The second annual LoveLoud Festival succeeded in raising more than $1 million for LGBTQ advocacy groups, but a number of transgender attendees claim they received discriminatory treatment at the daylong event.
Bobbee Trans Mooremon told The Salt Lake Tribune that she was told to use a restroom that didn’t align with her gender identity at the Salt Lake City event on Saturday. Mooremon, who identifies as trans and was volunteering for the nonprofit QueerMeals, said she had been told that all of the facilities at the University of Utah’s Rice-Eccles Stadium would be LGBTQ inclusive.
“I felt very frustrated and very unsafe,” she said. “It was a big event for LGBTQ people, and this concert was supposed to be addressing things like that and making it better for us.”
Provo Pride’s Brianna Cluck echoed those sentiments. She told Fox 13 that organizers “assured us that all of the bathrooms were going to be gender inclusive” at the festival, which featured performances by Imagine Dragons and Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park and reportedly drew more than 30,000 people.
Instead, Cluck said, she was told upon arrival that only two restrooms at the stadium would be marked as inclusive.
On Sunday, Provo Pride officials said on Facebook that they were “disappointed” and “dismayed” by the issue.
“Because of this and other concerns, we took down our table early,” they wrote.
The Salt Lake Tribune’s report noted that QueerMeals and a number of other groups followed suit.
“A couple of organizations took it seriously and were not going to stand for transphobia in LGBTQ spaces, which was great,” Mooremon said. Her organization, QueerMeals, has announced it will not be accepting donations from LoveLoud this year.
By Monday, LoveLoud organizers responded to the allegations on Facebook, noting that they had a “zero-tolerance policy” toward anti-LGBTQ discrimination and would “continuously work” to improve the event.
The LoveLoud Festival was conceived last year by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds, partly in response to Utah’s rising teen suicide rate. The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter has been increasingly vocal about LGBTQ causes, documenting his efforts to reconcile his advocacy work with his Mormon faith in the 2018 HBO documentary “Believer.”
“We’re losing our LGBTQ youth to suicide, [and] depression and anxiety rates are skyrocketing,” he told HuffPost ahead of the 2018 festival. “Love is an empty word without full acceptance and without … telling your child or friend they are beautiful and unflawed in their sexuality. My hope is that everyone will walk away with changed perspectives.”