2023 Silver State Equality Fall/Winter Newsletter

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FALL 2023

Fifth Annual Silver State Equality Awards Celebrate LGBTQ+ Champions

Welcome! Friends of Silver State Equality, The fall season for Silver State Equality has been a busy one, highlighted by our annual Silver State Equality Awards, a press conference to recognize Nevada State Legislators and members of Congress receiving perfect 100 scores on our organization’s Legislative and Federal Scorecards, and Las Vegas’ annual Pride Parade and Festival. Read on to learn more about our work to ensure full lived equality for all LGBTQ+ Nevadans! We’re also growing and expanding our reach! Jessica Munger, Program Manager, recently relocated from Las Vegas to Reno to ensure our consistent presence and expand our work in Northern Nevada. We’ve also welcomed Bri Schmidt to the team as a Program Associate, also located in Reno. Additionally, Yoshi Castro and Li Arnee joined the team in Las Vegas as Community Health Worker Program Associates alongside Mario Woolfolk, Community Health Worker Program Associate. Until the work is done, Andre Wade State Director, Silver State Equality

On September 14, Silver State Equality celebrated Nevada’s LGBTQ+ achievements at the organization’s fifth annual Silver State Equality Awards, honoring inspirational leaders whose selfless work continues to help advance the organization’s mission to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ+ Nevadans. Attended by more than 300 people, the 2023 Silver State Equality Awards were held at KAOS Nightclub at Palms Casino Resort, raising nearly $200,000 to help support and advance our work. Hosted by nationally renowned musician, Broadway star and Las Vegas performer, Kyle Martin (aka “The Piano Man”) who performs at Planet Hollywood’s V Theater, the event was headlined by Carson Kressley, actor, designer and television personality, best known for his roles in such productions as RuPaul’s Drag Race and the original iteration of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Kressley was honored with the organization’s 2023 Equality Visibility Award. This year’s honorees also included Nevada Assemblymember and founding Nevada Legislative LGBTQ Caucus member Sarah Peters, who received the 2023 Equality Leadership Award. Sy Bernabei, social justice warrior, TikTok star, and former executive director of Gender Justice Nevada, was honored with the Community Leadership Award. A special thanks to our event co-chairs the Hon. Tick Segerblom and Jared Rapier, and Host Committee members Nevada State Senator Dallas Harris (District 11); former Nevada State Senator David Parks; Reno City Vice Mayor/At-Large Councilmember Devon Reese; Nevada State Senator Melanie Scheible (District 9), former Nevada State Assemblyperson Nelson Araujo; Las Vegas Councilmember/ Mayor Pro Tem Brian Knudsen; Rachel Anderson; Elaina Bhattacharyya; Jason Chan; Ed Chansky; Dr. Lauren Chapple-Love; Dawn Christensen; Brittany DuPree; Erik Jimenez; Jonathan Lee; Ann McGinley; Mishon Montgomery; Alisa Nave-Worth; Gordon Prouty; Melissa Warren; and Mihanee Williams. An added thank you to the event’s Presenting Sponsors: MGM Resorts International, Southwest Airlines and Walmart; Platinum Sponsors: Caesars Entertainment, Alisa Nave Worth and Wynn Resorts; Gold Sponsors: Charter Communications, Vegas Golden Knights Foundation, Las Vegas Raiders, Gilead Sciences, PENN Entertainment and Carol Jeanette-Jorgensen.

Forty-One Members of the 2023 Nevada State Legislature Receive 100% on Silver State Equality Legislative Scorecard It’s an understatement to say that nationally, 2023 was a challenging year for the LGBTQ+ community and the diverse communities to which we belong. But here in Nevada, despite an increase in hateful anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric, we made great progress with the enduring support of LGBTQ+ members of the Nevada Legislature and other pro-equality allied members. Silver State Equality applauded the support and work of these 41 Nevada State Legislators at a special pre-Pride Parade press conference on Oct. 6 at Classic Jewel in Downtown Las Vegas. Our sincere gratitude to these champions and allies who received a 100 percent score on the Silver State Equality 2023 Legislative Scorecard and who were instrumental in passing five of our six legislative priority bills. While states across the nation pursued and passed policies attacking the transgender community, these lawmakers led the charge that resulted in the Nevada Legislature investing in the health and well-being of trans and gender-nonconforming people. Legislation to affirm Nevadan’s gender identities was championed, as well as that which would ensure non-discrimination relative to insurance coverage for gender-affirming care, implementation of a gender affirming care shield law, streamlining the processes that transgender people can use to change their names on marriage certificates, and ensuring protections for transgender incarcerated persons. Thank you to the following members of the 82nd Nevada Legislature and congratulations on achieving a perfect score! ∂

Nevada State Senators receiving perfect scores include Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro (Dist. 6); Skip Daly (Dist. 13); Fabian Donate (Dist. 10); Marilyn Dondero Loop (Dist. 8);- Edgar Flores (Dist. 2)’ Dallas Harris (Dist. 11); Roberta Lange (Dist. 7); Dina Neal (Dist. 4); Rochelle T. Nguyenn (Dist. 3); James Ohrenschall (Dist. 21); Julie Pazina (Dist. 12); Melanie Scheible (Dist. 9), and President Pro Temp Pat Spearman (Dist. 1)

Nevada State Assemblypersons receiving perfect scores include Natha Anderson (Dist. 30); Shea Backus (Dist. 37); Shannon Bilbray-Axelrod (Dist. 34); Tracy Brown-May (Dist. 42); Max Carter (Dist. 12); Lesley E. Cohen (Dist. 29); Venicia Considine (Dist. 18); Reuben D’Silva (Dist. 28); Bea Duran (Dist. 11);Cecelia González (Dist. 16); Michelle Gorelow (Dist. 35); Majority Floor Leader Sandra Jauregui (Dist. 41); Selena La Rue Hatch (Dist. 25); Elaine Marzola (Dist. 21); Brittney Miller (Dist. 5); Assistant Majority Floor Leader Cameron Miller (Dist. 7); Speaker Pro Tem Daniele Monroe-Moreno (Dist. 1); Erica Mosca (Dist. 14); Sabra Smith Newby (Dist. 10); Duy Nguyen (Dist. 8); David Orentlicher (Dist. 20); Assistant Majority Whip Sarah Peters (Dist. 24); Shondra Summers-Armstrong (Dist. 6); Angie Taylor (Dist. 27); Clara Thomas Dist. 17); Assistant Majority Whip Selena Torres (Dist. 3); Majority Whip Howard Watts (Dist. 15), and Speaker Steve Yeager (Dist. 9).

In addition, five of six members of Nevada’s federal delegation also had perfect voting scores on the organization’s Federal Scorecard, including Senator Jacky Rosen, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, U.S. Rep Susie Lee, U.S. Rep Dina Titus, and U.S. Rep. Steven Horsford.

Las Vegas Pride Parade & Festival The Las Vegas Pride Parade, now in its 24th year, is one of the country’s largest Pride events. Held on October 6 in Downtown Las Vegas, Silver State Equality staffers, friends, champions and supporters were thrilled to come together to walk in the parade, ensuring our visibility in this important community event. The Pride Festival, which took place the following day on October 7, was held at Craig Ranch Regional Park. We enjoyed the opportunity to connect with, educate, and provide information to the thousands who attended this capstone event.


Silver State Equality 2024 Priorities While Nevada is still considered one of the best places for LGBTQ+ people to live in the nation, there is still work to do to ensure full lived equality. In 2024, Silver State Equality, along with our partners and advocates, will continue to push back against any and all efforts that are blatantly homophobic and transphobic. Among the organization’s 2024 priorities are: ∂ Voter Education and Get Out the Vote Efforts ∂ Candidate Endorsement and Development ∂ LGBTQ+ Youth

∂ Public Health HIV and MPOX Education and Awareness ∂ State and Local Advocacy ∂ Fighting Against Hate

2024 Elections

LGBTQ+ Youth

From the U.S. Presidency to the local library and school boards, anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-civil rights candidates, are pursuing public office in 2024.

∂ Silver State Equality is committed to leading an aggressive program for the 2024 elections focused on electing more LGBTQ+ persons and community allies at the local, state and federal levels, including the President of the United States. It is clear that if an anti-LGBTQ+ president and Congressional majority were elected, the backsliding of hard-won, pro-equality battles would exponentially escalate, and civil rights agencies whose job it is to protect the rights of LGBTQ+ people would be rendered powerless. Prior to endorsing candidates, Silver State Equality evaluates their support and advocacy of issues and policies that ensure full lived equality for LGBTQ+ and other marginalized communities in Nevada. ∂ If Nevada is to remain a symbol of hope for civil rights, voter education, voter registration and voter participation is essential. Silver State Equality will continue its grassroots “Get Out the Vote” efforts to ensure that all Nevadans are informed. We encourage Nevadans to vote with a focus on LGBTQ+ and marginalized communities.

Nevada Headquarters Mailing Address: 4780 West Ann Road #5357 North Las Vegas, NV 89031 Phone: (702) 755-6288 email: andre@silverstateequality.org

With LGBTQ+ youth around the country under attack, we in Nevada must make sure that school boards are not pressured to put their most vulnerable students in harm’s way by appeasing the bigotry of a limited number of individuals whose intent it is to erase the existence of the LGBTQ+ community. Silver State Equality will continue its efforts to help create a culture of inclusion while countering bullying, harassment, social isolation and bigotry that dramatically increase risk factors for LGBTQ+ students. We will continue to expand the work of our Silver State Equality LGBTQ+ Student Advisory Council, working closely with school officials and policy makers to address the issues identified by our 2023 advisory committee members whose findings and survey results will soon be published.

You can stay informed and discover ways you can join the fight for LGBTQ+ civil rights and social justice by signing up for Silver State Equality updates.

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