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“Edie was a character I created a long time ago back in New York City by accident. She is a very clear character to me: she would never curse, she would never say anything naughty, she doesn’t hurt anyone’s feelings. She kind of scoops up the audience and brings them with her on the journey. She just wants to make love to the audience and have fun. She Zumanity, the provocative Cirque striptease and men dancing in high wants to create a really safe place for du Soleil production with an adult- heels as made famous by Yanis people to have naughty thoughts.” themed playful innuendo of daring Marshall. “Because Edie doesn’t curse or belittle eroticism continues to entertain and evolve at New York-New York Hotel & PRIDE recently spoke with two of the people, I thought that would be the Casino after an enormously successful production’s openly gay performers one thing that killed my character, but it ended up being the thing that let ten year run. about their journeys with Zumanity. Edie fly. All that naughty, raunchy stuff Recent additions to Zumanity include For the past seven years, “Edie, - that’s easy. But is there a way to do it choreography by Yanis Marshall, Mistress of Sensuality” (famed drag that’s more clever or sensual? That’s erotic aerial acts, costumes by French diva Christopher Kenney) has hosted where Edie goes.” designer Thierry Mugler and music by the production, taking the audience composer Simon Carpentier. on a journey of emotional freedom, natural beauty and acceptance of With Zumanity, Cirque du Soleil differences. explores the diverse spectrum of human sexuality and intimacy in all forms and from all perspectives. The production is inspired by infinite individuality and variety—a concept embodied by its artists, who come in all shapes, sizes, ethnicities and genders.

Do you remember your first bite of something delicious? Or your very first wet kiss? How in one magical moment everything changed...?

Look at all these beautiful, sexy people. I can’t get over how stunning everyone is. Where are my gay boys? Where are my lesbians? Where are my straights? This is your party and you’re all welcome. The artists of Zumanity are more identifiable as individual characters than in any previous Cirque du Soleil production. The show’s seductive theme is highlighted by such traditional circus arts as contortion, acrobatics, aerial stunts and handbalancing, while sensuality comes alive through a multicultural variety of dance genres including African dance, tango, contemporary dance,

Photo by Pierre Manning / Costumes by Thierry Mugler / © Cirque du Soleil Nevada, Inc.

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“I come out at the beginning and greet everyone, and you can see the “I don’t know what’s going on” look. If I look at this audience member or that audience member, their eyes may dart away as if to say “Oh, don’t pick me.” But, by the end of the show they’re laughing, they’re having fun; they’re definitely at ease. We’re just here to have fun.”

“The first year I did the ‘Two Men’ act. After that, I became the ‘Biker’ while still understudying ‘Two Men,’ plus the ‘Gigolo,’ and the ‘Capes.’” After performing roles that had Brandon Pereyda, a god-like 6’2” already existed in the show, Pereyda aerialist who plays “The Biker,” has was allowed to develop his ‘Biker’ role been with the production over 7 years even further. in numerous roles. His act - “Chains” - is a highlight of the production as “I was given the freedom to pitch he soars above the audience like a ideas for a new aerial act. So, I went When asked how the audience’s dark “Thor,” minus the hammer but to my good friend Armando Farfan reactions to the theatrical seduction rocking a red mohawk. Jr, who built the chains apparatus I have evolved over time, Kenney says, “Years ago, when the two men did the fight dance and then kissed, the response was HUGE. Today it’s clearly more accepted as the response is there but not so “GASP.” I do like the response, though, because it tells the very few people who may not approve in the audience that they are the minority. They may say “boo” but their ears are hearing the joy and the cheers. So, maybe they go home and think just a little bit different.” After seven years as “the Mistress of Sensuality” would Kenney ever like to try one of the other acts in Zumanity? “There are so many. I’ve always wanted to do ‘Two Men.’ That looks like it would be fun. And I’d love to fly through the air. Being an aerialist 6 | Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine

would be so magical. Oh, and I always thought it would be fun to do ‘Scotch Baggies.’ Maybe call it ‘Boubon Boobs’ (laughing).”

Photo by Pierre Manning / Costumes by Thierry Mugler / © Cirque du Soleil Nevada, Inc.

not forgiving at all. It’s metal. I don’t think there are many who have that sadomasochistic drive.” The audience’s acceptance of the diverse sensuality of Zumanity is apparent to Pereyda: “ When I used to perform the ‘Two Men’ act, I felt empowered to represent the gay community. I feel like we’re getting to a time where gay men don’t have to act a certain way to be a member of the LGBT community. Or to be accepted by an audience.”

Photo by Eric Jamison / Costumes by Thierry Mugler / © Cirque du Soleil Nevada, Inc.

designed and basically use today in of himself to the role. “My character the show.” is very much Brandon Pereyda deep down inside. I’ve really brought who I “I started working without music, am and magnified it, which has been creating the number from scratch. an amazing opportunity. To dive deep The most challenging part was into my dark side, magnify it onstage creating something that was Cirque and be that badass that everybody du Soleil worthy without music. wants to be but multiplied by 100. Usually the music is what motivates I keep that character - rough and me to prepare a new act that comes tough but still sensual and smooth from within my artistic self, my soul. throughout the show.” Once I had the first outline for the act, next came the music, which continues “To be honest, I don’t think there are to morph even today as the act keeps many people who would want to do evolving.” my act. It’s so painful. There’s a love/ hate relationship that I have with It’s no secret that inside each of us is the chains themselves. Because it’s male and female energy. One strong, the other even stronger. Let me entice you...

“I love that I’m onstage in Zumanity, in leather, playing a very masculine character with a red mohawk and flying around doing crazy stuff on chains. It’s all about being able to enjoy the human body and the sensuality that we all have inside us whether female or male.” That was intense. If I had a dream like that, I’d never want to wake up. Zumanity performs Tuesday through Saturday at 7:00 pm and 9:30 pm at New York-New York Hotel and Casino. Randy Slovacek is the author of The Randy Report - a daily LGBT blog covering pop culture and politics. Follow him at www.

“Originally, the idea was a biker/chain gang initiation. It was very aggressive and combative with two other guys in the show. And I was trying to win the romantic attention of my female counterpart in the show. Then, we changed the act to me being, basically, a rough and tough badass solo. And that informed the character for the rest of the show for me.” The evolution of the ‘The Biker’ continued as Pereyda brought more

Photo by Eric Jamison / Costumes by Thierry Mugler / © Cirque du Soleil Nevada, Inc.

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Contents EVENTS


PRIDE Events 10 Community Support Day





12 N2N Bodywear

11 July PRIDE Family Bingo

15 Orgullo Latino Las Vegas Photos

16 Mr. & Miss Leather PRIDE

17 Mr. & Miss Leather PRIDE

21 August PRIDE Family Bingo 23 Temptation Sundays

18 A Look Back... And... A Look Ahead With LVboL

42 Love Is Love Wedding Expo

19 Leather Understanding

48 Mt. Charleston Rainbow Festival

20 Gay Softball: Come Out & Play With Us

50 San Diego PRIDE Music Festival Other Events 52 “Ribbon of Life” Rockin’ The Ribbon 54 AFAN Black & White Party

22 Your Guiltless Pleasure

34 GLSEN Southern Nevada Has A Lesson To Learn 35 Things To Do In A Dark Theater This Summer 41 Love Is Love Wedding Expo Photos 42 Quality Not Quantity 46 Resource Guide 53 Rockin’ The Ribbon 55 Unlike Many Humans, AIDS Does Not Discriminate 57 Re-Designing Women, A New Comedy By Jamie Morris

25 Not Just A Sponsor; A Friend & True Supporter

59 New Trans* Programs At The Center Strive To Strengthen Relationships

26 Local Designer Hits World Stage

60 Social CirKish

28 Fashion: Haute Night Swim

62 How Fit Are You... Emotionally?

61 LGBTQIS Wellness Conference PUBLISHER Southern Nevada Association of PRIDE, Inc. EDITOR Ernie Yuen LAYOUT & DESIGN Jake Naylor ADVERTISING Ernie Yuen, Lyndon R. Marquez & Clair Koetitz PHOTOGRAPHY Barbara Maeker, Marc Garcia, Chris Purdum (Orange Soda Photography), Mike Morgan, Jerry Fill (Lucky Stars Media), Eric Jamison & Pierre Manning ON THE COVER Brandon Pereyda performing “Chains” in Zumanity COVER PHOTO BY Giuliano Bekor, © Cirque du Soleil Nevada, Inc. CONTRIBUTORS Scott Bullock, Ronnie Brust, Charlie’s Las Vegas, Paul Cieslewicz, Bridget Dickey, Gary Costa, Michael Dimengo, Tim Evans, Bianca Freeny, Tom Frye, Cicely Gilbert, Douglas Graff, Victor Herrera, Andrew Makay, Wes Miller, Dave Mondt, Jamie Morris, A.J. O’Reilly, Ron Quinn, Kevin Smith, Randy Slovacek, San Diego Pride, Soho Lofts - Downtown Las Vegas, Soka Gakkai International, Doc Tony, Samantha Tor, Evan Wash 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) 930-3336 or email For information regarding Las Vegas PRIDE events, visit 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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Wow it’s June and half the year is already gone. I can’t believe we are on Volume 4 of our Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine. Great changes are happening with new advertisers, and great connections are forming with local Las Vegas LGBT nonprofits. It’s great to be highlighting so many wonderful organizations and sharing their amazing accomplishments. Have you had the chance to see Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity recently? Back in January they did a major overhaul of the show, with new acts, beautiful costumes and always so sexy performers/artists. My buddy Randy Slovacek got to go see the show and wrote an amazing article to share the experience. It’s a great read and will help you get in the mood to go and see the new Zumanity; you are sure to enjoy the changes.

As the summer heats up, it’s always great to run away and cool down at Mt Charleston. We are hosting our second annual Rainbow Festival July 10, 11 and 12. We are taking over The Resort on Mount Charleston. Please come and join us for a weekend of fun and surprises. In February we hosted our first LGBT Wedding Expo and it was a great success. We are excited to be hosting our second expo on July 26 from noon to 4pm at Emerald at Queensridge. This is a free event, but you do need to sign up to be on out guest list.

titles offer a chance to have leather community representation within the PRIDE Royalty team. We hope to see you at the contest on June 19, at Charlie’s Las Vegas.

Summer is officially here so it is “Pool Party” time! Don’t forget to visit Luxor on Sundays for Temptation Sundays from 1 to 7pm. Hosted by J.Son this party is always a great way to end the weekend relaxing pool side with your Please save the date of June 10th friends. to shop at Whole Foods Market on Fort Apache during their community Our Fashion Guru Kevin Smith did an 5% day. June 10th is set to benefit awesome job with his 6-page fashion Las Vegas PRIDE and 5% of the days photo spread “Haute Night Swim” sales will be donated to Las Vegas check out all the latest swim wear PRIDE. Whole Foods Market is one of fashions; oh my, what a sexy photo our newest sponsors and is happy to shoot that was! Also look for an be involved with the Las Vegas LGBT additional two-page spread from my Community. buddy Andrew from N2N. He never Something new happening with Las Vegas PRIDE is the addition of two new Royalty Titles “Mr. and Miss Las Vegas Leather PRIDE.” We are very excited to be more involved with the leather community and these

Summertime also means “Movie Time” please check out Paul’s movie review. It’s always fun to play in the dark.

disappoints us and always has some great underwear and sexy swim wear. His 2015 collection is available at Getbooked, go see Wes and tell him Ernie sent you.

The 29th Annual Ribbon of Life “Rockin the Ribbon” will be held on Sunday June 28 at 1pm in the Tropicana Theater. This promises to be a great show; Gary and his team are ready to entertain you... I hope to see you there! Never forget our monthly bingos, the first Wednesday of each month, June will be themed “Wedding Bells” and July is themed “Uniforms.” Bingo Host Adrienne Alexander and Bingo Babe Gemini D’Angelo can’t wait to see you! Dress up and have some fun- it is always an evening filled with entertainment, excitement and surprises. Be safe, have fun and be nice to one another. In PRIDE, Ernie “Pineapple” Yuen Executive Director Southern Nevada Association of PRIDE, Inc.

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Whole Foods


Whole Foods Market created Community Giving Days (otherwise known as 5% Days) to give back to our local communities by providing support to non-profit organizations whose programs directly benefit our communities. One of our Core Values is “We serve and support our local and global communities� and our Team Members strive to make the world a better place through volunteerism, donations and healthy eating initiatives. Shop at Whole Foods Market Fort Apache on Wednesday, June 10th as 5% of the stores net sales will benefit Las Vegas PRIDE. Our Team Members are part of the local community and they are passionate about supporting the local causes that are important to our shoppers and neighbors. Share the news with your friends, family and colleagues. Just by shopping you are helping! We invite you to shop with us and help raise a generous amount of funds to benefit Las Vegas PRIDE. Participating Location: Whole Foods Market Fort Apache 8855 W. Charleston Blvd. Las Vegas, NV, 89117 702.254.8655 Find Whole Foods Online at: Instagram: @wfmfortapache #wfmfortapache Facebook: 10 | Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine

N2N’s PX Racer available at

Available @

Welcome to the Family

MR. & MISS LAS VEGAS LEATHER PRIDE Two years ago there was not much of a leather community here in Las Vegas. There was only one group in town, Leather Uniform Club of Las Vegas and not much of a gay leather scene. During the month of July, 2013 a new group was formed, the Las Vegas Boys of Leather and with both active groups, interest in the leather community started to grow. Both groups decided it was time to get back out into the community and show that the leather community was still alive and kicking in Las Vegas. It all started in 2014, when the combined groups showed a big presence in the Las Vegas PRIDE Parade, it was a great parade entry and everyone was well received. Next, with the request from the management team from Charlie’s Las Vegas, a new monthly event “Leather Church” was created and it has grown to become a huge leather social event.

to be awarded any title. With the assistance of the leather community members, Jason Oquist “Papa Bear” - International Leather Person of Leather 2015 and Bobby Townsend “FunBobby” – Philadelphia Leather Cub 1999 & 2013, and Southern Nevada Association of PRIDE, a “Leather PRIDE Royalty Committee” has been created. The committee has developed a contest plan to ensure These were all positive actions which fairness and that the winner will be rekindled interest and started a great a true representation of the Leather comeback for the Las Vegas leather Community. community, inspiring one Vegas gentleman to run for a Regional Following the long tradition of leather title. Papa Bear ran for and volunteerism by title holders, Mr. and won South West Olympus Leather and Miss Las Vegas Leather PRIDE are both then went on to win the International volunteer positions. Volunteerism is a Person of Leather 2015. fundamental core value of Las Vegas PRIDE and the leather community. Mr. This sparked talks that maybe, just maybe, it was time to bring back a leather title to Las Vegas. The leather community has always held contests to select titleholders, and there are certain attributes a leather titleholder needs to possess in order

and Miss Las Vegas Leather PRIDE, in addition to being the faces of Las Vegas PRIDE and the leather community, will work hard to promote, educate and foster understanding about this amazing and unique facet of the LGBT community. The Mr. and Miss Las Vegas Leather PRIDE 2015 Contest preliminary round will be held Sunday June 14, 2015 at Charlie’s Las Vegas from 4pm - 8pm. The final round will be held on Friday, June 19, 2015 at Charlie’s Las Vegas from 8pm- 12am. We would like to invite everyone 21+ to attend the inaugural Mr. and Miss Las Vegas Leather PRIDE 2015 Contest. More information about this contest will be available online at

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Las Vegas boys of Leather By Bulldog, Member of Desert Brotherhood and Organizer for Las Vegas Smokeout

When I see them at different events, it is obvious to me that they are enjoying what they are doing and having fun in the process. This accounts for the thousands of volunteer hours members have offered to our community. The fun is in the free exchange of ideas and the camaraderie of working together to make even better an organization that is already a beacon of excellence. The fun is also in keeping in touch with all the members of LVboL so that they know where they are doing well and where they can improve. As a man who has watched them grow, this past year has been GREAT for Las Vegas boys of Leather. Not only have their programs made tremendous strides, but also their members have been offering assistance to many organizations in many different ways. EVERYONE who is a member or a pledge or an associate or in any way affiliated with LVboL should be congratulated because, in your own way, EVERYONE has become an integral part of the direction the Las Vegas boys of Leather are taking in 2015. The Las Vegas boys of Leather are now a part of something ‘big’ (LVboL are now approaching 20 members), ‘exciting’ (LVboL is helping more charitable organizations and community leaders than ever before), ‘progressive’ (LVboL educational programs and activities are stronger and more diverse than ever before) and ‘vital’ (they have become the backbone of the Leather community in Las Vegas). 18 | Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine

I hope you, who are striving to become members, are as determined as those who already are members, to make LVboL the best advocate both for our community groups and for all those who work to make them better.

Experience teaches us that all we have to do is hint to any of them that we are really interested in their opinion, and they will open up and talk directly from the heart.

‘Friend-raising’ is an important part of Anyone who has dealt with those what they all are doing! who are already members knows that every member will help and support 2014 was awesome … let’s help them you in any way possible to make your make 2015 even better! work as painless as possible. They are truly dedicated and extremely good at what they do … a team that pulls together and gets the job done … a team that is responsive to the needs of community organizations … a team that is always ready with answers and assistance. If you have not yet had much interaction with members, I think you will be pleased at their competence, energy and get-it-done attitude. You have a chance to meet them at the ‘Leather Church’ held at Charlie’s the second Sunday of every month between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.


When I first approached this article, it was in response to a question from a newer community member: “How do people get their leathers?” I came with my own understanding of leather and its meaning, and while trying to verify my opinions I came across some critical responses. I then realized that the question was too vague. Leather is about the personal journey, the personal relationships, and the individual values each one of us hold dear. I started asking how people received the leather they wear or how they have heard of people receiving pieces for their collection. With that change in understanding a kind of consensus started to happen. So far my understanding through conversations, research, and experience has found that there are 3 main ways of getting leather. Earned Leather: leather given to an individual for reaching some type of milestone. The milestone is decided by the individual’s journey or affiliation to a club or family. Gifted Leather: is a piece given or inherited as a sign of respect and love. Purchased Leather: is pretty much everything else. I like to break this into 2 groups because the reasons for this leather can be quite varied. First I categorize as Fashion Leather or Sexual Leather. This type can be worn because you enjoy the feel of it, the look of it and/or the touch of it. Leather also is used in a sexualized or fetishized way. Leather Sex gear, such as harnesses, straps, body rigs, leather jocks and cock harnesses, is a popular type of leather. Leather sex is an important type of leather to highlight because it roots us to the origins of our community. The second category is Safety Leather. This leather is used to protect your body in some way, like a motorcycle jacket for riding, or leather knee pads or gloves for crawling on all fours. There is an intended purpose of protection and is only worn during those activities. This is an article about how some leather can be received. It is by no means an end all be all list, and some who identify as leather do not own any pieces at all. Leather is in your heart, not in what you wear.

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COME OUT AND PLAY WITH US By Dave Mondt, LVGSL Vice Commissioner

Phoenix, Spotlight Lounge, Fun Hog Ranch, QuadZ and FreeZone. The LVGSL will stage its next skills assessment in early August, giving new players almost a month to get to know their new coaches and teammates before the season starts in September.

CJ Martini applies a tag to E’Stefano “Snooki” DiSanto during a game from the LVGSL’s spring 2015 season.

“Don’t worry, not everyone hits like that. Most of you won’t be playing against him,” the pitcher says after watching a player hit five sizzling line drives deep into the outfield.

Today, the league has 19 teams, including six in two women’s divisions, and its members can be frequently seen laughing, drinking and supporting each other while sporting their team uniforms on Sundays at It’s a crisp February morning, and local sponsor bars such as the Garage, about 20 men and women have Charlie’s, Badlands, Flex Lounge, the assembled to demonstrate their ability at the Las Vegas Gay Softball League’s fall assessment clinic.

For $50, each player gets to play two seasons ($25 for those who start in the fall). The sponsor team fee, for businesses interested in supporting the community, is a tax-deductible $475 per year. For more information on the league, visit, search Las Vegas Gay Softball League on Facebook or email

The player, Tommy Spears, is rated 16 and will have to play in the league’s highest classification, where two brand-new teams will compete for a chance to play in the Gay Softball World Series this August in Columbus, Ohio. Most of the rest of the new players are slotted into the D division, where they can develop their skills or learn the game. Some came to the event because of a partner or friend, and some just wanted to meet new people. Everyone left the field that day with a new team and as part of a growing athletic family that started with three men and a hope in 2009. 20 | Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine

In 2014, the Las Vegas Grease Monkeys, coached by Brent Elser (center, front row) became the second local team in four years to win the C division in the Gay Softball World Series, capturing the title with a 21-8 victory in the championship game in Dallas. Sixty-two teams competed in the C division, with 178 teams overall across five divisions. Las Vegas was also represented by two teams in the D division.

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Every Sunday


June 21

July 5

August 2

Summer Kick off DJ Casey Alva

Independence Weekend DJ Morningstar

6th Anniversary & J.Son’s Birthday DJ Axis Swimsuits provided by Pistol Pete

Hosted by J.SON

Not Just a Sponsor A FRIEND & TRUE SUPPORTER By Ernie Yuen, Las Vegas PRIDE Executive Director

I have been a Director of Southern Nevada Association of PRIDE, Inc, for 12 years now and from day one Nevada Beverage has been one of our top red-level cash sponsors. Marty Linde, Director of Marketing for Nevada Beverage, the Las Vegas Distributor for Anheuser-Busch and I have been friends all this time. Marty and his team have been true supporters to our efforts “whatever you need Ernie”, a dream team to work with and an amazing supporter of the Las Vegas LGBT community. From the PRIDE Parade and Festival, Las Vegas PRIDE Family Bingo, PRIDE Pets and being a lead advertiser in our Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine- it has been an amazing experience working with Nevada Beverage. You all rock!

“Wow, very brave move Bud Light. That is awesome that you support EQUALITY!” “Bud Light, I’m simply stunned. Thank you.” “I’ve never really liked bud light, but I plan on buying two or three cases this weekend. Thanks for doing this.” “Does anybody realize just how much money we homosexuals spend at bars? We tend to have a higher disposable income, and as a bartender, I can tell you that I open more bottles of bud light than any other beer. Bud light knows their clientele and will make an attempt to please them.”

What a brave statement to show their support and standing up for what you believe in. It’s obvious that Bud Light even really an argument. It’s more like meant to start a conversation around everyone simply proclaiming which the topic on social media, I must say side they’re on and letting the world they succeeded. know that they’re either going to buy But is it worth it? Bud Light, or boycott Bud Light. There’s the one side:

The Nevada Beverage (Budweiser/ Bud Light) diversity support is not only on the local Las Vegas level, it’s also above and beyond at the national level, they came “out” and did it big and went global. Bud Light thrust itself into the middle of the gay marriage conversation by posting an ad on its Facebook page promoting equality.

“To the Christian believer I say homosexuality is a sin, mentioned over and over as such in the Bible. Abstain from it in love of God and love toward your neighbor.”

The artwork features a pair of Bud Light cans aligned like an equals sign, mimicking the Human Rights Campaign’s symbol for marriage equality that went viral in around 15 hours, the post has accumulated more than 55,302 ‘likes’ 10,831 shares and racked up 1,912 comments.

“Been drinking Bud Light religiously for 15 years straight and this as of now came to an end because of this pic.”

“You guys can have gay marriage as long as it’s a gay man marrying a gay woman. Anything else is wrong and against the Lord’s will.”

Bud Light has a history of supporting the LGBT community and AnheuserBusch has been boycotted for its stance in the past. Back in 1999, they felt the heat from conservative groups after placing their first advertisement in a gay magazine. I have to say in this case, it’s part of a broader narrative. It’s the story that Bud Light wants to tell, and it’s sticking to its guns. Thank you once again for your support! Cheers, Nevada Beverage, you are an amazing sponsor and even better, a great friend, we appreciate you!

And the other:

“In spite of what is ‘perceived’ to be the stereotype bud light customer base, they still used social media to The response from commenters was support equality. I’m very proud, I’ll predictable. The thread devolved into show my support by having a Bud one gigantic Internet fight. And it’s not Light Platinum!” Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine | 25

local designer

hits world stage By Wes Miller

What does a person with a background in psychology and an appreciation for the mind do when he develops an added appreciation for the body? He attends design classes at the local university and starts designing clothing. Clothing that accents the body beautiful and that’s exactly what the fashions from Tito Jimy, a Las Vegas company, do. Hector Lomeli Cuevas (pictured at right) had completed his degree in psychology and was traveling the country doing make up work for various department stores and private salons. He then realized he had a love for that work and the outlet for his personal creativity that it supported. This eventually led to the establishment of his own Las Vegas men’s boutique, Tito Jimy. Once opened, Hector became even more excited about the possibility of creating a swim and underwear line that would give men what they wanted and needed for the expression of their true masculinity. He attended design classes at UNLV and flew to Asia with twelve of his designs. Excited by what he experienced he worked feverishly and ultimately returned with twenty four designs. As his creativity continued to evolve he identified local Las Vegas manufacturers for several of his designs. This exemplified his love and pride in the Las Vegas community. Inspired by Dali, Hector loves to dream. Even before opening his boutique he was dreaming about the possibility. It was during this dreaming that he was inspired with a name and logo for his future endeavor. Tito Jimy is a merging of the childhood nicknames for both he and his business partner James. One day his pencil met the paper with the outcome being the Tito Jimy logo. Consisting of a male symbol with horns 26 | Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine

and a halo, it represents the little bit of both good and evil in all men. He shifted the arrow on the male symbol to point in the direction of the male anatomy where his clothing would be most useful. The large halo is intended to remind us that good always wins out. The logo and name were in place before either the boutique or his designs as he knew he was going to create something special. And Tito Jimy is indeed quite special. Currently, Tito Jimy fashions are sold in thirty four countries with more on the way. In fact, he just signed an agreement with a distribution firm covering

Australia. Hector continues to dream and has big plans for his fashions. Despite the international growth of his company, Hector emphasizes some pretty basic and humble philosophies. His message revolves around the importance of supporting the communities where one lives. He encourages all of us to support our community. He also reminds us to have fun, be adventurous and willing to experiment, and be proud of our manhood. Tito Jimy fashions support these ideas. They are available in Las Vegas at Tito Jimy Men’s Boutique and at Get Booked.

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The Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN) is the nation’s largest advocacy group focusing on research and policy support of students across the country. GLSEN of southern Nevada has worked tirelessly with the leadership of the Clark County School District as well as Nevada Legislatures for the past several years to develop a safe and inclusive educational environment for the students of Southern Nevada. Although there is still a long way to go, it goes without question that there has been significant progress made toward creating safe, inclusive learning spaces for all students. GLSEN Southern Nevada has been a leader in the fight for student equality across school campuses. Primarily focused on supporting the numerous “Gay-Straight Alliances,” “PRIDE Clubs,” “NOH8 Clubs,” and “Respect & Diversity Clubs” which exist in our school. GLSEN Southern Nevada strives to provide educators with classroom resources to explore diversity, social justice, inclusion, tolerance and pro-social relations in the classroom. Student outreach is at the forefront of GLSEN’s mission. Through the school year, leadership and activist training events are held where student learn how to advocate for safer school and inclusive policies on their own campuses. The Day of Silence is, perhaps, one of the most important days of action GLSEN Southern Nevada participates in every year. GLSENs Day of Silence is a national day of action in which students across the country vow to 34 | Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine

take a form of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools. For the past 4 years, GLSEN Southern Nevada has hosted the Breaking the Silence Rally to celebrate and

commend the students of Clark County who participated in their school. After spending the day in silent support of peers in order to raise awareness, students come together to get loud, and plan on new ways to change our schools for the better. This year, over 45 Clark County Schools had students who participated in the Day of Silence. Education is the key to changing the social landscape for the better, and GLSEN Southern Nevada is on the forefront of that change. The educators and teachers who make up the leadership board are passionate about creating a supportive learning environment for all students to receive a quality education. How can you help? Support your local schools, support your local teachers, and be vocal. Every student deserves a safe place to learn.


Sit back, relax and enjoy the show, of course! What were you people thinking?! With the amount of action, explosions, comedy and dramatic tension filling the big screens, there will be little to distract your attention away from the summer movie season anyway. While the lucrative season is already off and running with the not entirely surprising success of Avengers: Age of Ultron and Pitch Perfect 2, there are still plenty of movies coming that could soar with those films, or come crashing down like early Reese Witherspoon bomb, Hot Pursuit. Here is a sampling of movies the studios are hoping will bring you in from the summer heat: San Andreas (May 29) – With films like The Day After Tomorrow and 2012, it would seem that the Earth is borrowing the line from the film, Network, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” Hoping to join the ranks of those disaster epics, San Andreas stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as a helicopter rescue pilot witnessing “the big one” destroy California. Entourage (June 5) – Sure to join the other 8 seasons of the HBO series on the video shelf quickly, when they discover that nobody wanted a movie in the first place. Jurassic World (June 12) – It’s been 14 years since Jurassic Park III underwhelmed, and Universal is hoping another installment in the series will rejuvenate the Jurassic Park franchise. While the inclusion of Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy) grabbed my interest immediately, I’ll err on the side of caution, considering even Steven Spielberg couldn’t keep it going after the classic first film. Ted 2 (June 26) – The foul mouthed teddy bear is back attempting to earn equal rights so that he can marry. Now why does that sound so familiar? Hmmm… Magic Mike XXL (July 1) – Channing Tatum takes his merry band of male strippers on the road to a stripper

convention. I may need to be reminded to blink if the movie is anywhere near as hot as its trailer. Terminator: Genisys (July 1) – Everything from the previous films is recycled in an attempt to make the franchise and Arnold Schwarzenegger relevant again. I’m not waiting with bated breath. Minions (July 10) – The sidekicks from Despicable Me get their own movie with Sandra Bullock voicing the villainous Scarlet Overkill. I’ll be giggling like a little kid right along with the little kids. Trainwreck (July 17) – Comedian Amy Schumer joins director Judd Apatow for a raucous tale of a party girl who might actually be falling in love for the first time. The red band trailer alone makes this a must-see! Pixels (July 24) – Aliens invade Earth in the form of 80’s video game characters with Adam Sandler leading the resistance. I’m afraid to admit I may actually want to see an Adam Sandler film again for the first time in years. I’m seeking counseling. Hunker down for the long haul this summer. After the disappointing summer films of 2014, the movie studios are trying their hardest to bring audiences back in to the theaters. I’ll be taking the bait, though I’m really just biding time until Star Wars: The Force Awakens in December. 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.

Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine | 35



February 8, 2015 was a day filled with many emotions. We were “HAPPY” to be hosting our first LGBT Wedding Expo in Las Vegas after same sex marriage was legalized in Nevada. Las Vegas PRIDE has co-hosted LGBT Wedding Expos with other promoters, but never hosted an LGBT Wedding Expo on our own; we did not know what to expect. We felt the “LOVE” from out host, Emerald at Queensridge. (Owners Leon and Renae Lunco have a lesbian daughter and wanted to give back and be supportive of the Las Vegas LGBT community. In fact it was their idea to host the event.) We where “OVERWHELMED” with outstanding support from many businesses focused on providing services for couples ready to make that life commitment. We also felt very “NERVOUS”- were people going to support and visit the “Las Vegas PRIDE Wedding Expo - LOVE is LOVE”? We were “SURPRISED” that we had such a great response to our online guest list; We were “HOPEFUL” that those who signed up would attend. We had a room full of vendors nipping at their fingertips waiting for 12 noon; wondering what kind of day they were going to have. We spoke with each anxious exhibitor and explained to them that this would not be a typical Bridal Fair, but an LGBT wedding expo; it’s all about quality not quantity. We explained, “the guests you will meet this afternoon will be very focused, this is a very important day for them and they will have many questions and 42 | Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine

With the success of this event in mind and the encouragement of the venue, exhibitors and sponsors, we are doing a second event on Sunday, July 26 at Emerald at Queensridge, from noon to 4pm. We have some changes in mind, such as a wedding fashion show that a former Mr. Las Vegas PRIDE, Kevin Smith from The Stitch Factory will be leading (which promises to be a very unique presentation). We are also having a couple of very special hosts Miss Adrienne Alexander and Miss Gemini D’Angelo from Las Vegas PRIDE Family Bingo. They will be walking around and chit-chatting with our attendees.

will challenge you on diversity. They want to feel secure that you’re the person that will make their journey a happy experience filled with great and ever-lasting memories. There will be key words they are going to be listening for, it’s all about knowing your LGBT customer and making them There is no entry fee to attend, but feel comfortable.” you do need to sign up to be on the At noon there was a line of guests guest list. Please visit lasvegaspride. waiting to come in and see what we org/weddings for more information. had to offer. We had a steady flow of All guests receive a free glass of couples entering the expo throughout champagne or wine courtesy of the afternoon. Some even came to Barefoot Wine and Bubbly. We will watch their friends get married. The also be handing out raffle prizes from day turned out to be a huge success the exhibitors. Please save the date and everyone was pleased. The Sunday, July 26, 2015. We hope to see owners of Emerald at Queensridge you at the Las Vegas PRIDE Wedding were very happy and every exhibitor Expo “Love is Love”. was happy with the contacts and new Visit: friends that they made.


GAY BARS Badlands Saloon

953 E. Sahara Ave. #22 Las Vegas, NV 89104 (702) 792-9262 BadlandsSaloonLasVegas Open 24/7, Gaming, No Cover

Bastille on 3rd

1402 S. 3rd St. Las Vegas, NV (702) 385-9298 Open 24/7, Gaming, No Cover

Charlie’s Las Vegas

5012 S. Arville Rd. Las Vegas, NV 89118 (702) 876-1844 Open 24/7, Gaming, No Cover

The Eagle

3430 E. Tropicana Ave. Las Vegas, NV 89121 (702) 458-8662 Open 24/7, Gaming, No Cover

Fun Hog Ranch

495 E. Twain Las Vegas, NV 79169 (702) 791-7001 Open 24/7, Gaming, No Cover

The Garage

1487 E. Flamingo Rd., Suite C Las Vegas, NV 89119 (702) 440-6333 Open 24/7, Gaming, No Cover 46 | Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine

The Phoenix

Share Nightclub

Quadz Video Bar


4213 W. Sahara Ave. Las Vegas, NV 89102 (702) 826-2422 Open Noon – 4am, Gaming, No Cover 4640 Paradise Rd. Las Vegas, NV 89169 (702) 733-0383 Open 24/7, Gaming, No Cover

Spotlight Lounge

975 E. Sahara Ave. Las Vegas, NV 89104 (702) 431-9775 Open 24/7. Gamins. No Cover


4636 Wynn Rd. Las Vegas, NV 89103 (702) 258-2684 Open Thur – Sat, 10pm, No Cover

The Black Room

1000 E. Sahara, Ave, Ste 108 Las Vegas, NV 89104 (702) 685-8688 Las Vegas Fetish Shop

Entourage Vegas

953 E. Sahara Ave., #19 Las Vegas, NV 89104 (702) 650-9191 Men’s Gym & Spa

Flex Nightclub

Get Booked

4347 W. Charleston Blvd. Las Vegas, NV 89102 (702) 878-3355 Open 24/7, Gaming, No Cover

4640 Paradise Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89169 (702) 737-7780 Cards, Books, Underwear, Novelties

Goodtimes Nightclub & Bar

Hawks Gym

1775 E. Tropicana Ave. Las Vegas, NV 89119 (702) 736-9494 Open 24/7, Gaming, Cover Varies

953 E. Sahara Ave., #35B Las Vegas, NV 89104 (702) 731-4287 Club for Men

Piranha Nightclub

Onyx Theater

4633 Paradise Rd. Las Vegas, NV 89169 (702) 791-0100 Open nightly 10pm, No Cover

953 E. Sahara Ave. Las Vegas, NV 89104 (702) 732-7225 Theater

Tito Jimy

3900 Paradise Rd. Las Vegas, NV 89169 (702) 862-4577 Underwear. Swimwear, Sportswear

Leather Uniform Club (LUC) of Las Vegas Las Vegas boys of Leather

4001 S. Decatur Blvd. #37-540 Las Vegas, NV 89103-5800 (866) 930-3336


Las Vegas Men’s Chorus

Southern Nevada Bi-Sexuals

Aid for Aids of Nevada

1120 Almond Tree Ln. Las Vegas, NV 89104 (702) 382-2326

Aids Healthcare Foundation (702) 862-8074

American Civil Liberties Union (702) 366-1226

The Center

401 S. Maryland Pkwy. Las Vegas, NV 89101 (702) 733-9800

Community Counseling Center of Southern Nevada 714 E. Sahara Ave. Las Vegas, NV 89104 (702) 369-8700

Golden Rainbow

801 S. Rancho Dr., Ste. B-1B Las Vegas, NV 89106 (702) 384-2899

HRC Las Vegas

Imperial Royal Sovereign Court of the Desert Empire P.O. Box 46481 Las Vegas, NV 89114

Southern Nevada Association of PRIDE, Inc. (Las Vegas PRIDE)

Las Vegas Prime Timers National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)

Nevada Gay Rodeo Association (NGRA)

New Horizons Nevada Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders

PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends, of Lesbians and Gays) P.O. Box 20145 Las Vegas, NV 89112 (702) 738-7838

Safety Specialized Alternatives for Family & Youth 4285 N. Rancho Dr. Las Vegas, NV 89109 (702) 385-5331

Saint Therese Center HIV Outreach Center 100 E. Lake Mead Pkwy. Henderson NV 89015 (702)564-4224

Sin Sity Sisters SADAP P.O. Box 60005 Las Vegas, NV 89160 (702) 592-6969

Meet on the Second Monday of Every Month at The Center

Trevor Project Suicide Hotline for LGBT Youth 1-866-488-7386

SPIRITUALITY Community Spiritual Center 8125 West Sahara Avenue Las Vegas, NV 89117 (702) 451-4608

Metropolitan Community Church 1140 Almond Tree Lane Las Vegas, NV 89104 702-369-4380

Northwest Community Church 101 S. Rancho Dr. Las Vegas, NV 89106 (702) 562-1897

SGI-USA Buddhist Center 2725 W. Charleston Blvd. Las Vegas, NV 89102 (702) 258-6489

Unity Center in the Valley 3037 E. Warm Springs Rd. Las Vegas, NV 89120 (702) 435-3289

For more information about this directory or to suggest a correction or addition, please write to us at Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine | 47

Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine | 49


ROCKIN’ THE RIBBON SUNDAY, JUNE 28, 2015 | Tickets are available at

ongoing support illustrates the importance of all of Southern Nevada coming together to find a cure.”

Golden Rainbow will celebrate “Ribbon of Life” with Rockin’ the Ribbon, on Sunday, June 28, 2015 at The New Tropicana Las Vegas. The flagship event, which brings the most talented performers in Las Vegas together on one stage to raise awareness for those affected by HIV/ AIDS, will mark its 29th anniversary this year. “Music has the power to change lives and this year, we are celebrating that with a rock and roll themed show,” said Golden Rainbow Executive Director Gary Costa. Rockin’ the Ribbon will benefit men, women, and children living in Clark County whose lives are affected by HIV/AIDS. The production will feature a wide variety of rock and roll themed numbers from Classic Rock to Contemporary Pop Rock, and more. Photos of the 2014 “Ribbon of Life” by Tom Donoghue

Golden Rainbow provides housing and financial assistance to people living with HIV/AIDS in the Southern Nevada area. Golden Rainbow is also dedicated to supporting HIV/AIDS related education.

There will also be a Rockin’ the Ribbon After-Party in the Havana Room™ immediately following the show, where attendees can mix and mingle with some of the performers and partake in a cash bar and hors Ribbon of Life was created 29 years d’oeuvres. ago by members of the entertainment industry who saw a need for a support “At the core of our mission is raising system when one of their colleagues awareness for HIV/AIDS in the was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. To raise community,” said Costa. “Over the awareness and money in order to course of the last three decades, the help fight the disease, entertainers Las Vegas entertainment community organized a show. The show, then has made it a priority to support called “Golden Rainbow,” led to the people affected by HIV/AIDS. This creation of the nonprofit organization. The annual event is one of the largest HIV/AIDS fundraisers in the state of Nevada and is Golden Rainbow’s main source of revenue. “Ribbon of Life” Rockin’ the Ribbon will take place Sunday, June 28 at 1 p.m. Tickets are available online at For information about Golden Rainbow, please visit

Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine | 53

Save the Date 29TH ANNUAL




Back in the day, my foster son and I were walking out at Wilderness Park and we heard a puppy yipping and two guys screaming. We ran around the bend to find a small German shepherd pup trapped in a number three trap. Each time the two guys attempted to pull the dog out, it would yelp and they would scream, “Perpetual! Perpetual!” Having trapped as a kid, I handed my kid my gloves, told him to latch onto the dog, and I pried the trap open and freed the puppy. Those two guys carried their pup away, murmuring, “Perpetual! Oh, Perpetual!” all the way down the trail. My kid looked over at me and asked, “Were those two guys gay?” I nodded, and he asked, “Do all gay guys act that way?” I shook my head and said, “No, only the ones who name their dogs Perpetual.” Now some of you might see the humor in this, while others might be disgusted that I said such a thing, but mind you at the time I knew only one gay person and he died of AIDS complications when he was 19-yearsold. At the time I started working with him as a truancy tracker for the State, he was a sexually active 14-year-old kid, and I had no clue how to help him. Before he died, he asked me to write a book, warning other gay kids about HIV/AIDS.

in Marburg, Germany, and thus they named the virus Marburg. Marburg and Ebola are retrovirus’ that infect a human host. They are hardy and kill their host in a matter of days. HIV is subtle, changes its structure becoming a Trojan horse, and continues to feed off of its host for a number of years before its host dies of AIDS complications. When the epidemic first started, French researchers said, “Only America would name a virus a gay disease. It is a deadly virus only, and unlike some people, it doesn’t discriminate. It infects heteros and homos alike.”

Ten years after his death, I decided to honor his request. The only experience I’d had with gay folk at that point was a consultant for the Nebraska AIDS Project, where I was asked to approve or disapprove of several comic books they were designing for kids in general In fact, it first spread up and down in regards to HIV. Highway 101 in Africa, where female And so, to further educate myself on prostitutes were infecting male the subject, I began my research at truck drivers. It was only after a gay UNL Library and the Public Library. I flight attendant carried it with him read 50 some books on not only the to America that it spread to the gay HIV/AIDS virus, but I also conducted community. Gay bathhouses became a multi-faceted study of gay, a breeding ground, for those who lesbian, transgender, bisexual, and practiced promiscuous sex with one or more partners. And yes, under these heterosexual orientation. conditions it became an epidemic, I learned that the AIDS virus was not but lest you cast blame on all gay folks spread as rumors go by a gay man in general, know that one hot spot for having sex with a monkey. It began the spread of the virus is retirement with the trade of monkeys around Lake communities in Florida, and that is Victoria in Africa, where Germany, amongst heterosexual couples, and Great Britain and the US, were paying elderly no less. local inhabitants to capture monkeys for research purposes. Some monkeys So, like the French once said, carried SIV, Simian immunodeficiency “Unlike many humans, it doesn’t virus, which infects monkeys and discriminate,” and after reading up on causes death much like HIV leads the entire subject, with the universal to AIDS in humans. So it was once population it impacts, I will never do suspected that the virus jumped so again myself. species. However, it has never been proven whether some humans ate We are all just people trying to get by infected monkeys or whether they and we don’t need to stereotype and came in contact with contaminated put stigmas on certain populations. I was guilty of doing so that day out at blood. Wilderness Park, and though it was an Once a research monkey infected off-hand remark to make, I am now with an Ebola-like virus escaped from more much wiser in that regards. its cage, and sent out an air-born virus that infected several humans Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine | 55



came the clip heard ‘round the world. It was as if church had just begun. The words made famous by writer/ creator Linda Bloodworth Thomason filled the boozy air. And the queens went crazy. Crazy. Everyone in the bar recited every line, word-for-word, every syllable, every breath. When it was over, my friend Chad - who plays Maryjo- knowing that in just one week I will be onstage delivering that monologue as Julia Sugarbaker, takes a sip from his cocktail and in a delivery dryer that the gin martini he was enjoying, simply said, “No pressure.” I probably should have finished my drink and gone home to study, but I stayed and drank more, trying to numb the nervousness of knowing there was no wiggle room, no room for error.

“And that, Marjorie --- just so you will know --- and your children will someday know --- is the night the lights went out in Georgia!”

-Julia Sugarbaker in all her bombastic, big shoulder padded brassiness reading a beauty contestant to filth for nasty comments made about her sister Suzanne. Season 1, Episode 2, “Designing Women.”

After rehearsal one Monday night, the entire cast trekked down to Woodys bar for their Musical Theater night. Clips from “Rent,” “Wicked,” “Glee,” the usual suspects on a night like that, were delightfully interrupted by clips from “SNL” and “Mad TV.” Then

Since the Dallas run, I’ve been blessed to perform the show with the original cast in San Diego, Ft. Lauderdale, OffBroadway in New York, and now Las Vegas! I know I will be just as nervous when that moment comes late in the second act. It is the only moment from the original series that I borrow. The rest of the script is all original, but I know it is the one part I can’t screw up. No pressure indeed. Thanks Chad.

I remember watching that now-iconic monologue delivered by the late Dixie Carter as a kid back in 1986 with my grandparents in their wood-paneled TV room in Martinsburg, WV. The sitcom about four sassy southern belles was must-see, appointment television in our household. Since then I have seen that same monologue delivered by countless drag queens around the country. But it wasn’t until 2013 in Dallas, TX where I was rehearsing the World Premiere of my newest parody “Re-Designing Women” that it took on extra meaning. Photos by Mike Morgan. Pictured are the World Premiere cast from Dallas, originally produced by Uptown Players.

Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine | 57

401 S. Maryland Pkwy. • Las Vegas, NV 89101 • 702-733-9800 •

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New Trans* Programs at The Center Strive to Strengthen Relationships


hen Holly Reese joined The Center’s staff as senior and transgender programs manager in 2014, she had a goal of adding numerous new trans* and gender non-conforming programs and services. Almost immediately, she introduced the hugely successful SWITCH Trans* Clothing Swap and the FLUX support group for youth, facilitated by clinical psychologist Susan Vincent, PhD. These joined the existing Trans.lation, Out of the (Gender) Box and Transmasculine Group meetings to form what is known collectively as the Identi-T* program. The next new group to be added to the lineup is called T*gether and will launch at The Center on June 3. “The mission of T*gether is to provide peer-facilitated support in a safe, respectful environment for couples who find themselves dealing with the complexities that arise when a cisgender spouse comes out as transgender,” Reese says. “T*gether serves adult couples in a committed relationship who are looking for ways to strengthen their relationship and move forward in a healthy way.” Each three-month session of T*gether— meeting Wednesday evenings from 6 to 7:30 p.m.—will consist of six to eight

Long-time married couple Holly and Toni Nesmith will serve as co-moderators of the T*gether meetings.

couples who are at various points of transitioning in a relationship. Couples will be expected to attend together. The meetings will be set up to invite a feeling of home and safety, in a home-style environment. The first couple of meetings will be light and informal, welcoming folks to get to know each other in a casual way, inviting conversation and establishing comfort and trust. As the weeks go on,

the group will be structured in a way that the topics of conversation will become more intimate and serious. “At the end of the 3 months, a new group will form, and our hope is as more couples graduate from the group, friendships and support systems will develop in ways that allow for the couples to continue to find support both in and outside of the walls of the Center,” Reese says. For the pilot group, Reese and her partner Holly Huth will co-moderate with Holly and Toni Nesmith, a couple of 46 years with grown children and grandchildren. The Nesmiths met in

1967 when Holly was known as Jeff and married nearly two years later. In 2003, Jeff learned the word “transgender” online and adopoted the name Holly the following year. Toni has remained lovingly supportive ever since. In the near future, The Center will launch Pivot, a parent/child support group moderated by a father with a trans* son and a mother with a trans* daughter. Each meeting will be divided with the youth in one room and parents in another, coming together in one room every six weeks. “The mission behind Pivot is to provide support to families and the child when a child comes out in order help the family bond and grow, rather than to fall apart at this pivotal time,” Reese says. Once T*gether and Pivot are both launched, The Center’s trans* offerings will total seven, but that’s just the beginning. Visit or to learn more about everything under the Identi-T* umbrella and be notified of new additions. q

Social CirKish teaches youth circus skills, self-esteem and so much more


tarting in the summer of 2014, The Center began offering free circus skills classes to youth 10-19 years of age. Juggling, clowning, high wire, acrobatics, plus performing in a show in front of an audience all for free. The only requirement is that the student commit to showing up twice a week to classes for the entire nine weeks of the course. The program is called Social CirKish and is funded through generous contributions from the John C. Kish Foundation. Beyond the circus skills, which also impart confidence, self-esteem and discipline, the classes improve etiquette, manners and positive interactions between youth of disparate backgrounds and their instructors. That’s the social part of Social CirKish. Inner city youth, LGBTQ youth, and youth of a variety of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds all come together to train in circus arts

and acquire more social skills. Social CirKish at The Center is enjoying continued success as a vehicle for empowering youth in a variety of ways. Andy Ros and Salem Lyles are both longtime members of The Center’s youth program called QVolution. Both have gained part-time employment with Social CirKish. Lyles is a seasoned circus arts performer and works as an assistant to the CirKish instructors. Ros is the de facto youth artist in residence at The Center and creates set pieces for the program’s performances. Many people know The Center provides services, programming and special events designed to promote the well being of the local LGBTQ community. What many people are unaware of is that it’s also in The Center’s mission statement to provide services for low to moderate income residents of Southern Nevada. For

neighborhood youth who live near The Center, Social CirKish is often the first introduction to learning a whole new skill set with the value-add of empowering social skills that will last a lifetime. Contact Hektor Esparza at Hesparza@ for more info on class schedules and times. q

The 2015 LGBTQIA Wellness Conference: Out & Healthy — to be held at The Center in downtown Las Vegas — focuses on managing health and wellness issues and strategies for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual (LGBTQIA) communities. Health care providers such as nurses, psychologists, social workers and substance abuse counselors are invited to attend, as is anyone from the public who wishes to learn more about LGBTQIA community healthcare needs.

JUNE 25 & 26




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How Fit Are You... Emotionally? BY MICHAEL DIMENGO


e’re pretty fortunate in Las Vegas. We enjoy weather that is warm and invigorating almost all year round. Take it from this Midwesterner. I am reminded that in many areas of the country, with the passage of Spring, people are looking forward to a healthy and active summer. “Spring has finally sprung in Chicago,” some good friends texted me just the other night from Chicago. Winter and the long season of inclement weather is over. People are looking forward to the invigoration of going outside. We’re motivated to get active, to lose weight in order to get into our bathing suits. There’s a general sense of getting fit and

making ourselves fit. It is an annual and cyclic ritual of sorts. While this magazine issue focuses on physical fitness and well-being, I’m constantly reminded of our ability to be emotionally fit and well balanced. We’re made aware of those challenges in our work at The Center where we have the privilege to serve a wide variety of individuals in our LGBTQ community. As LGBTQ we face extraordinary odds as we live life out and proud. But living in a way that is true to ourselves can sometimes be extraordinarily challenging. We have to stay healthy amid the stresses. And, like those who are gym buddies who rely on the support of one another

to pursue fitness and well-being, we need to rely on one another to challenge us to be emotionally fit and strong. There is significant research that suggests that LGBTQ people are likely to be at higher risk for depression, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders. In one national study comparing LGBTQ people and heterosexual groups, researchers found that gay and bisexual men were more likely to report major depression and panic disorder. Lesbian and bisexual women were more than three times likely to have experienced generalized anxiety disorder. The reason for these wide disparities is most likely related to the societal u

stigma and resulting prejudice and discrimination that LGBTQ face on a regular basis from society at large, but more intimately, from family members, peers, co-workers and classmates. In a recent meeting that I attended in planning for our upcoming LGBTQIA Wellness Conference in June, one collaborator emphasized that “coming out” was a repetitive phenomenon. We have to constantly be alert to our environment. We have to be aware of the prejudice that exists. In each of these circumstances we have to be strong, proud, and continually come out. Being true to our very deepest selves is a constant challenge. That’s where emotional fitness comes in. Because we’re taught to be self-made individuals, we believe that if we make all the right choices, life will be OK. Well, sometimes we make choices and at other times, choices are made for us or presented to us. That’s a fact of life.

Someone once said that daily life is like the weather: it is full of highs and lows, sunny days and rainy days, blizzards and hurricanes. I believe that weathering life’s storms is a learned skill. It requires a sort of fitness to be able to manage life in a balanced way. And, when we support one another in the journey, we promote emotional fitness. We stay emotionally fit when we’re able to share with one another. I have been so privileged to take part in a variety of groups at The Center where LGBTQ from all walks of life freely share their experiences and their feelings in order to help another companion make sense of life. We are a generous community where we freely share our struggles and our successes. By doing so, we offer hope to one another. We become a source of hope. Others manage their own way because another has shared that they have been there and they have

done that. As we ponder fitness and well-being in this issue, let us be aware that fitness is much more than our ability to lessen body fat. It is more than building muscle mass. It is more than bulking up, looking buff, and being on top of our game when we get into our bathing suits. Fitness is a sense of being. It is maintaining a sense of balance and centeredness. It is our ability to be emotionally strong, rooted, and at peace so that we can weather the ups-and-downs of daily life and we can offer a helping hand to others who may need it. I can’t speak more respectfully about our LGBTQ community. They are a community who cares and who show that care each and every day at The Center. The more rooted we are and fit as human beings, the better we can be of service to others. It’s time to get fit and to be emotionally fit for each other. q


Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine - Issue 4  
Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine - Issue 4  

The Pool Party Issue