Student finds pride in his work and life

   by Jessica Morgan

Drew McGee was sitting in class early yesterday morning listening to a lecture on how to write a paragraph. He was a good student, he always had been, so he tried to pay attention and take good notes. However, it was rather obvious that McGee’s mind was somewhere else.

McGee’s thoughts were still lingering on his previous day spent at work. Many people would find this to be troubling, but to him it was a good thing. McGee loves his job: “It is a lot of work, and takes a lot of time, but it’s worth it and I love my job,” said McGee. He works at the Utah Pride Center.

The Utah Pride Center is a community-based, non-profit organization in Salt Lake City that provides support, education, outreach and advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) individuals.

“Life is often hard on children who don’t fit neatly into the category of ‘boy’ or ‘girl’, especially when it comes to making friends. But thanks to a group at the Utah Pride Center, this aspect of growing up gender variant may be a little less difficult,” said Rose Ellen, a member of the LGBTQ community.

The growth and acceptance of the LGBTQ community in Utah is largely attributed to the Utah Pride Center and its efforts.

According to “Utah, where President Bush received more than 70% of the vote in 2004, has moved from 38th in 1990 to 14th in the most recent rankings” of the nation’s ‘gayest’ states.

In addition, “Salt Lake City recently approved a benefits program for lesbian and gay couples; identifying openly as gay is no longer considered an honor code violation at Brigham Young University; and perhaps most striking, the state now has three openly gay state legislators. That’s one more than the US Congress,” reported Northern Lights.

McGee was born and raised in Salt Lake City, where the acceptance of the LGBTQ community has long been an issue. Throughout his growing years he wished to find an outlet or support group and would often dream of a day that he would no longer feel like an outsider. When he stumbled upon the Utah Pride Center back in 2009, he felt as if he had finally found what he was looking for all those years.

In the past years that McGee has worked for the UPC he has found much pride and satisfaction in seeing the growing acceptance of LGBTQ individuals and their community within Salt Lake City, and knowing that he has been a part of it, whether large or small.