Finding community in Ogden

A Grounds for Coffee sign seen outside of the Harrison Blvd. shop.

In social sciences, there is a term called third space. Coined by sociologist Ray Oldenburg in 1989, third spaces refer to locations someone feels safe at and are often where they go to socialize. The first space usually refers to the home, while the second space is usually the workplace or academic space.

The need for third spaces is universal, yet those of marginalized communities such as the LGBTQ+ community can find improved benefits from these third spaces as the first or second spaces might not be as welcoming or affirming of their identity.

Ogden Pride, an organization that supports the LGBTQ+ community in Ogden, has put on some groups that can provide spaces for LGBTQ+ individuals.

STARS, or Synergetic Trans Activists, Resources & Support is a program put on by Ogden Pride in the hopes of giving trans, nonbinary and gender non-conforming individuals a space to gather and trade their experiences as well as socialize without the fear of their gender-queerness causing issues.

About every two weeks, STARS meets at Grounds for Coffee on 25th Street for an event called Brewing Identity. During these days, trans individuals can get together and discuss life over coffee in a safe and welcoming space.

The most recent event held by STARS was a 21+ karaoke night on June 1. SOAP, or Seniors Out And Proud is a program funded by Ogden Pride for LGBTQ+ senior citizens.

“Our Goal is to reduce social isolation and loneliness, improve the health and well-being of older adults and to empower them to lead meaningful and connected lives in which they are engaged and participating in the community,” Seniors Out And Proud of Utah said in their mission statement on their website.

Every Wednesday, they gather together to hang out with others in their community around the same age.

The ways they socialize vary from walking around Newgate Mall, meeting in Murray Park to play pickleball, playing poker and blackjack and meeting at one of the member’s houses for a happy hour dinner party.

Alternatively, there are options for youth, too. In their Facebook bio, Youth OUTreach defines themselves as “dedicated to building a safe, supportive and fun community for LGBTQ+ youth in Northern Utah.”

Youth OUTreach meets on the first and third Fridays of each month for various activities.

On July 5, they are meeting at Neptune Skate from 6-8 p.m. to skate and socialize with other members of the LGBTQ+ community. Other activities include visiting the Ott Planetarium and playing laser tag.

Additional information about any of these groups can be found on Ogden Pride’s website,