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UPR's 'LGBTQ: Off The Grid' On Wednesday's Access Utah

Utah Public Radio

A formerly homeless man tries to help young people in Southern Utah. A transgender person in Brigham City finds community in a coven of witches. A gay Navajo man finally decides to leave the reservation to escape the loneliness. And in a suburb of Salt Lake City, a family turns a Mormon tradition on its head to find fellowship. Those are descriptions of episodes from the UPR original series “LGBTQ: Off the Grid,” broadcasting through mid-March. The series explores the often unseen and unaddressed aspects of rural life for LGBTQ individuals and their families.  

Wednesday on Access Utah we’ll feature a panel discussion of related issues. We’ll also preview the upcoming Utah Public Radio LGBTQ: Off The Grid outreach event which is happening on Thursday at 5 p.m. in the Lundstrom Student Center on the Utah State University campus. The event will feature a panel discussion and a screening of the documentary film “Out Here,” which explores rural LGBTQ issues through the lens of a community of farmers.

You’ll have opportunity to respond to our Access Utah discussion by email to upraccess@gmail.com, on Twitter@upraccess, on our Utah Public Radio Facebook page, or by calling (during the program) 1.800.826.1495. Join us for Access Utah on Wednesday from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.

The series "LGBTQ: Off the Grid" is made possible by the LGBTQ Community Endowment Fund, the USU Center for Women and Gender, and the USU Access & Diversity Center and is produced in partnership with Changing Our Stories podcast.


Our Access Utah guests:

  • Gene Hiibner and Darren Wold are a married couple who are Cache Valley dairy farmers.

  • Brionne Neilson is a doctoral student working with Dr. Ann Austin, the director for the USU Center for Women and Gender.  Brionne currently teaches the Women and Leadership class at Utah State.  She is a native of northern Utah, originally from the small town of Bear River City; however, she has lived in Logan for the past 14 years.  She is an advocate for equality and social justice, and she welcomes this opportunity to expand the conversation regarding LGBTQ individuals, particularly in Utah.

  • Andrea Smardon is producer and host of Changing Our Stories podcast and producer and host of the UPR original series “LGBTQ: Off the Grid.”

Tom Williams worked as a part-time UPR announcer for a few years and joined Utah Public Radio full-time in 1996. He is a proud graduate of Uintah High School in Vernal and Utah State University (B. A. in Liberal Arts and Master of Business Administration.) He grew up in a family that regularly discussed everything from opera to religion to politics. He is interested in just about everything and loves to engage people in conversation, so you could say he has found the perfect job as host “Access Utah.” He and his wife Becky, live in Logan.