Casper Pride Launches New Website to Better Inform LGBTQ Community
Launched on Jan. 26, the Casper Pride Guide was created in order to offer greater information for the LGBTQ+ community in Casper.
Mallory Pollock, chair of Casper Pride, said it was started as a resource for the LGBTQ+ community, and that they hope to expand it with more information in the future.
"We'd love to be able to build it out," Pollock said. "We found that there might be a need someday for lawyers that know issues that the Queer community needs to navigate. Right now we're focused on health care and mental health care providers. In that same vein, we do have that same social area in case someone wants to offer a workshop or they have a doctor who's in town who can see patients."
The Casper Pride community has grown over the years, with the first Casper Pride event in 2016 getting less than a hundred guests, to the most recent one in June 2021 having over 800.
The Casper Pride Guide website was created through a grant provided by the Casper-Natrona County Health Department in 2019, which they have also used to conduct focus groups on issues facing the LGBTQ+ community in Casper, as well as other campaigns against smoking, bullying, and alcoholism.
Pollock said there is an issue of many in the LGBTQ+ community not wanting to stay in places like Wyoming.
"Some people love it and do their best here, and some people really struggle," Pollock said. "We definitely saw it in our focus groups. We've got people that had heartbreaking stories of experiences here, and others that just thrive...A lot of people say they either leave Casper, or the state, to get the help that they need, or they go without, and that's really bringing down the greater population too...There are all these kids, just younger people, anyone that wants to get out and absolutely never wants to come back...They have their families that are here. We freaking love Casper, and I want to make it a place where everyone thrives and does their best."
When it comes to how the wider community in Casper and Wyoming perceive the LGBTQ+ community, Pollock said incidents like a transgender magician canceling a show in Campbell County after getting threats show the work that still needs to be done.
"I just know people already look at Wyoming with a Matthew Shepard focus, and I think that it just adds on," Pollock said. "I would love for them to look at Wyoming and see all this great stuff and all of the core support that we've created. Our own Wyoming people have created this. I would love for that to be the story instead of all these really crappy things."