SALT LAKE CITY -- Equality Utah brought in a special guest speaker for its annual gala, comedian and commentator Chelsea Handler.
Handler’s mother is Mormon and her father is Jewish.
“Two worlds can collide and you can make things work in different areas, and it’s just about broadening everyone’s horizons,” Handler said. “It’s great to be able to grow up like that with something that’s like ‘Oh, I don’t believe in that but I respect people believe in something different.'"
Handler commended the Utah community for making progress on LGBTQ issues in a traditionally conservative state.
“You want to be involved," she said. "You have to be proactive. If you have kids and you’re not saying anything, then what kind of parent are you?”
Handler’s recent involvement in Utah included leading the women’s march in Park City in January. Back in Utah once again, she implored people to make the path toward progress a personal effort.
“Your time is now," she said. "You know, there are people that didn’t speak up many times in history, and what do you tell your children? You know, what do you tell your families?”
Handler also implored young people struggling with their own sexual identity to seek allies, whether the allies are at home or elsewhere.
“If you’re a young kid and you’re scared to come out to your parents – you know, I can’t speak to that," Handler said. "I’ve never experienced that struggle and I can’t even imagine how difficult that must be – but you have to find somebody to talk to whether it’s a teacher, whether it’s a pastor, there’s somebody."