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2014 YEAR-END WRAP UP
Las Vegas PRIDE Parade The Las Vegas PRIDE parade was held on September 5th during the weeklong Las Vegas PRIDE Celebration. The parade was a success with over 35 thousand people in attendance and over 110 different floats, decorated cars and marching units. Our wonderful hosts, Ryan Stuart, Greg Chase and Norma Llyaman, did a fantastic job entertaining the crowd. The parade could also be viewed from home
festival spectators. A mixture of retail vendors, sponsors, non-profit groups, food sellers and full-service bars lined the festival grounds. The weather was hot, but it did not stop people from enjoying the festivities, spending time with friends and family, and coming together in solidarity and acceptance. The crowds were entertained by musical acts and a diverse set of entertainment. Artists such as Kristine W, Mister Chase and Courtney Act delighted spectators. A special Latin flare was also added with performances by Sonora Mar thanks to an amazing partnership y Mar and Las Vegasâ€™ very own with Cox Communications and host Miss Las Vegas PRIDE 2014, Paloma Sean McAllister. Makary. A great day of shopping, tasty food, refreshing drinks and amazing Las Vegas PRIDE Festival entertainment, the Las Vegas PRIDE Festival was a celebration of pride, The Las Vegas PRIDE Festival opened love and diversity. its gates at 12:00 noon September 6th welcoming over 10 thousand
Photos by Barbara Maeker
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Photos by Barbara Maeker
Las Vegas PRIDE National Coming beautiful views of the Las Vegas Out Day Family Festival 2014 Strip. Alexis Park was a perfect venue to host this special event with lots October 11, 2014 was National Coming to drink, delicious food, numerous Out Day. This year marked a first for nonprofit groups, retail vendors and Las Vegas PRIDE when they hosted fabulous local entertainment. With their first Las Vegas PRIDE National the recent success in the courts to Coming Out Day Family Festival held allow same-sex marriage in the state at Alexis Park All-Suit Resort. The Las of Nevada, Las Vegas PRIDE had the Vegas PRIDE NCOD Family Festival honor and privilege to facilitate some welcomed over 800 attendees in of Nevada’s first same-sex weddings. a carnival-like atmosphere with Wedding officiate Greg Chase, with
the help of Ryan Stuart, married 7 couples. Emotions were high and tears of happiness were flowing as many witnessed the beautiful couples sharing their first moments of being legally wed. Las Vegas PRIDE Family BINGO Las Vegas PRIDE Family Bingo players continued to enjoy all the wacky monthly themes, crazy hosts, and all-around fun. With each theme, the costumes get better and better. A big thanks to The LGBT Center of Las Vegas for being a gracious host, the new LGBT Center was the perfect backdrop for our monthly bingo events. As much as we have loved hosting bingo at The Center, in February 2015 we will be moving to the Alexis Park All-Suite Resort. Alexis Park offers a spacious room with a full service bar and we will once again be able to welcome families of all ages. Bingo will continue with wild and crazy monthly themes as well as our very popular bingo shots when “O-69” is called. Remember to be careful when calling out “BINGO” because the “Chubby Bunny” punishment is here to stay. Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine | 5
active and longest-running headliner on the Strip. Frank has received two Las Vegas Walk of Fame stars as well as having a street named after him. Recently Frank receive the “Key to the City”, Frank told me the Mayor had all the locks changed the very next day.
By Ernie Yuen, Executive Director, Las Vegas PRIDE
Frank has played Rivers for more than 20 years at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in the long-running drag show An Evening at La Cage. In 2010, Marino moved his show and renamed it “Frank Marino’s DIVA’s Las Vegas”. Of course Frank’s amazing wardrobe found a new closet, many of Frank’s fashions have been designed by Bob Mackie, who has also done fashions for the Diva herself Joan Rivers.
AN INTIMATE INTERVIEW
Frank Marino dubbed “Ms. Las Vegas” for his longtime starring role as Joan Rivers in Frank Marino’s Divas Las Vegas, playing at the Linq formally
know as the Imperial Palace on the Las Vegas Strip. Frank is known for his lavish on-stage wardrobe and holds the record as the longest-
September 4, 2015 was a sad day for many of us, we all lost a great friend, actress, comedian, writer, producer, and television host, a gay icon- always made us laugh, Joan Rivers. I had a chance to sit a chat with Frank one on one and talk about his friendship with Joan Rivers Ernie: When did you first start impersonating Joan Rivers? Frank: It’s been over 30 years Ernie: Oh, ok . . . .since you were 9? (LOL) Ernie: When did you first meet the queen bee, Joan Rivers?
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Ernie: If you could tell Joan Rivers one thing today, what would you tell her? Frank: Girl, I guess heaven just got a lot more interesting. Ernie: Any last comments or remarks? Frank: I remember it over 30 years ago, it was back in Atlantic City, back stage. I got to meet Joan for the first time and that same evening I was introduced to Lou Paciocco from La Cage. That is the night I was hired to do La Cage and I met Joan Rivers and we have been friends since that day.
lavish, extravagant parties. I have made a guest appearance on everyone of Joan’s TV shows that she hosted- “The Joan River’s Show”, “Late Night with Joan Rivers”, “Gossip, Gossip, Gossip” and of course “Fashion Police”
Frank: I was truly an honor to call Joan a friend, whenever she was in town we got together, she was genuine and real. I was very honored to be invited to Joan’s funeral. With the amount of celebrities, dignitaries, politicians attending, it was an amazing experience.
Ernie: How was it performing for Joan when you knew she was in your Ernie: I need to say congratulations; Ernie: So tell me, Joan sued you once audience watching you? you just signed up for another 3 years didn’t she? with Caesar’s Entertainment, how Frank: I never wanted to make a exciting. Frank: Yes it was in 1986 for 5 million, mistake, it was nerve racking, I was needless to say we settled out of always a mess backstage, but as Frank: Yes, I will be the reining Queen court. always once I got on stage I did fine, on the Las Vegas Strip for 3 more she would meet me back stage after years. I can’t wait to see what will Ernie: What is one thing you want to the show to take photos and catch up, happen next. share about you and your friendship it was wonderful. with Joan and her family? You can see Frank Marino, the star Ernie: What is your favorite quote of DIVA’s Las Vegas, Saturday thru Frank: Through out the years I got from Joan? Thursday at 9:30pm at the Quad to meet all of Joan’s family and close Casino and Hotel. For tickets call 702friends. We built a great friendship/ Frank: “Can We Talk?” of course- I 794-3261. Visit Frank Marino online relationship. I was invited to birthday made a big flashy sign, it is part of my at: www.frankmarino.com. Also, find celebrations, weddings, and many act in the show. Frank on Facebook: Frank Marino.
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New Year’s Eve Celebrations
Las Vegas PRIDE 2014 Year-End Wrap Up
Frank Marino: An Intimate Interview
12 NYE 2015 at Piranha Nightclub 18 Evolve Vegas NYE 30 Mardi Gras Masquerade at Share Nightclub
29 identi-T: Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Programs 34 Spotlight on Las Vegas Prime Timers 37 LGBT Timeline of History by Sedona/Verde Valley PRIDE
35 New Year’s Eve at Liason
10 Celebrating 10 Years of PRIDE Family Bingo
13 2015 PRIDE Family Bingo Schedule
10 Las Vegas PRIDE Family Bingo
14 Brendan: Defined
54 Southern Nevada Bisexuals
13 2015 Bingo Schedule
15 A Mother’s Perspective
56 Feeling Nuts
17 Orgullo Latino
16 Call for Submissions
26 The Center: Programs and Services
18 Evolve Las Vegas’ Evolution
58 Love is Love: 2015 Las Vegas PRIDE Wedding Expo
36 International Bear Convergence 44 Northwest Community Church Service Schedule
21 Q&A with Raven and Jujubee
46 Ring ‘n’ Together 53 Sin City Shootout
64 Notes from an Agnostic Jesus Follower
23 All I Want for Christmas is 2015 24 10 Questions with Center CEO Michael Dimengo
52 Sin City Sports Festival 59 Las Vegas PRIDE Wedding Expo
26 The Center: Programs and Services PUBLISHER EDITOR
LAYOUT & DESIGN ADVERTISING
Southern Nevada Association of PRIDE, Inc. Ernie Yuen Jake Naylor Ernie Yuen, Lyndon R. Marquez & Clair Koetitz
Barbara Maeker, Marc Garcia & Cashman Photo
ON THE COVER
John Benedict, Paul Cieslewicz, Bruce Ewing, Brendan Jordan, Tracy Jordan, Renea and Leon Lunco, Frank Marino, Myss Miranda, Mya Reyes & Kevin Smith
Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Southern Nevada Association of PRIDE, Inc. (SNAPI). No part of this publication, including stories, artwork, advertising or photos, may be reproduced without written permission from SNAPI. For information regarding the Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine or to advertise in future issues, contact SNAPI at 4001 S. Decatur Blvd. #37-540, Las Vegas, NV 89103-5800, (866) 9303336 or email email@example.com. For information regarding Las Vegas PRIDE events, visit www. lasvegaspride.org. The appearance of any person, business or organization in this publication, by name, advertisement or photograph, is not an indication of sexual orientation. SNAPI is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate based on race, sex, color, religion, creed, national origin, disability or sexual orientation.
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plans to ring in the New Year with Evolve!
BY ERNIE “PINEAPPLE” YUEN Aloha! Welcome to the very first issue of Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine. After publishing our Guide to Las Vegas PRIDE in August, we received numerous requests to produce a community magazine. After careful consideration and budgeting, the board approved publishing a bimonthly nonprofit magazine. This publication is dedicated to the Las Vegas LGBT 501c3 nonprofit community. We hope that the local LGBT nonprofits will use this magazine as a vessel to share information about their organization and promote upcoming events. Nonprofits are invited to utilize this opportunity free of charge as long as they are able to produce the artwork and/or supply their articles. On the cover we have the Las Vegas strip’s grand DIVA, Frank Marino. He and I did an interview about Joan Rivers, thank you Frank for sharing your memories with us. We are so happy you and the DIVA’s are involved with Las Vegas PRIDE and the LGBT community. This year, Las Vegas PRIDE is celebrating the 10th year anniversary of PRIDE Family Bingo; what an amazing journey it has been. There are some exciting things happening in 2015 with a new venue and new hosts; it’s going to be a lot of fun. As
is tradition bingo has gone dark for the holidays (skipping the month of January) but will return on February 4th at our new location, Alexis Park. I also had the pleasure meeting Brendan Jordan and his family; gosh let me tell you how full of energy he is, and just as funny in person as on the internet. He is also very blessed to have an amazing family that can support him through his journey. You will be seeing a lot of Brendon in the future as it is his dream to work closely with the LGBT youth in our community. This is the time of the year for celebrations with holidays and the new year upon us. Being with family and friends, social gatherings, parties and get together’s is what the season is all about. I hope you have all made
PRIDE is also excited to be working with fellow PRIDE Organizations such as Phoenix, San Diego and Long Beach. I would like to thank Sedona/ Verde Valley PRIDE for sharing their timeline with us for this issue. There are some interesting facts about LGBT history. We would like to welcome Kevin Smith as our fashion editor. He did an amazing job coordinating this month’s fashion spread. Our focus is to use local talent and businesses to complete his fashion photo spread in each issue. We also wanted all of our models to be everyday people from our community with a focus on diversity. We think that Kevin did a great job! With marriage now legal here in Nevada, Las Vegas PRIDE is excited to host the Las Vegas PRIDE Love is Love LGBT Wedding Expo in 2015. The event will take place on Sunday, February 8, 2015 at Emerald at Queensridge from noon to 5:00pm. The venue is fabulous and was built to host weddings. The event is free of charge, however we do invite you to preregister to be added to the guest list. On behalf of the Southern Nevada Association of PRIDE, Inc. we would like to send you season’s greetings and wish you a very happy New Year. We hope that you will be able to enjoy the holidays with family and friends, be safe and please remember, don’t drink and drive. In PRIDE, Ernie “Pineapple” Yuen Executive Director Southern Nevada Association of PRIDE, Inc. Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine | 9
CELEBRATING 10 YEARS OF PRIDE FAMILY BINGO Las Vegas PRIDE Family Bingo has been a part of Las Vegas LGBT Community since 2004. It all started at Hamburger Mary’s where we filled up the entire restaurant and bar on the second Tuesday of every month and raised lots of money for the community. Back then it was called Drag Queen Bingo. Local Drag Queens and PRIDE Royalty would host bingo and keep everyone laughing; it was a very campy event. Bingo became a great fundraiser and all of the money raised went to the general fund for producing the Las Vegas PRIDE Festival. Another unique twist to our bingo was our 0-69 shots. When the number O-69 was called, everyone playing Bingo got a shot. The Bingo host would make a toast, and everyone would cheer. This all started at Hamburger Mary’s and continues on through today. Sadly Hamburger Mary’s closed and PRIDE lost our home for Bingo. It was three wonderful years of bingo fun with lot’s of fun times and great memories. When Bingo ended at Mary’s, we all knew that it would return one day. In March of 2012 Las Vegas PRIDE Bingo was back and this time our new home was on the strip. Circus Circus Hotel and Casino had welcomed the Las Vegas LGBT community to their grand ballroom for Bingo fun on the first Wednesday of every month. Everyone has happy to see this very popular event back. To welcome 10 | Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine
Photos by Barbara Maeker
the return of Bingo, the event was theme and ready to play. A new renamed “Las Vegas PRIDE Family addition to Bingo, SNAPI hour is held from 6pm to 7pm before every Bingo Bingo” with great drink and food specials. Slowly but surely word got out about the return of bingo and more Bingo begins at 7pm with a Bingo and more people started attending; Oath encouraging all to have fun, costumed according to the monthly spread the love and raise money for
our community. With the return of Bingo, another tradition was born called Chubby Bunny. Those who miscall “Bingo” get to stand in front of everyone and have their mouth stuffed with Cotton Candy and then say “Chubby Bunny.” In May of 2014 Las Vegas PRIDE Family Bingo moved to The LGBT Center. With the move, Las Vegas PRIDE Family Bingo remained scheduled on the first Wednesday of each month. PRIDE also teamed up with The Bronze Cafe to offer delicious Bingo food specials and coffee specialties. The only thing that changed was that the Chubby Bunny tradition now used marshmallows instead of cotton candy. On February 4, 2015, Las Vegas PRIDE Family Bingo will be moving closer to the Las Vegas strip. The new home for the monthly Bingo events will be the Alexis Park All-Suite Resort. We are looking forward to being back near the Las Vegas Strip and Alexis Park is very excited to be hosting our monthly bingo on the first Wednesday of every month. Other than the location, nothing else will change. We will continue to hold SNAPI happy hour from 6pm to 7pm with great drink specials. There is a restaurant right next to the Bingo room for those that wish to dine before Bingo and Alexis Park will also offer tableside food service with food specials. Bingo packets are $10.00 and raffle tickets are 10 for $5.00. Bingo starts at 7:00pm sharp. There is ample free parking with easy access to the Bingo room right off the hotel main lobby. For more information about Las Vegas PRIDE Family Bingo, please visit www.LasVegasPRIDE.org.
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Photos by Barbara Maeker
By Brendan Jordan
Many adolescents around that awkward development stage seem to come up with a problem. This problem is one every human experiences; it is about finding oneself, and discovering who you really are. Now of course it is not expected that a young person around their teenaged ages fully discovers themselves, but most discover that they are different from the others. Of course everyone is different, but they realize that they have an attraction towards the same gender. There is absolutely nothing wrong with liking the same gender. We are all humans, and like/dislike many different things. Hello, my name is Brendan Jordan. You might recognize my name from somewhere. I am, what everyone refers to me as, the “Diva Boy” or the “Vogue Kid,” who was dancing behind a news reporter on the local television news. Right after I “stole the spotlight,” my video went viral, and was recognized worldwide. My life changed overnight completely. To those of you who do not know, or cannot tell the obvious, I am an open and proud homosexual at the young age of fifteen. Before I proceed with this article, I would like to tell a little bit about how I let everyone know who I really was. My family has always known I was different from most of the kids. I was always a little more fabulous than the other boys in my early years of schooling. As I got older it started to get a little harder with being 14 | Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine
“different.” Around third grade when I started to hang out with girls. I found as if it was easier to talk to that crowd, and I could relate to them a lot easier. This is when the teasing began. People would call me a girl, and make fun of me because my voice was a bit higher pitched than the others. They would laugh, and always used the word “gay” as an insult. It would make me feel different, and like I was weird. I didn’t show any emotion to all of this, and continued to hang out with the girl crowd. They didn’t care how I acted, and even found entertainment in my actions. I have always been flamboyant even before I knew I was different. This is how I was born, and I am very proud of myself no matter what. Around middle school is when it got even tougher. I felt as if I was forced to hang out with all of the boys, or others would tear me down. I started to be over the boy and the girl crowds. I would hang out with both genders, just so people wouldn’t suspect anything. Of course it is absolutely wrong to define a person just because of the people they were around, but my peers did anyways. At the end of seventh grade, I finally learned whom I was defined as, and didn’t like it at all. I want to be known as Brendan, and not put under a category. March of this year is when I told everyone who I was. Luckily, I had an amazing experience. All of my family accepted me for who I was. I was very blessed. To this day, I am still proud of myself no matter what, and will fight for what I believe in. I’m not flamboyant or outgoing just because I am gay, like it or not, this is how I was born and I am proud. Now this is what I would like to tell anyone who are struggling with the problem of discovering themselves.
First of all, being homosexual does not define who you are. You are first a human, and you have your own unique things about yourself. Second, you don’t need to worry about finding out that you are throughout your growing age, and you don’t have to “come out” to people if you don’t want to. It doesn’t matter who you are, or who you are defined as, you can be anything you want to be and do anything you want to do in your life. But, in order to do that you must be comfortable with who you are, and be proud of yourself no matter what. So remember, everyone, that you all are amazing people, and each one of you has your own path ahead of you. Reject anyone who treats you differently just because of what you like.
Mother’s PERSPECTIVE By Tracy Jordan
“He says he’s confused,” my sister told me earlier this year. She took Brendan out to dinner one night and they discussed many things. She asked him finally if he is interested in anyone. I will be honest and say my first reaction was torn. The news did not shock me, but hearing it, hearing those words… he’s confused… did something to me I didn’t expect. I wasn’t upset, I was worried. Worried because this world is cruel. Worried because people have been teased, tortured, and even killed. I’m a worrier by nature, but this feeling comes with being a parent anyway. My son is no longer saying he’s confused. His father and I took him for lunch one day and he told us he’s gay. I was already prepared for this moment. Not because of what my sister told me, but because I’m the mother of this child. At an early age, he did not do things the way society assumes male children do. I had no experience as a mother because Brendan is my first child. I have no brothers either, so all I had to go on were society’s assumptions. My child does not like to play sports. His natural movements are quite feminine. He played with a toy vacuum and a toy washing machine and iron. He sat on Santa’s lap one year in pre-school and asked for a toy dishwasher. This is where I add a disclaimer…I’m not saying that if a boy doesn’t like to play sports, he’s gay. I’m not saying if a boy likes to clean, he’s gay… This is how my child is; he’s unique, artsy, and can have a conversation more
articulate than some adults can with other adults. I remember one time when his current obsession was with watching “The Wizard of Oz” over and over. I talked to my sister on the phone and I admit, I laughed and said, oh that’s a sign. Then, we both said if he’s gay it doesn’t matter. I love my son because of the person he is. He’s kind, loving, responsible, smart, and yes, gay. I love him for many more reasons but I don’t need any reason really. I gave birth to him and nothing in the world will change how I feel about Brendan.
I hear many stories about parents not accepting their child because he/ she has come out to them. To those parents, I say you have been given a child to love and support. Your child needs you always and now, more than ever. As parents, we don’t always have to like what our child does, says, or wears. We love them anyway and this is no exception. What a child wears or says is a choice. Being gay is not. I am adamant that my son did not choose to be gay. He was born with reddishbrown hair, brown eyes, ten fingers, ten toes, and gay. I have learned many things from my children. The most important thing from Brendan is that you need to be yourself no matter what. Self acceptance is the key. Sometimes I watch him and shake my head, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
From Left: Tracy Jordan, Hailey Jordan and Christopher W. Jordan
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of the original The Woman in Black novel, Susan Hill. If it can continue the old school haunted house chills that the first one provided, count me in.
ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS 2015 By Paul Cieslewicz
As 2014 comes to a close, the year in movies, in my opinion, has been oddly underwhelming. For every outof-left-field-awesome movie like Guardians of the Galaxy or The LEGO movie, there were plenty of should’vebeen-better or mind-numbingly-bad films like Tammy or Transformers: Age of Extinction. There were plenty of good movies, but not a lot of great ones. With December comes the onslaught of Oscar bait and family holiday films. There’s spectacle (The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies), hysterical (The Interview), biographical (Unbroken) and even musical (Annie vs. Into the Woods…I’m giving the victory to Into the Woods, along with another Oscar nomination for Meryl Streep). Now bring on 2015! The anticipation for the slate of potential blockbusters that populate the schedule next year could not be higher. Of course, the two biggest juggernauts of the year will easily be Avengers: Age of Ultron in May, and the Christmas gift we geeks have waited years for in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But what about the rest of the year? As has become custom for Hollywood, there are plenty of reboots, remakes, sequels and superheroes lined up to grab our attention (and money) at the box office. Here are just a few coming films that have piqued my interest. Starting the year it’s become customary for a horror film to lead things off. Usually it’s easily forgettable. How many remember Texas Chainsaw 3D or Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones? That’s what I thought. This year gives us The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death, the follow up to one of my favorite horror films in recent years. Going in its favor is that it’s based on an idea from the author
Nothing screams (no pun intended) Valentine’s Day like a masochistic sexual affair, and Fifty Shades of Grey seems poised to fulfill all those lustful lady’s (and men’s) desires that read the book. I myself have not touched the book for fear of catching something, but I’ll give the movie a shot. If nothing else it’ll provide massive amounts of eye candy in Jamie Dornan playing the part of Christian Grey. Two movies that couldn’t be more different come out on the same weekend in May, Mad Max: Fury Road and Pitch Perfect 2, and I can’t wait to see them both. Tom Hardy takes on the role of the post-apocalyptic hero in Mad Max: Fury Road, a reboot from the director of the original trilogy, George Miller. Expect massive amounts of vehicular mayhem, and an almost unrecognizable Charlize Theron. Then you can theater hop (make sure you pay admission. I do not condone actual theater hopping) over to see the Barden Bellas in all their a cappella glory go for international fame in Pitch Perfect 2. As feel good and repeat-viewing worthy as the first one was, I’m expecting great things for the second, especially after seeing the hilarious first trailer. Probably one of the most interesting films set for release next year is a horror comedy entitled Kitchen Sink starring Vanessa Hudgens. The film tells the tale of humans, vampires and zombies banding together against an alien invasion. Don’t dismiss this as an instant “direct-to-DVD” candidate, though. It’s interesting to note that this was one of the top scripts on The Black List in 2010, which is comprised of the best scripts that were not yet picked up for production at the time. Even with the inclusion of High School Musical alumni Hudgens, I’m very curious as to how this will turn out. Those are just a small handful of the films coming out in 2015. Grab your popcorn and hunker down. It’s going to be a long wait until Star Wars. In the meantime, though, there’re plenty of other movies to keep you distracted. Paul has lived in Las Vegas for over 11 years. Originally from Wisconsin, he earned a BA in Theatre from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point in 2000. He has been a lover of film since his early youth, and still holds a grudge against his parents for not allowing him to watch the Star Wars films (don’t ask). His first published review was for the film, Nightbreed, in his high school newspaper in 1990.
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WITH CENTER CEO MICHAEL DIMENGO
The day The Center’s new Chief Executive Officer Michael Dimengo settled into his office for the first time will be one he’ll never forget, as the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the same-sex marriage ban in Nevada and the community gathered to celebrate. Prior to entering this new role serving Southern Nevada’s LGBTQ community, the Ohio native’s long career has included time as a Catholic priest and more than 37 years in the nonprofit sector. How did a former Catholic priest become CEO of The Center? Hmm. Now that’s an interesting question. I’ve been reflecting a lot on that because, by all outward appearances, it would seem that this is the intersection of two incongruous worlds. But there is an inward connection. What motivated me in my youth to go to the seminary was a strong passion for social justice and human rights. As a youth my parish involved me in the civil rights movement as a young activist. In my youth group I learned leadership skills. Then, much later as a young adult, I was involved in the peace / anti-war movement. I identified myself then as a pacifist. 24 | Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine
It was the desire to make a better world that motivated me to join the ministry. Still later in the seminary I became involved in urban ministry. I trained as a community organizer to address injustices at the street and neighborhood level. I loved it. Later in my life the involvement in church ministry collided with my gay identity. It was a sore internal conflict for me. It was a daily experience of alienation. After 20+ years of that conflict I opted to leave the active ministry, pursue a relationship with a man with whom I fell in love, and came out. In that re-invention of life I have been serving nonprofit organizations all over the country with a great deal of passion. As a re-invented gay, partnered, by then seasoned nonprofit professional, that’s how I landed on the doorsteps of The Center.
passionate, and involved. I have known the LGBTQ community to be a champion for human rights. What I have learned specifically about The Center’s community is that I now see that in daily action. I see that in the passion of our staff who I’m trying to slow down before they burn out. I see that in the deep concern of our Board members. I see that in the desire and aspirations of our youth. I see this energy to push limits in our trans community. I see this fierce advocacy for human rights in the likes of our volunteers, political activists who espouse our community’s values. I see it all. While I knew all of that existed from my being observant and informed about LGBTQ life, culture, and advocacy in a theoretical way, I now see it in the flesh—in the actions and lives of great human beings who are part of The Center’s community.
What are your strengths? Since assuming this leadership role, what have you learned about our Without a doubt, it’s been observed community that you may not have that my greatest strength is loyalty. known or realized before? I’m fiercely loyal and rarely give up on things. I’ve been told that I’m I know it sounds odd but I have often the “last man standing” when it learned everything and I have learned comes to a project, a commitment or nothing new. By that I mean that a cause. I have always known our LGBTQ community to be wildly creative,
What are your weaknesses?
Nevada’s ban on same-sex marriage was struck down on the day you One of my greatest weaknesses where began your role as CEO of The I have to hold myself in check quite Center. Has this victory affected you often is the tendency to get over- on a personal level? involved. I often have the tendency to say “yes” to lots of requests. In a role Absolutely! It has affected me on such as the CEO of The Center I have a several fronts. First and foremost, lot of resources at my disposal. I have that day will be an indelible memory to hold that in check almost on a daily for the rest of my life. My first full day basis. We have finite resources until at The Center was interrupted by a more can be developed. We have bigger victory—and an extraordinary to steward those resources wisely demonstration of victory, freedom, and put them to best use. I have a tears, joy—demonstrable love. tendency to get over-involved. My partner and I were talking about The Center has served the southern going to California or Hawaii to get Nevada LGBTQ community for 21 married because it was allowed. years. What is your vision for the We’ve only been residents in Las Vegas future of The Center and its impact for over a year. We were wondering on the community? when marriage equality would come to Nevada and were quietly vigilant. In social and cultural studies, a Now that same-sex marriage is the generation is defined as an 18 year law, we’re looking at making plans. span. What is readily apparent to me is that The Center is now It has also affected me because I’m inter-generational. What was my concerned about our community as generation’s experience in the LGBTQ a whole. Marriage equality united movement is not the experience of us in many ways. Now that marriage our young people. Stonewall is a fact equality is the law, what’s next? of history in our youth’s textbooks. What’s the next frontier that we need Their world and their experience is to pursue as a community? I worry vastly different. that we will become complacent, that our community may become more In talking to a therapist recently, widely assimilated into the culture. he told me of how the majority of There’s a loss of identity there when his former counseling work was all that happens. What happens to around assisting individuals with their the richness and diversity of our story of coming out. He observed community as we become more how his patient population has widely accepted in the culture? Mind dramatically changed as LGBTQ youth you, we have a long way to go. But are coming out at a much younger I get worried that we may become age. Their issues and their world is complacent and lose a unity of much different from ours. purpose.
In my spare time I end up catching up with errands that have to be addressed in our home. Douglas and I enjoy theater—a lot. We both have a heart of compassion for animals. We are both geeks in a lot of ways. A common pastime is that we’ll both be working on laptops or tablets while sitting in front of the TV watching Netflix. It’s a way of relaxing and being present to one another. Our home life is pretty subdued and private. One would hardly describe it as “over the top.” What is one interesting morsel of information most people may not know about you? Most people wouldn’t know this except for my inner circle of friends: I love to cook! Although I’ve never had formal training I’d love to make the time for formal training. I love to make these difficult and challenging dishes—gourmet dishes—and entertain people. I keep saying that someday when I have time, I’d love to get some formal training at cooking. Maybe I need to hang out with Peter at Bronze Café for a while! In one word, how would your partner, Doug, describe you? Amazing. I’m not always quite sure what he sees in me. But, he sees me as an amazing manager and leader of people. In one word, how would you describe yourself?
Caring. I’m fortunate that I have this role as CEO at The Center. It completes My vision is to bridge those worlds. When not at work, how do you enjoy me because I can now show caring Just as well, as our community is in a spending your spare time? and concern to a broader community. transition in the wider culture, I have a bold vision to build bridges with Well, I’ve been in this job less than the allied and straight communities. two months and I would have to say We have a lot to inform the greater that I haven’t had a lot of spare time. Las Vegas community. We have a I’ve used a lot of evening time and lot of lives that we can influence in weekend time devoted to catching up promoting a community of acceptance on all the things I couldn’t address at and collaboration to address the my desk during the day. That’s all right larger needs of our community. in the time being as this transition has been so dramatic. Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine | 25
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LAS VEGAS PRIME TIMERS www.LasVegasPrimeTimers.com
Prime Timers Las Vegas is happy to share that they will be hosting the Prime Timers Worldwide Convention October 11-14th, 2015 at the Luxor Hotel and Casino. The Las Vegas Prime Timers bid for and were awarded the opportunity to host this convention during the Worldwide Prime Timers Conference in Columbus Ohio in October of 2013. As part of giving back to the community, the Las Vegas Prime Timers host fundraising events benefiting The Center and Las Vegas PRIDE. For more information about the Las Vegas Prime Timers or the 2015 Worldwide Prime Timers convention, please visit: www. lasvegasprimetimers.com.
Prime Timers is a nonprofit social organization for gay or bisexual men. Members are men who choose to have their social lives enriched with diverse activities. The original Prime Timers group was formed in Boston, back in 1978. Today, there are currently 82 chapters in the USA and additional chapters in Israel, Australia, Denmark, Canada and England. Prime Timers has over 6,000 members worldwide. The Las Vegas Pride Timers chapter was formed back in 1996 and currently has over 200 members. Their mission 34 | Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine
Membership is open for anyone over 21 and dues are only $20.00 a year. All gay and bisexual men are welcome. statement â€œTo provide gay and bi- You do not have to be a member to sexual men a world of opportunities attend any of their planned events. for engaging activities, diverse and welcoming friendships, support and The Prime Timers are excited for the personal growth.â€? many changes coming in 2015 and invite you to come and see what Las The organization recently elected a Vegas Prime Timers is all about. new board of directors comprising of Gary Payne, President; Dan Banul, Vice President; Ray Plummer, Secretary; and Curt Woller, Treasurer. Prime Timers is a social group that engages in events like bowling, bingo, movies and dinner nights. They also plan weekend trips to places like Laughlin and Cedar Rapids, Utah.
SIN CITY SHOOTOUT Las Vegas get ready for the largest annual LGBT sports event in the world, the 8th Annual Sin City Shootout. This 4-day sports festival brings over 7,500 LGBT athletes from across North America to compete in 18 different sports at venues across the Las Vegas valley. Sports include Softball, Basketball, Wrestling, Body building, Ice Hockey, Soccer, Dodge ball, Golf, Ultimate Frisbee, Bridge, Kickball, Football, Rock Climbing, Bowling, Volleyball and Tennis competitions. According to Tournament Director Eric Ryan, “All events are planned with the athlete’s point of view. Event planners take into consideration that all athletes are traveling to Las Vegas to compete against the best of the best and to go along with that, make sure we provide the best sporting venues Las Vegas has to offer. Careful logistic plans are made as well as the best central located host hotels are chosen and night clubs selected to let loose in.” Every night there are official host parties to give the athletes a meeting place off the field. The official host hotel for 2015 is the new Tropicana Las Vegas with over 1,200 rooms per night booked. This event is open to the public and they are encouraged to attend the competitions as well as enjoy the nightly venues crowded with 1,000’s of LGBT athletes. Since 2007 the event has morphed into a true LGBT winter sports festival. The event continues to grow each year with more sports being added, continuing to call Las Vegas its home. Please come out and support all these amazing athletes during Sin City Shootout. More information can be found at www.sincityshootout.com Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine | 53
SOUTHERN NEVADA BISEXUALS BY JOHN AND LAURA BENEDICT
Current estimates are that about 10% of American adults identify under the LGBTQIA umbrella. A 2013 Pew Research Center survey report indicates that 40% of those identify as bisexual. Judging by these statistics, the bisexual community is by far the largest group identifying as LGBTQIA. Yet, statistics show that the bisexual community is the most under-represented group within this community. It is for this reason that John and Laura Benedict decided to establish the Southern Nevada Bisexuals support group, which provides a forum for bisexuals and their allies to get together and discuss issues important to them. The Southern Nevada Bisexuals meet the second Monday of every month at The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada (The Center) at 7 p.m. Meeting and activity notices are posted regularly on their Meetup page: http://www.meetup.com/SouthernNevada-Bisexuals/ as well as at http://on.fb.me/1FKAUXP 54 | Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine
Everyone is welcome to join the group, suggest topics of conversation for upcoming meetings, or activities. Some of our past activities have included hiking, bowling, motorcycle rides, and dinners. John and Laura created this group in order to provide a safe space for conversation about important issues, not a hook-up group. They are both academic researchers, involved in such issues as polyamory, intersex issues, gender studies, and others. They have been active in the LGBTQIA community for several years, both in Nevada and in Arizona. They have an open-door policy, inviting members or other interested parties to contact them concerning any issues they wish to discuss privately. All conversations are confidential, and will not be discussed with others unless you say otherwise. Please come and join us for our next meeting and activity, we would love to see you!
NOW YOU CAN SAY “I DO” TO ONE MORE THING HERE.
Nuts! Now that the Ice Bucket Challenge has made the rounds, a new trend is on the rise: a crotch grabbing “Feeling Nuts Challenge” for testicular cancer. Stars such as Hugh Jackman and William Shatner have already participated in the Feeling Nuts Challenge, which you can follow online with the hashtag #feelingnuts.
ability to spread to other organs, such as the lymph system, lungs and brain, leading to serious illness or death.
Why testicular cancer awareness? Unlike some other cancers, testicular cancer typically affects young men, with an average age of diagnosis 33, according to American Cancer Society. The organization estimates that 8,820 new cases of testicular cancer will be diagnosed this year in the United States. Fortunately, it is highly treatable if discovered early.
Every year, in the U.S., an estimated 8500 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer and 350 die from the disease.
Testicular cancer is rare, accounting for about 1% of all male cancers. However, testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer in men ages 15-35.
Testicular cancer is one of the most treatable cancers, especially if caught early. If caught at an early stage, before it has spread, the survival rate is almost 100% but if caught at a late stage the rate drops to 80%.
Men who have cryptorchidism, or an undescended testicle, are more at risk, along with those with a family history of the cancer. White males have the highest risk, followed by Latino, Asian-American and black Approximately 1 in 250 men men, according to the ACS. will be diagnosed with testicular cancer. Thanks to early detection So if you’re joining the Feeling Nuts and advanced treatments, only Challenge, feel for lumps and follow approximately 1 in 5000 men will up with a doctor if anything seems die from testicular cancer. amiss. What are the Risk Factors for What is Testicular Cancer? Testicular Cancer? Testicular cancer can develop in one Testicular cancer is most often or both testicles. Most tumors are diagnosed in Caucasian men metastatic, meaning they have the between the ages of 15-35. 56 | Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine
However, it can occur in men of any It is Important to remember that age and race. many men who develop testicular cancer have no risk factors at all. Strong connections between certain lifestyles, habits or activities, such as What are the Signs of Testicular bike riding, have not been made with Cancer? testicular cancer. Men themselves, not doctors, find Certain conditions such as most testicular cancers as a painless undescended testicle(s), abnormal lump or an enlargement or hardening testicular development and a family of the testicle, this is why regular history of testicular cancer may increase the odds of developing testicular cancer.
self-exams are so important. If you do notice any lumps or changes it is important to see a doctor immediately. Many men with testicular cancer do not feel ill and many times there is no pain involved. Are You a Man? THEN SELF-EXAM!!! Monthly self-testicular exams are important to notice changes in one’s testicles. Most testicular cancers are found by men themselves or their partner, very few are found by a physician. Self-testicular exams allow you to become familiar with your testicles thus making it easier to notice any changes. If you do notice any changes then see a doctor immediately. It is best to do the self-testicular exam during or right after a warm shower or bath. The warmth relaxes the scrotum making the exam easier. How to do a self testicular exam 1. If possible, stand in front of a mirror. Check for any swelling on the scrotal skin. 2. Examine each testicle with both hands. Place the index and middle fingers under the testicle with the thumbs placed on top. Firm but gently roll the testicle between the thumbs and fingers to feel for any irregularities on the surface or texture of the testicle. 3. Find the epididymis, a soft rope-like structure on the back of the testicle. If you are familiar with this structure, you won’t mistake it for a suspicious lump. If you notice any lumps or irregularities see a doctor right away. Keep in mind that not all lumps or irregularities are cancerous, however, only a doctor can make that determination. Waiting to see if it will go away will not help you.
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2015 LAS VEGAS PRIDE WEDDING EXPO For me, my family, extended family and friends, October 9, 2014 will always remain a special day for the LGBT community here in Nevada. On this day same-sex marriage in the state of Nevada became legal after a federal district court judge issued an injunction against Nevada’s enforcement of its ban on same-sex marriage, acting on order from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
It is our hope that through this expo, we will help our community meet and consider working with these amazing vendors as a part of their special day. The first task was securing a venue to host our fabulous event. Leon and Renae Lunco from Emerald at Queensridge welcomed us with open arms. Emerald at Queen’s Ridge was built with weddings in mind and when you attend the expo you’ll get to tour the entire facility. During our visit, Renae revealed that Emerald has hosted many commitment ceremonies, and now that marriage is legal, they want to invite all the couples back on their anniversary date to renew their vows.
A unanimous three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit had ruled two days earlier that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. This truly was a day of celebration for our community as all of my friends could now be married in our hometown city of Las Vegas, the marriage capital of This is a FREE event and everyone the world. is welcome. To attend, we ask that you sign in online, fill out a quick Las Vegas PRIDE is happy to announce questionair and we will add your that we will be hosting our very name to our guest list. It’s as easy as own LGBT Wedding Expo in 2015. that. Those who are unable to pre“LOVE is LOVE” is the theme for this register will be able to register at the special event focused on LOVE. We event and attend for FREE as well. want to showcase wedding venues and vendors available through LGBT- Wedding planners, caterers, bakeries, owned and LGBT-friendly businesses. make up and hair artists, stylists, wedding venues, florists, and photographers are just some of the 58 | Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine
vendors we plan on having at the 2015 Love is Love Wedding Expo. This event will be hosted on Sunday February 8, 2015 from 12noon to 5:00pm. We are planning over-thetop fashion shows to help you get some trendy ideas for your special day. We are also excited to announce that there will be 2 couples getting married in Emerald’s beautiful courtyard during the event. There will be silent auctions for everyone to bid on as well as a cash bar in the main hall. After the ceremonies have concluded, make sure to stay and sample the delicious wedding cakes. We are delighted to be hosting this new event and I hope that you will be able to join us and meet all of the LGBTfriendly vendors; they are excited to be involved with the 2015 Las Vegas PRIDE LOVE is LOVE Wedding Expo. For more information and to register to attend for free, please visit www. lasvegaspride.org after the start of the new year.
FROM AN AGNOSTIC JESUS-FOLLOWER By Bruce Ewing | www. BruceEwing.com
A few years ago, I decided that I was not going to call myself a Christian any longer. I had had enough of “Christians” in the media and not only the way they treated our LBGTQ community, but how they treated so many communities in our world. But I wasn’t going to throw the baby out with the bath water. I connect spiritually with Jesus. I know that not everyone does. Some “Christians” may believe that if you don’t believe the same as them, you are doomed for hell. I call “bullshit” on that. God, who is LOVE, doesn’t throw anyone away. Why do I share this? I always feel badly when any of my friends, straight or gay, tell me that they have spiritually disconnected because of the horrible things that “religion” has done. I understand it, but it saddens me. I try to explain that it doesn’t matter if you want to push God away. God loves you regardless of how hurt you have felt by misguided followers. I believe
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God (as I understand Him/Her) is LOVE. Anything that is not LOVE is not God. Nothing more. Nothing less. There are parts of all faiths that I connect with in at least a small way. But funny enough, even though I grew up in the “Christian” faith, and although I call myself a Jesus-follower, I connect most with those who call themselves “agnostics.” What I hear agnostics say is simply, “I don’t know.” I connect to that. For me, God, Jesus, The Spirit are all LOVE. But do I claim to be an expert, or to know anything for sure? I have faith in it, but I can’t prove it. So, for where I am in my journey, I call myself an agnostic Jesus-follower. I don’t want to be arrogant enough to make believe that I know it all — nor think that I have any power in me that trumps God’s power of LOVE.
Bruce Ewing, a native of Suffern, NY, and graduate of the Hartt School of Music, Hartford, CT, has spent the past 2 years working on an original show, “THE PHAT PACK”, which he put together with friends Randal Keith & Ted Keegan. Before that, he spent 6 years appearing in Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular” at the Venetian Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Bruce came to Las Vegas to appear as Jinx & Sparky in “Forever Plaid” at the Flamingo Hotel & Casino, and then at the Gold Coast Hotel & Casino. Bruce has worked all over the country, with credits including the national tours of “Forever Plaid,” “City of Angels,” “Grand Hotel” and”Ziegfeld: a Night at the Follies”, and has 4 solo recordings (available at BruceEwing.com). Bruce is My name is Bruce, and I am an the choir director and one of the worship leaders at Community Lutheran Church. agnostic Jesus-follower. His favorite thing in life is to sing!
The American Red Cross supports all individuals and families. Learn more about how the Red Cross supports our entire community at redcross.org/southernnevada.
American Red Cross of Southern Nevada | 1771 E Flamingo Rd Ste 206B | Las Vegas, NV 89119 702-791-3311 | redcross.org/southernnevada 115001 11/14
Published on Dec 1, 2014