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Photo display about queer Utahns is gaining international recognition

Two white people stand together in a field. One has long dark hair and a backwards baseball cap, and the other has short dark hair and is shirtless, revealing top surgery scars and tattoos. They hold each other and look slightly off camera with serious expressions.
Fazilat Soukhakian

A photo display showing the struggles of being queer in Utah is gaining international recognition.

Fazilat Soukhakian, an Iranian photographer and professor at Utah State University, started the project “Queer in Utah” five years ago after moving to Utah from Iran. The pictures show the pain and bravery of LGBTQ Utahns who are often faced with discrimination and hatred, with new, unexpected meaning after recent heartbreaking events in Colorado Springs and Iran.

The ten photos are one of fifty finalists in an online program by Photolucida, a Portland-based arts nonprofit which attracts photographers and critics from all over the world.

“Queer in Utah” is currently on display only online, but a physical display at Utah State University is expected in the near future.

Duck is a general reporter and weekend announcer at UPR, and is studying broadcast journalism and disability studies at USU. They grew up in northern Colorado before moving to Logan in 2018, so the Rocky Mountain life is all they know. Free time is generally spent with their dog, Monty, listening to podcasts, reading or wishing they could be outside more.