questions with its members, on June 17.
Courtesy of the Park City LGBTQ+ Task Force

For information about Park City’s LGBTQ+ Task Force Pride Month events, visit

Pride Month has only just begun, and Park City’s LGBTQ+ Task Force is celebrating with a colorful palette filled with a schedule that will educate and connect allies with the local queer community.

These events, which are all free and open to the public, include a living library, letter reading, picnic and participation in the city’s annual Fourth of July Parade.

The LGBTQ+ Task Force was formed by Park City Municipal, in 2021, to evaluate and address the needs of local residents, and the organization has worked to find its footing over the past year, said member Joe Urankar.

“The more established we get, the more we find our rhythm in becoming a vehicle for queer people and allies to find each other, connect and explore what the needs in the community are,” he said. “City leaders, businesses, nonprofits and individuals have all welcomed us with open doors and have asked how they could help and how they can learn. So, this year’s lineup will be pretty similar to previous years.”

We are grateful we have this bubble of allies who care about community and being there for each other and who want to grow with us.” Joe Urankar, Park City’s LGBTQ+ Task Force

The next event in the lineup will be on June 17, when the Task Force brings back the Living Library that will run from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Park City Library, 1255 Park Ave.

Task Force members will volunteer to be “checked out” as books, and people can ask them questions about anything relating to LGBTQ+ issues during 30-minute sessions, Urankar said.

“Instead of reading an article or checking out a book about current issues facing queer people, this is an opportunity to have conversations,” he said.

Last year’s Living Library experience came with surprises, Urankar said.

“Going into it we expected to talk with more allies and people who were working to understand the LGBtQ community better, but it ended up being more members of our community who were trying to wrestle with their own identities asking us for advice.”

Participants included younger people who were trying to figure out their identities, and a priest who was trying to balance their religion with their sexuality, according to Urankar.

“Having a forum like this gives access to queer adults and youths, who are on their own journey and path, a place to connect,” he said. “It’s also an opportunity for people who want to know more to ask questions and bounce around ideas.”

The Living Library lineup currently includes four people from the local queer community — Blue Byrne, a Park City High School student; Taylor Matkins, co-founder of Lucky Ones Coffee; Cami Richardson, author and former New York City firefighter; and Urankar, an installation artist.

The public can set up appointments with all or any one of these participants, by visiting, Urankar said.

“We also will welcome walk-ins,” he said.

A week later, the Pride schedule will showcase Letters to Parents, from noon-1 p.m. at the Park City Library’s Jim Santy Auditorium. During this event, members of the Park City High School Gay Straight Alliance will read letters that anonymous queer youths have written to their parents, Urankar said.

“These letters, which the GSA solicits from around the state, contain the things the writers wish they could say or had said to their parents regarding their queer identities,” he said. 

The Task Force is especially looking forward to this event, because this is the first year the GSA has been able to participate in Pride Month activities, according to Urankar.

“We have met with the alliance over the past two years, and we’re now just able to find some synergy,” he said. “One of the challenges is the people who lead the GSA are seniors, so we have eight months to meet and build relationships before they graduate. Then the next year, we have to start all over again. So we’re also finding our rhythm, being a long-term organization that has a lot of continuity, to interact with an organization that is short term.” 

For information about Letters to Parents, visit

The day after Letters to Parents, the Task Force invites the public to the Pride Picnic that runs from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the South End Pavillion at City Park.

The picnic will feature live music, lawn games and kiosks that will include information from various local organizations, Urankar said.

“It’s going to be a Sunday Funday in the park,” he said. “This is something that is more casual, because we wanted to create a space for us to socialize outside the more advocacy-type events.” 

For information about the Pride Picnic, visit

All things must come to an end, and Pride Month is one of those things, but the Task Force has extended it a few days into July when it invites the queer community and its allies to march in Park City’s Fourth of July Parade on Main Street.

This is the third year the Task Force will march, and people do need to register, Urankar said.

Registration and information is accessible at

“We will meet on Swede Alley, and we encourage all to join us to celebrate,” he said.

Urankar hopes this year’s Pride Month activities will shine a brighter light on the local queer community, and he is grateful for Park City’s support.

“As the national stuff regarding the violence, hate and culture war continues, which, in our minds, will only get worse, we look at the support we have in Park City,” he said. “We are grateful we have this bubble of allies who care about community and being there for each other and who want to grow with us.”

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