On the other hand, Salt Lake City boasts a vibrant gay community that’s the envy of other towns. Our LGBT community is woven together with organizations, clubs, bars and activities geared to make all LGBT folk feel welcome.
So, how to make a connection in this town? Obviously, there are the quintessential gay nights at nightclubs such as Gossip at Club Sound (579 W. 200 South) on Fridays and Babylon at Bliss (404 S. West Temple) on Saturdays. There’s a Lesbian night at Club Edge (615 N. 400 West) on Wednesday and Friday. Then there are the tried and true, everyday gay bars and clubs such as Paper Moon (3737 S. State), Try-Angles (251 W. 900 South), Trapp (102 S. 600 West) and Jam (751 N. 300 West).
But what if you want to leave the bars and music behind for the light of day? Here’s a list of gay-by-the-day suggestions:
What’s better on a Sunday afternoon than good food and new friends? On the first Sunday of every month in 12 different neighborhoods from Tooele to Sugar House, you can take part in a Neighborhood Potluck. Each individual event is organized by a neighborhood captain. More information is available at the Utah Pride Center (361 N. 300 West).
• Enjoy a Sunday brunch at Café Marmalade, also at the Utah Pride Center. Offering an array of coffees, teas, fresh entrees and delicious pastries, Café Marmalade is open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and 7 a.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday. If you’re looking for a good book with your morning coffee, Café Marmalade offers the largest LGBT library in the state.
Want to write the next great American novel? Perhaps penning your first short story? The Diverse City Writing Series holds a GLBTQ Writing Group. The group gathers on the second and fourth Monday from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Salt Lake Community College’s Community Writing Center in Library Square (210 E. 400 South). Supported by mentors, these groups share and discuss writing ideas, collaborate on projects and provide feedback for writers.
You can always join a gym for your mundane weekly workouts—or you can join QUAC for a fun-filled time at the pool. QUAC (Queer Utah Athletic Club) meets every Tuesday and Thursday from 7-8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to noon at Fairmont Aquatic Center in Sugar House (1044 E. Sugarmont Dr.). QUAC welcomes swimmers of all orientations, and all skill levels—even beginners. In addition to swimming, QUAC offers programs in diving and water polo. For more information and practice times, visit QuacQuac.org.
All right, youngsters, ready to get your dancing shoes on? The Youth Queer Ballroom Dance Class is open to all LGBT youths, ages 14 to 20. This is a free class held in the Multipurpose room at the Utah Pride Center on Wednesdays from 7-8:30 p.m. Ballroom dancer Veronica Argyle teaches this great program for a toe-tapping good time. More information at UtahPrideCenter.org
• The University of Utah LGBT Resource Center offers a LGTBQ Film Series at the Olpin Student Union Theater the first Wednesday of every month from 4-6:30 p.m. These free events are open to the community as well as students and faculty. Free popcorn is offered at every screening. For various films, a panel and discussion is available after the screening. Additional information about screenings are available at http://www.Sa.Utah.Edu/LGBT/
• If you’re looking for more LGBTQ films, Tower Theatre (876 E. 900 South) offers a good selection of gay-and-lesbian titles, with constant new releases for your at-home viewing pleasure. The Tower’s collection ranges from foreign LGBT films to cult classics like Adam and Steve.
A New Day Spa (3975 Highland Drive) offers gay couples spa packages and treatments. Spend the day getting pampered together with New Day’s couple’s massages and hot-stone treatments. You can even watch a movie while getting body wraps. Nothing beats a blissful evening with your love, relaxing and lounging.
Fabulous Fridays is an informal social held by the U’s LGBT Center. From 3-5 p.m., students and the community are invited to hang out, play games and meet new peers in an entertaining environment with refreshments and snacks. The socials are held until the end of spring semester and will restart at the beginning of fall semester. For more information and events, visit SA.Utah.Edu/LGBT/.
• The big hair and uber-fab Utah Cyber Sluts have created the wild and famous Friday Bingo. Featuring party fouls, fantastic prizes and campy humor, you won’t want to miss these marvelous events taking place on the second Friday of every month, usually at the South Salt Lake Columbus Community Center (2531 S. 400 East). Come out and join in the fun and help raise money for local charities. UtahCyberSluts.org
It’s Friday night and you’ve just left the bars, so technically, it may be early Saturday morning. If you’re looking for a late-night breakfast, coffee or burger, head over to the gay friendly and gay-owned Off Trax Café (259 W. 900 South), open after the clubs close on Friday and Saturday nights. This cozy café is next door to Club Try-Angles and features free WIFI, pool tables and a great menu selection. They’re also open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
• There’s nothing more tranquil than a weekend getaway or an overnight stay at a fabulous hotel. Whether you’re traveling into Salt Lake City or doing a staycation in your own city, Hotel Monaco offers a great gay-friendly package. A fan favorite is the Wine & Dine package offering a dazzling room, Champagne upon arrival, $50 dining credit for a romantic dinner at Bambara and nighttime turn-down service with cookies and milk. If you’re coming in during Salt Lake City’s fun-filled gay Pride weekend (June 4-6, 2010), Hotel Monaco offers a Gay Pride: Simply Proud package which includes the oh-so important late check-out for Pride weekend. Monaco-SaltLakeCity.com
Many special LGBT-friendly events take place throughout the year. Human Rights Campaign Utah (Utah.HRC.org) has its amazing annual gala and silent auction; every three months, Utah Pride Center presents Pride in Pink, a cocktail gathering at the Oyster Bar; COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere) creates great family-fun events; Equality Utah’s Allies Dinner attracts more than 1,000 to raise funds for gay-friendly political candidates, and SWERVE (SwerveUtah.com) hosts numerous events for the lesbian community.
Strolling down Main Street hand-in-hand with your special someone may still illicit stares and snarls (and, as you may have heard about in 2009, a shakedown if you happen to smooch on the stretch of Main Street owned by the LDS Church!). But with the range of LGBT activities and events available in Zion, you’ll not be bored or feel left out in the cold for long.
Annie Quan was City Weekly’s marketing director from 2005-09. She owns Q Clothing Boutique.