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'Met Gala of Utah' prepares for celebration of LGBTQ+ community, allies

Posted at 6:56 AM, Oct 11, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — An event that some deem the "Met Gala of Utah" is this weekend and will support the LGBTQ+ community and allies in the Beehive State with help from special guests.

The annual Equality Utah Allies Gala is coming up on Saturday and The Indigo Girls are expected to make a special appearance.

The theme of the gala is Western Americana Eleganza, with a description reading, "Pull out your rhinestones, adorn your hats, and bring all the fun. Walk the runway in your best vintage DIY to High Western Couture. Be creative!"

“People are calling the Equality Utah Allies Gala, the 'Met Gala of Utah,'" explained Troy Williams, Executive Director for Equality Utah. "It’s going to be a massive event, 2,000 people and it is a spectacle!”

The over-the-top event also has a specific purpose.

“It celebrates allies and LGBTQ community builders," Williams said. "It funds our work on Utah’s Capitol Hill so that we can ensure the laws in our state include and protect LGBTQ Utahns and our families.”

The Indigo Girls' song, "Closer to Fine," played a major role in Williams's life more than two decades ago, when he found the strength to come out as a gay man.

“If the Indigo Girls could share their lives with the world, I could share mine as well," he reflected.

Later, while working at KRCL radio, Williams was able to connect with Indigo Girls Amy Ray and Emily Sailers. From the beginning, both were out and proud as gay women.

Williams has remained close friends with the women ever since.

Now, their song "Closer to Fine" is a global sensation as it's heard in "The Barbie Movie."

Typically, The Indigo Girls don't do gala fundraisers but they're stepping in because of their close relationship with Williams.

“So now, come full circle, 20-some years later, and to actually work with them on the same stage at the Eccles theater is a phenomenal moment," he said.

Tickets are required for the Saturday event and still available for purchase. The event kicks off at 6 p.m. and includes food and drinks.