[UPDATED] Utah Pride Festival B̶l̶o̶w̶s̶ ̶O̶f̶f̶ Responds to MormonBoyz

Posted April 19, 2016 6:59 AM by with 0 comments

“We would like to invite you to be part of the discussion to be considered for our 2017 event” ~Carol Gnade, Executive Director, Utah Pride Festival

As LeGrand of MormonBoyz pointed out to the Utah Pride Festival in his initial response (scroll down for the original post), porn companies have been major sponsors of gay pride for years. Part of the reason for that, in addition to giving back to the communities that we serve, is that we understand this is not an adult business convention or a sex show. This is gay pride and we conduct ourselves accordingly from wardrobe to swag. But at least this year, not in Utah.

In an email forwarded to The Sword, the Utah Pride Festival has responded back to MormonBoyz: “I hope that this will help us come to a good conclusion on this issue for 2016. I know that this is a very important matter to discuss, but we do need time and I think this will be a good compromise. Warm regards, Carol Gnade”

In other words, their idea of a “good compromise” is kicking the ball down the road until next year rather than have discussions take place in the next 46.5 days until this year’s festival. They plan on inviting other organizations including the Free Speech Coalition and the ACLU of Utah and the conversation will begin next fall. In other words, they will see them in September,but not on a float or in a booth this year.

LeGrand, who responds in a much more timely manner, has already shared his thoughts:

Carol, thank you for your letter. Frankly, however, this is not a useful. Once again we are being singled out exclusively by being asked to participate in this extended dialogue. Not only is the process you propose labored, but this will not allow us to participate this year. This is just another form of discrimination that no other participant–including other adult companies–is being subjected to. We are happy to discuss the specifics of our participation, like types of costumes, location of our booth, and other specifics of our participation…just like any other vendor or participant in the parade. We are happy to likewise be involved in a discussion this fall, but to be clear, that would be entirely independent.


Just like in life, there are all kinds of people in porn. LeGrand and Paul of MormonBoyz are two of the better examples. They, their site, and the Utah LGBT community deserve better then to be dismissed with a scarlet letter.

As always, we will continue to keep you abreast of any future developments. Watch this blog.

[Post Date: April 18, 2016]
“For too many years our communities have suffered from discrimination, criminalization, and hatred – all founded in moral, cultural, and religious prejudice.” ~Eric Paul Leue, Free Speech Coalition (FSC), Executive Director

As we originally reported last Monday (see originally post immediately below), The Sword spoke with LeGrand of MormonBoyz.com after their participation in the Utah Pride 2016 was rejected for “moral grounds.” That did not sit well with them, with us, nor with the Free Speech Coalition who addressed the matter directly to The Board of Directors of the Utah Pride Festival and Executive Director, Carol Gande:

Addressing Discrimination & Censorship at Utah Pride

Dear Ms Gande,

The Free Speech Coalition condemns your recent decision to exclude an adult business from your Pride festivities. For too long we, the LGBTQQI community, have fought against those who have shamed us for our sexuality. By censoring our sexuality on political grounds, you promote shame over pride and freedom of expression.

MormonBoyz.com is an active part of Utah’s diverse LGBTQQI community. As a lifelong HIV and LGBTQQI rights activist and advocate, I can vouch for the company and its owners in their outstanding commitment to sexual health, PrEP awareness, and community empowerment. From the sex workers at Stonewall, to the free speech battles waged by posing strap magazines, to money raised for HIV, the adult industry has been a critical ally in our movement for health and equal rights.

For too many years our communities have suffered from discrimination, criminalization, and hatred – all founded in moral, cultural, and religious prejudice. Only through the strength of unity have our communities not only survived, but thrived. It was through great sacrifices and the loss of almost an entire generation that we have found that unity.

We urge you to reconsider your decision to exclude MormonBoyz.com from your pride festivities in an effort to celebrate true diversity, free of prejudicial censorship.

With kind regards.

Eric Paul Leue
Executive Director

Eric Paul Leue

Eric Paul Leue

This is just the latest example of the proactive approach Eric Paul Leue has exhibited almost from the very day he was installed as the Executive Director of the FSC. Eric Paul Leue championed and won the fight on the Cal/Osha hearings. This is not his first, nor his last fight for our freedom of expression.

The Sword will keep you abreast as the MormonBoyz and their bid for inclusion in Utah Pride Festival continues to unfold.

Original Post: April 11, 2016
“We unanimously agreed that the specific type of business that you run is not something we feel comfortable having in the Utah Pride Parade or as a vendor at the festival.”

The number of visitors to Miami Beach Gay Pride yesterday exceeded the city’s population by 50% as the spirit of inclusion went from pop stars to porn stars and every walk of life in between. Not so in Utah. LeGrand & Paul, the creative force behind MormonBoyz.com shared the letter they just received forbidding their participation in the Utah Pride Festival this June.

Hello LeGrand,

We had a festival committee meeting last night and we discussed your business, MormonBoyz.com/MormonGirlz.com, being a vendor and/or parade entry at this year’s event. We unanimously agreed that the specific type of business that you run is not something we feel comfortable having in the Utah Pride Parade or as a vendor at the festival.

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news. We do have to be aware of the community that we live in and that we are a part of. We feel that your specific business does not represent a part of that community.

In other words, the Utah Pride Festival embraces all aspects of the gay community – except that icky sex part. “It’s called ‘Gay Pride’ not ‘Gay Shame,'” LeGrand shared with The Sword. “The LDS Church has fought against the LGBT Resource Center and gay rights every step of the way.” They still are. Only now, they’re using our own people to do it as well.

MormonBoyz.com may take some things lying down, but not this:

Dear Utah Pride Committee and Board Members of the Utah Pride Center,

I write to you with a heavy heart – and, I have to say, a good deal of anger. On April 7, 2016, several days after approving our application to participate in Utah Pride, we received a shocking email from the Pride Center Board not only revoking our approval to participate in Utah Pride but rejecting us a part of the LGBT community itself.

“We unanimously agreed that the specific type of business that you run is not something we feel comfortable having in the Utah Pride Parade or as a vendor at the festival. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news. We do have to be aware of the community that we live in and that we are a part of. We feel that your specific business does not represent a part of that community,” read the hurtful and dismissive email we received from the Utah Pride Center.

I beg to differ. My husband and I ARE a part of the Utah LGBT community. The Utah Pride Center claims to represent ALL elements of Utah’s LGBT community. Yet, with this action, you are acting as agents of the LDS church – enforcing a sex-negative, hypocritical and, frankly, homophobic view of what it is to be gay and Mormon.

Unfortunately, you are continuing a long tradition of oppressing the sex-positive and sexually expressive members of our community. The “Dykes on Bikes” were pushed to the back of the parade and told to be more “feminine.” Proud leather men were asked to less visible and pretend they were someone they are not. Drag queens and effeminate men were told to “straighten up” and not embarrass the white heteronormative men who have traditionally dominated our community’s leadership. Now the same is being done to us. This is nothing less than censorship and self-hatred.

My husband and I identify as Utah men born and raised in the Mormon faith. We ARE a part of the Utah Secular Mormon LGBT community – a strong, vibrant, sex-positive part of that community. We will not be shamed into hiding our sexuality to appease the more assimilationist elements of our community who kowtow to the sexually repressive and homophobic demands of the LDS church.

My husband and I are no longer practicing members of the LDS church – a church that officially condemns our marriage as immoral and our sexual identity as perverse – but we are gay Mormons and remain proud of who we are.

With our businesses, MormonBoyz.com, MormonGirlz.com and MormonsSecret.com, we embrace our gay Mormon identity and history. And we are not alone. We have thousands of customers who reside in Utah and other states with large Mormon populations – and hundreds of thousands of fans.

To say we are not part of the Utah LGBT community is ridiculous on its face.

Let us be clear, we are not asking Utah Pride to endorse our company. We are merely seeking to be one of the hundreds of vendors and community members who have a booth at the festival and/or a presence in the parade.

It is very common for porn companies and adult businesses to be represented at Pride parades in cities around the country — and rightly so! Affirming the sexual desires and behavior of LGBT people is a large part of what Pride has always been about. From the CockyBoys.com involvement in New York City’s Pride to Men.com in Atlanta to NextDoor Studios in Los Angeles to Falcon Studios in Chicago, and the examples go on and on. What could possibly be a better example of Salt Lake City’s gay pride than a gay-owned and operated business called MormonBoyz.com? Our community is mature enough to be exposed to cleancut Mormon missionaries representing a Mormon-themed adult business. They do not need a censor to protect them.

So is Salt Lake a big, diverse, inclusive city, or is it a backwards little town controlled by a local church?

Obviously, our participation would NOT mean the public would be confronted with videos of men having sex with men projected onto screens during the event. But just like the leather guys are able to participate without being nude or having public sex, we would, of course, have no problem abiding by the festival’s rules of civility. Our sexy Mormon missionary boys just want to dance, ride bicycles in the parade, and represent Mormonboyz to their fans.

We are a fun, sexy and satirical company that not only celebrates the inherent homoeroticism of the Mormon missionary experience, but also satirizes the hypocrisy and repression of the LDS church – perhaps the most powerful and aggressive opponent of LGBT equality in America today. Historically the various iterations of the Utah LGBT Center have done many great things for our community. But, shockingly, with this action you are siding with that oppressor, acting as their Uncle Tom, doing their bidding, enforcing their repressive, homophobic, and transphobic views of our community.

We can only hope that your revocation of our approved application and your dismissal of us as a part of the LGBT community was a momentary lapse of judgment. I am certain that a large majority of the LGBT community, both in Utah and across the globe, will be as outraged and saddened as we are by the actions of the Center’s Board of Directors. You are acting as an arm of the LDS church, not as a sex-positive, affirming agent of change fighting for our full acceptance in the face of the sex-negative, non-affirming homophobia emanating from that church.

We hope you will reconsider. We would love to play an active and positive role at Utah Pride, celebrating our gay sexuality, not sanitizing it or hiding it in shame.


LeGrand & Paul
Owners and Creative Directors

If you would like to add your voice, please email your thoughts to MikeParsons@UtahPrideCenter.org.

Gay porn allows gay sexuality to be celebrated when almost everything else seeks to demonize it.

We would still be gay men without gay porn.

Celibate gay men are still gay men.

Who we love is what defines us as gay.

But we would not be gay men if we can not experience gay sex as a celebration of our identity – ahem Utah Pride Festival.

So to really make their socks roll up and down, take a long, hard look at some MormonBoyz in action …

[Visit MormonBoyz.com]

This isn’t the local Chamber of Commerce that said “no,” it was state’s Pride Festival’s organizers. There’s only one reason a gay porn company would not be welcome at pride, shame. Utah Pride Festival – shame on you!

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply