Andrew Luras



When taking this class I already expected some big assignment that would require us to work on it throughout the semester. I had thought of the things I wanted to talk about already ahead of time, waiting for confirmation on what was approved. I had an idea for the LGBTQ+ community but nothing really planned out until our professor mentioned she’d want something to do with Utah or the U. So I decided upon the LGBTQ+ community at the U, as I figured it’s an ongoing topic that is talked about daily throughout our lives, especially in the U.S. where we strive to solve LGBTQ+ issues.

I located my first source through a friend’s professor at Westminster College. The instructor backed out but recommended I talk to Clare Lemke, the director of the LGBTQ+ resource center at the U. I already planned on speaking with her but didn’t know how to go about it. After that Lemke referred me to Whit Hollis, the director of the Union, who happens to be gay himself. 

My friend referred me to another friend of hers who was attending the U while also being a part of the LGBTQ+. However, she wanted to go unnamed, which I respect and would probably do as well. I felt as if they were the best sources because one is the director of the resource center at the University of Utah, and the second is the director of the Union. He has been here since 2001 and knows more about the history of the resource center. The third source shared personal experiences.

I encountered some obstacles with sourcing, because people backed out at the last minute, causing me to do my interviews pretty late in the story. It was also hard to get hold of Hollis because his schedule is busy. I was able to fix everything and address these obstacles, it just took me a while to find new sources. 

I tried to let the reader understand the history of the resource center, first with Hollis and what it was like to be someone who was LGBTQ+ then compared to now. I then decided it was appropriate to fit in experience from the resource center’s director and try to go over what the resource center is and why it is there. Finally, I thought it was a good idea to end on a personal experience from someone to show what it was really like to be here at the U as an LGBTQ+ student with no filter or bias. 

I found it pretty surprising that there is such a big presence here at the U for LGBTQ+ acceptance and that I was able to actually become friends with the unnamed person I interviewed and we’ve hung out a few times. I’ve learned that I really am pretty shy until I start talking to someone, especially if it’s something I care about. I had great conversations with my sources during and after the interviews, and I remembered why I used to get in trouble all the time in class as a kid, since I really do run my mouth and won’t stop talking about something I’m passionate about. 

I hope this contributes positively to my ongoing future as a journalist and I really hope to continue writing about the things I am passionate about for future writings such as this. It felt nice to finally go out and do something that made me feel like I was writing an actual news article instead of just the same required essay for every class. I enjoyed what I did and this just further fuels my ambition to become a journalist.


I don’t think I could ever permanently leave Utah and I didn’t think I’d ever say that.

I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, thinking this city was boring as a kid. I saw myself as an artist, writer, cosplayer, video game fanatic, music enthusiast, collector, etc. all the while continuing to think I’d go nowhere if I continued to live here. I constantly sought out traveling to different states in recent years to find some sort of “inner peace” and to finally answer the question of “where do I want to be” soon learning that many of the places I traveled to made me homesick. I started to make traveling a side hobby, but only if I have the money to do so, while still retaining this mindset that the corny line of “there’s no place like home” was true in my case. I found this out in the recent years of my life that Utah was my place to be and if I wanted to go anywhere else it’d only be temporary. 

I made it my goal to become a better writer when I started college. I had attended Catholic school up until college constantly criticizing my own work and never thinking I could make a career out of it. I used to hate writing papers in school after it felt like a task to write about things I had no interest in. College has changed my mindset, especially the University of Utah. I found classes giving me the option to write while incorporating my own interests. My passion has become writing about video games or music. I love writing articles on these two favorite hobbies of mine. With that being said, they have become so ingrained in my life that I want to make some sort of career out of it.

Video games and art in general are a big part of my life. If I’m not working or doing school work, I’ll usually find myself playing a game, drawing, listening to music, or somehow trying to do all three at the same time if it’s possible. I plan to always make time for my hobbies no matter how busy I get in the near future. At least I know that when I’ll be able to retire, I’ll have plenty of free time to do so, but only if I’m able to retire. I never really thought of making writing a hobby of mine but when I incorporate these other interests of mine, I feel as if writing has become so much fun that if I can, I’ll try to write about a recent piece of news or game. 

With knowing all this, I plan on staying in Utah for as long as I need to, unless somewhere down the line I figure I want to find a new place to reside in. Making writing my career in Utah is my main goal while trying my best to make my hobbies a part of it. There’s nothing wrong with having fun in my career and if it’s something I plan to stick with for the rest of my life, I might as well find the joy in it instead of dread each day walking into a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. job that I don’t find any interest in, rather I’d love to have passion in what I do.