SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – National Coming Out Day is observed every year on October 11th. According to the Human Rights Campaign, this year will mark 33 years since the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. It’s a time to commemorate the process of “coming out” for our LGBTQ+ friends and family, who are ready to live their most authentic selves and celebrate their gender and sexual identities.

In observance of National Coming Out Day, the Utah Pride Center will host its 2nd annual Road Rally on Sunday, October 10th. The event originally began as a way for the community to come together safely, after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the center to cancel the Pride Festival in 2020. Organizers said the rally was such a success that they decided to make it an annual event.

Stacey Jackson-Roberts, CEO of the Utah Pride Center and Tanya Hawkins, board vice chair of the Utah Pride Center joined ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen for an IN FOCUS discussion. Jackson-Roberts talked about the work she’s been doing in Washington D.C. for 20 years and what motivated her to come back to Utah.

Both guests talked about their own “coming out” stories, the history of National Coming Out Day, why it’s still so important to observe the holiday now, the process of creating the Road Rally in 2020, why it’s been a tough year for LGBTQ+ youth in Utah, and the work they’ll continue to work on for equality and inclusion.

Emily Walker, volunteer engagement manager for the Utah Pride Center shared the idea behind creating the Road Rally, how this year’s planning process compares to last year, what programs and services the event will help fund, who the event is for and who’d they like to see participate, and the details for the rally.

For more information on the Utah Pride Center’s 2nd annual Road Rally, visit their event page.

To watch the full IN FOCUS discussion with Jackson-Roberts, Hawkins, and Walker, click on the video at the top of the article.

Catch IN FOCUS discussions with ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen weeknights on the CW30 News at 7 p.m.

Rosie Nguyen is an award-winning journalist who joined the ABC4 News team as a reporter in January 2018. In September 2020, she embarked on a new journey as the anchor for the CW30 News at 7 p.m. Although she’s not out in the field anymore, she is continuing her passion for social justice and community issues through the nightly “In Focus” discussions.