There’s an app for almost everything these days, but a Utahn still managed to find a gap in the market that wasn’t being fulfilled.
Jordan Jackson came up with a web-based app called LGBTQ.UT, which is basically a resource guide for those in the community.
“When you come out, or if you’re a parent of an LGBTQ child, you don’t know where to go unless you know somebody or you sort of do a lot of exploration. There’s a lot of trial and error and it takes a lot of time to find the information,” said Jackson.
The app allows people to access things like therapy and counseling, groups and events, LGBTQ podcasts and books, queer housing, community projects, crisis resources, and a whole host of other resources.
“Instead of having one person have to go to 100 different places, those 100 places are now feeding into our application using automation, and then our end-users benefit because they’re getting those hundreds of resource updates directly in real-time,” said Jackson.
Someone who’s seeing the potential impact this app can provide is Dr. Lacey Bagley, the Owner and Clinical Director of Celebrate Therapy in Provo.
“It can be an absolute game-changer for someone because mental health-wise some of the greatest indicators of positive mental health are being in a community that accepts and affirms your identity,” said Bagley.
The mental health expert said she has noticed an increase in depression and loneliness among her patients, during the COVID-19 pandemic especially, and while she can help treat the depression in her clients she thinks the LGBTQ.UT app can help them feel less alone.
Dr. Bagley said, “If you can’t find that within your family or your extended family you can find it within your community, but a lot of people don’t know how to reach the community.”
The Clinical Director of Celebrate Therapy hopes this app can be used as a bridge for people to reach the LGBTQ community and find any support they may be lacking in their life.
Meanwhile, Jackson said he plans to expand the kinds of available resources on the app too.
Soon, he’ll be launching a feature called Shop Queer, a database of LGBTQ-owned businesses in Utah, with help from the LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce.
“With that, we’re also looking to launch basically a Queer Utah Etsy where local artisans can reach out and say I want to market on your platform and then we can build out a little shop for them,” said the Executive Director of LGBTQ.UT.
Dr. Bagley said she would like to see the app expand on the idea of forums with the option to arrange Zoom call meetups or an in-app chat of some kind.
If you’d like to learn more about the app, click here.