Posts tagged ‘utah’

March 9, 2012

Happy Holi To One And All

Via E Journal USA on Facebook

Every year the Hare Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork, Utah puts on the biggest Holi (festival of colors) celebration in the Western Hemisphere.  In 2011 the Spanish Fork Police department estimated that over 40,000 people attended in the first day alone of the two-day festival.  Organizers carefully rationed their stash of approximately 120,000 bags of colored powder.
Participants come from all over the country (and some from abroad), but the majority of attendees for the Festival of Colors are students from Brigham Young, Utah Valley, and Utah universities.
The Holi Festival of Colors celebrates the triumph of good over evil and ushers in the spring season.  The festival commemorates a Hindu myth about a witch, Holika, who burned children in a fire.  One child repeated the Hare Krishna mantra as he was carried into the flames and the witch was burned instead.  At the Spanish Fork festival, rock and roll, R&B, and other modern interpretations of the mantra are played by musicians throughout the day and chanted in a call and response game between performers and attendees.  The main event of each festival is the coordinated throwing of colored powder, when the sky above the crowd is filled with rainbow puffs of dye.
This video is a tribute to the Utah version of Holi, which the director, Evan Carpenter, has attended faithfully for the last six years.
This video was produced by Plaid Social Labs, a video and social media marketing company based in Provo, Utah.
The performers featured in the video are Namrock and C.C. White’s Soul Kirtan.  Learn more about Namrock at and find C.C. White at
Technical notes: This video was shot on Canon t2is at either 24 fps for normal speed or 60 fps for slow-motion.  Some clips were slowed down even more using timewarp in Adobe AfterEffects.  The color was achieved through careful color correction of images that were shot fairly flat (meaning the blacks weren’t that black, the white weren’t that white, and the color wasn’t overly saturated, which gives you a lot of information to work with in post-production) and with the help of a plugin called Mojo.  The composer Aaron Hatch (aka Fresh Big Mouf) created magical beats from his home in Los Angeles.
For more from director Evan Carpenter, subscribe to his channel Evan Meets World or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

January 27, 2012

Eric Ethington in I’m From Driftwood

Eric Ethington  of Pride in Utah (and all around cool guy)  tells his moving story as part of  the I’m From Driftwood Project.

February 12, 2011

MTF fireman 66, weds Jamaican lesbian chef 37

I guess Cher might describe this as “a different kind of love story”. Congrats to them.

“A thrice-married former fireman in Britain, who underwent a sex change to become a woman, has tied the knot with a Jamaican lesbian chef he met online.

Kerry Whybrow, 66, formerly Roger Steed, had met Alcia Evans, a mother of one and almost 30-years her junior, through an international dating website.

The 6ft 2in former angling instructor met Evans in 2008 and had spent just a fortnight with the 37-year-old Jamaican before she flew to England to prepare for their “wedding”…

Read the rest on Sify here.

The Daily Mail has even more comprehensive coverage with pictures here.

November 6, 2010

Yet another death from religious pressure.

Eric Ethington of Pride in Utah has posted another disturbing article about the death of a young man whose was led to kill himself because of a conflict with his family’s religion. In this case it was mormonism ( I still refuse to capitalize it) the same church that raised my blood pressure every time I watched 8: the mormon proposition.  As Eric points out it is even sadder that the family chose to ignore his sexuality in the obituary. Bullying takes many forms and it has no age limits. Denying someone their natural right to be who they are is reprehensible.

According to friends, Colt had a fight with his father the night before he died over the Mormon faith and his refusal to be a part of it. However, his obituary reads that he was a member of the Mormon church and despite never going on a Mormon mission, the family is asking that donations be made to the Mormon Mission fund. The obituary also never makes any mention that he was gay.

Colt’s family is refusing to let his friends attend the funeral, presumably presided over by a Mormon Bishop, calling it a private family affair.

The Utah LGBT community will remember Colt for who he was. A beautiful, intelligent young man who worked for several years at Try-Angles, beloved by many.

Read more at Pride in Utah.

UPDATE 10/8/10: Eric at Pride in Utah has issued an update on his initial post that you can read here.

October 11, 2010

A double rainbow for October 11th.

Yes I know the second rainbow is fading – but to have the thought.

There hasn’t been a lot to celebrate these past few weeks with all the suicides and new ones emerging every day but it is Coming out Day today so I felt it merited something. As a Canadian I guess it is easy for me to say as I belong to a nation that embraces human nature. In much of the rest of the world it isn’t the case.  I live in one of those places now where it is a daily reality. Where kids spend much of their lives fearing judgment and where the statute books say if they engage in a physical act as part of their love they face jail time. It isn’t enforced in T & T but the fact that it could be is is disturbing. If you are a guy who kills another guy  here’s  the surest way to get off of a murder charge – say “he made a pass at me.”  I have seen that work multiple times.

As a self-identified North American I also look at the kids who killed themselves because they were bullied these past weeks and I get angry. Really angry. Some of the cases like Seth Walsh were open at an early age. In Seth’s case it was 13.  That may surprise a lot of people who think it is a ‘choice’ but if you are heterosexual I am pretty sure you knew it at a much earlier age even if you couldn’t define it. Seth lived in a small community and probably just spent his entire life feeling different. Somewhere along the line he decided that he found a word for what he was and wanted to express it. He wanted to celebrate the wonderful thing that was his life. Instead, he was bullied and made to feel so awful that he decided to hang himself. He heard what the mainstream religious world said about him, saw the rejection from his friends and decided that he could not go on.  A lot of people have blood on their hands. At work today we started talking about bullying and suicide and I brought up the subject of sexual orientation. I heard that there must have been more to it than that – killing yourself because you are gay?  I heard that lots of kids are taunted but they don’t kill themselves …nerds get bullied too. Sometimes empathy is a rare commodity. There is a fundamental difference between being bullied because you are small , or because you are nerdy and being bullied because you are gay or perceived to be gay or lesbian or transgendered.  Being small or nerdy you go home and your family loves you and so does your church ( if you are so inclined) and the greater society. You don’t live in a world that says you are evil and going to hell. Or that you somehow chose a path that was wrong.  I think we always choose the only path that we see. To put that sort of pressure on a little kid  is where fundamental evil comes in.

So on Coming Out Day ( except in the UK …because they just had to be different)  I think it is important that people tell someone they care about a little more about themselves. The nature of the world dictates that you look around and decide that is is safe to do so. So, if you are a Taliban member in a group meeting, I would urge you to think carefully ( but I am sure you are not alone) . If you are a mormon elder and you want to wave your arms in the air today I suggest you think carefully about it and then do it. You don’t have to tell the world just someone you care about. Baby steps.

And I am very proud that the amazing daughter of my cousin ( yes I know that makes her my second cousin…but she calls me her cousin) came out this evening about her relationship with her boyfriend.  Twelve years of loving each other and she chose Coming Out Day. Well done Shivani.

To me the most important day will be Spirit Day. October 20th, 2010 in memory of the kids who died as a result of bullying because they were gay or perceived to be gay. Wear purple.

October 10, 2010

More required reading.

Pride in Utah responds to the mormon church.

In the editorial, the Mormon church claims “compassionate ministry to LDS Church members who have same-gender attraction.” Compassionate? Is that the word you would use to describe a long past of repairative therapy that has a horrific history of electro-shock, vomit and aversion ‘corrections?’ Is that a word that describes the hundreds of youth thrown from their homes every year by families who all-too-clearly hear their message that youth can and must change their inborn sexual orientation? Is that a word that describes the heart-break, sorrow and misery of millions of citizens in California both member and non-member alike who woke one morning to find themselves stripped of their civil right to show commitment to those they love?

Most certainly not. Read the article right here.