Andrea Smardon

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World.  Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Boston.com.  Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ

Andrea Smardon

In this program, we’re going to take you into the far corners of Utah, and pull back the curtain on those who are confronting isolation in the LGBTQ community.

The series is made possible by the LGBTQ Community Endowment Fund, the USU Center for Women and Gender, and the USU Access & Diversity Center

Andrea Smardon

Our series LGBTQ: Off The Grid, explores the far corners of Utah where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people, and those questioning their sexuality are often isolated and unseen. In this story, a family turns a Mormon tradition on its head to create a gathering place for LGBTQ teenagers. 

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Our series "LGBTQ: Off The Grid," explores the far corners of Utah where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people, and those questioning their sexuality are often isolated and unseen. In this story, a solitary transgender person in Brigham City finds community in a coven of witches.

Andrea Smardon

Our series "LGBTQ Off The Grid" explores the far corners of Utah where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people, and those questioning their sexuality are often isolated and unseen. In this story, Moroni Benally struggles with a decision to leave the Navajo reservation.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Growing up in Utah, Ross Owen watched the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on television every Sunday with his family.

"It was almost like watching a rock concert, and I thought, 'Oh, I'd love to do that,' " he says.

But by the time Owen was old enough to join the choir, he was no longer a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; he had been excommunicated after he came out as gay.

Carter Andrushko is 5 years old, and he knows a few things already: He knows how to spell his name. He knows that Crusty, his hermit crab, has 10 legs. And he knows what he wants to do when he grows up: look for dinosaur bones.

According to the Utah Department of Workforce Services, however, Carter already has a job. In fact, according to that office, he's been working since before he was even born. That's what Carter's mother, Jennifer Andrushko, discovered when she applied for Medicaid in 2009 and found out that someone had been using Carter's Social Security number for years.