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It was another year of un-guilty pleasure at Temptation Sundays! From your host J.Son, resident DJ Matt, and the entire Luxor staff, thank you for making this our best “body” of work yet. We can’t wait to see what our seventh season will reveal next May. luxor.com/LGBT #TemptationSundays


Contents EVENTS

7

Welcome

10 Comfortable in Their Own Skin 18 Trans Deaths, White Privilege 20 Tickled Pink!

PRIDE Events 6

ARTICLES

24 Breast Cancer Awareness

Pajama Party Bingo

25 Jessica Wert: A Survivor’s Story

21 Tickled Pink Dinner Gala

26 Dessert to Die For

31 Zombie Ball 59 TransPride Week

34 Champange Kisses & Caviar Dreams

63 Ugly Sweater Bingo

39 Gay New Year’s Eve Bash!

Other Events

42 Galant Gladiators

34 Drag Queen Brunch

48 Enthusiam for the Joy of Leather

35 Lipshtick Comedy Series

51 The Kleins, a Cake and a Chasm

39 Evolve Vegas New Year’s Eve

54 21st Annual Honorarium Returns to Drai’s

52 LGBTQ Career Fair 53 The Center’s Honorarium 57 Trans Glam Gala Awards

WORLD GAY RODEO FINALS EVENT GUIDE 73 President’s Welcome 75 Director’s Welcome 77 Rodeo Assistant Directors 79 Rodeo Grand Marshal 81 IGRA Royalty 83 Wayne Jakin Western Lifestyle Award 85 Schedule of Events 87 Rodeo Officials, Directors & Staff 89 Community Hero 90 Award Sponsors 92 Event Descriptions 97 We Care About Animal Welfare

55 LGBTQ Mission to Israel

99 Thank You

56 Between Strength & Sensuality

101 Buckles

58 Vegas Has Talent

58 Las Vegas TransPride: Providing a Place for Unity

62 Las Vegas Men’s Chorus Winter Concert

61 Thanksgiving: A Tradition at the Center for our LGBTQ Youth PUBLISHER Southern Nevada Association of PRIDE, Inc. EDITOR Ernie Yuen

LAYOUT & DESIGN Jake Naylor ADVERTISING Ernie Yuen, Lyndon R. Marquez & Clair Koetitz PHOTOGRAPHY Jim Blodoin, Verner Degray, Marc Garcia, Barbara Maeker and Chris Purdum (Orange Soda Photography) ON THE COVER 2015 Las Vegas PRIDE Royalty COVER PHOTO BY Marc Garcia CONTRIBUTORS Chris Boutté, Jennifer Finney Boylan, Selena D’Angelo, Verner DeGray, Michael Dimengo, Keyska Diva, Shannon Freshwater, Kaina Jacobs, Stephanie Kirby, Susan G. Komen, Wes Miller, Angel Porrino, Ron Quinn, Mya Reyes, Sasha Rochelle, Christina Lynn Scheffner, Kevin Smith, Jamie Lee Sprague-Ballou, Jeremy Walker and Jessica Wert 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 ernie@lasvegaspride.org. 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.

4 | Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine


Welcome

BY ERNIE “PINEAPPLE” YUEN Aloha!

I hope you all had fun during PRIDE 2015 with over 32 events in 9 days. On Monday September 21st plans already began for 2016. We are always looking for people with new and different ideas to volunteer and join some of the committees, our next public board meeting is October 21, hope to see you there! Here we are at our 6th and final edition for our 2015 season, boy did time fly. What a fun and exciting experience it has been, I can tell you we have learned a lot about our community and the many organizations that make up the culture of the LGBT family here in Las Vegas. Our unique twist was to make “Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine” a non-profit, community oriented publication, being true to our community and sponsors. I hope we made you proud. Please help us make a difference and get involved. This October/November edition is dedicated to our Transgender community. Comfortable in my own skin is a unique way to describe the people we picked to highlight in our featured article. “Everyone has their own story” said Miss Las Vegas PRIDE 2013 Selena D’Angelo, “it is our time to share with everyone our struggles and accomplishments. Thank you Las Vegas PRIDE, for sharing our stories.”

We will also be hosting a very special Bingo to open up InterPride 2015. Please join us for “Super Hero Bingo” October 14th at Alexis Park. Happy hour begins at 6:00pm Bingo starts at 7:00pm sharp.

Halloween is right around the corner and Las Vegas PRIDE will be hosting it’s first “Zombie Ball” Halloween Party. Hustler Las Vegas’ Fuso Night Club turns gay on Sunday October 25! Join us for a spooky night and costume contest for a chance to win cash and a wonderfully written article about prizes. Everyone is invited! We hope a very serious problem. I am excited to see lots of Ghouls and Boos on the that we will be featuring Jennifer’s 25th. work in upcoming editions to share her point of view. I hope you enjoy the Thanksgiving is right around the corner and many non-profits here in articles and the fun photos. Las Vegas pull together and host a A first for Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine “Youth Thanksgiving” at The Center. is our very first “FLIP” edition. It’s like The more the merrier is all I can say2 magazines in one. We have teamed please read the article about this great up with World Gay Rodeo Finials to annual event and please get involvedproduce the program for their rodeo there is always plenty to eat, great hosted here in Las Vegas, October 9th company and treasured memories to to 11th, there are lots of great events create.

and activities, please come out and show your support. Hopefully this On behalf of the Board of Directors will be the first of many other “flip” of Southern Nevada Association of PRIDE, Inc. we want to wish you and magazines to come your family a wonderful Thanksgiving. Welcome InterPride 2015! Las Vegas Be safe and be nice to one another

PRIDE has the honor of hosting this year’s annual international conference. This is an organization of global pride planners. The conference is scheduled for October 15th thru 18th, with meetings, workshops, social gatherings and great networking, Stop My friend Jennifer Boylan shared the by the Alexis Park All Suit Resorts and article “Trans Death, White Privilege,” say hello.

In PRIDE, Ernie “Pineapple” Yuen Executive Director Southern Nevada Association of PRIDE, Inc.

Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine | 7


Transgender is a very hot topic today. 10 years ago not too many people knew what the definition of transgender was, it was a very taboo subject. We all knew it existed but never talked about it. I grew up with transgender cousins, so it was second nature to me. The love was always unconditional, Jessie was now Jessica and Thomas was now Tami. No it wasn’t easy, but we all got through it. Now it’s 2015, we have major celebrities in the spotlight, TV shows focused on the reality of it all, newspaper and magazine articles with their point of view. The Transgender community is no longer in the closet. No matter how it is documented the Transgender community is still extremely complex and can be very mysterious to those not part of it.

Comfortable

In Their Own Skin By Ernie Yuen, Executive Director, Las Vegas PRIDE

10 | Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine

There is so much to learn, I can sit and talk about this subject for hours. I have many friends, family members, children (the great thing about being gay is we can also create our own families) that are transgender and they are just like you and me, pretty normal. They do have a colorful past that makes my childhood and early 20’s seem, well, pretty boring. I will say most of them are 10 times stronger then me. I wanted to do an article to highlight some of the amazing people from our transgender community here in Las Vegas. This is just the first of many articles to come. The one thing that I have admired about the people you’re about to meet is that no matter what they have been through, notwithstanding all of their struggles, they are still very proud of who there are. I wanted each one of them to share their “story.” Hopefully it will help our youth understand that “it gets better” and there is always someone you can reach out to for help. I’m proud to say these are my friends and they are confortable in their own skin.


Jeremy Wallace My earliest memories of not feeling comfortable in my own skin, or at least not feeling “right”, was around the age of four or five. Even at such a young age, I knew that I was a boy, but the world around me thought differently. I would copy anything my dad did, from pretending to shave to wanting to dress just like him in a shirt and tie, but was always reminded by others that that wasn’t what “little girls” are supposed to do. Fortunately for me, my parents were supportive in the fact that they allowed me to act and dress like a tomboy, but it was the 70’s and the term or even idea of being transgender wasn’t talked about. They did the best they could, but given the lack of information, they silently watched their child suffer. By the time I hit puberty, the feeling of disconnect between who I felt I was and who I saw looking back at me in the mirror was emotionally and psychologically painful. It was as if my body was betraying me, and it was then that I finally realized that I would not grow up to become a man like my dad, which deepened my depression. I struggled with my gender identity alone in silence up until I was thirtyseven years old. It was around then that I couldn’t take another day, week, let alone another year of unhappiness, so I decided to embark on a new journey and began my transition. The journey has not been easy, but it has been worth every moment. Now that I am seven years into living as my true, authentic self, I can honestly say that I am the happiest I have ever been in my life. Even though I am still learning to navigate the world as the man I always knew I was, I have a more optimistic outlook on my life and future because the person I am matches the person I see everyday in the mirror.

of struggle and appreciate that they were necessary to build a much stronger foundation for my future. Without the tough years, I wouldn’t be able to appreciate my successes as much, and wouldn’t have a powerful story to share with the world. I have compiled my journey into a published book titled, Taking The Scenic Route In the last couple of years, I have To Manhood and have the amazing been able to learn from my decades opportunity to speak to and educate

groups all over the nation about my experience as a transgender man. There were many times where I didn’t think I would make it through another year or I hoped I wouldn’t, but I can attest that it does in fact get better, once I started to live and walk in my truth. I am a firm believer that everyone has a unique story to tell and we all benefit when those stories are shared. Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine | 11


Selena D’Angelo

granted. I traveled the country doing what I love, making people beautiful and happy. Today, I’m a makeup artist and hair stylist, and also a leader. I love to inspire younger transgendered by helping them through life without feeling alone. I teach them through life experiences to love the skin you’re in, and to embrace everything.

I’m a 42 year old trans woman who has lived my life to the fullest. I discovered who I am at a young age. Playing with my mothers makeup and taking long bubble baths, putting all the foam all over my chest pretending I was a little girl. Wrapping my wet hair with a towel and tossing it across The thing I’m most proud of is that I’ve my back. survived the darkest times of my life. Being raised in a large family. I always When I started to love myself more wanted to stay in and do the girlie and forgave myself for the wrong I chores like cleaning and cooking. Not was doing. Life turned around and wanting to play football but wanting blessings came into my life. A former to be a cheerleader. I never fit in. I was Miss Las Vegas PRIDE, Miss Gay Las raised in a traditional Japanese home Vegas, and Miss Galaxy International, and we weren’t allowed to discuss today I’m a daughter, a mother, a wife. feelings or show emotions. I trained myself to do everything to please Kaina Jacobs my family and I suppressed my own (Pictured at right) thoughts. Once I graduated from high school, I raged. I wanted attention I knew I was a special spirit from a very and to be accepted. I went to the young age. Growing up in Honolulu, clubs and hit the streets to meet Hawaii surrounded by my parents and the creatures of the night. Where two sisters, I can remember always I’m from they call them “mahu’s” being attracted to the feminine things they where beautiful, feminine and around me. As a child, my favorite seductive. past time was braiding the hair of my sisters’ Barbie dolls. It wasn’t unusual I grew up in a time where there was to find myself running around the no Internet or social media. I was house wrapped in a floor length shocked but at the same time I felt couture creation I had made from a like I knew them. bed sheet. Through the growing pains of childhood, I always found great I began my transition, and it wasn’t love and support from my family. easy at first. I knew what I felt was different but didn’t understand. I At the age of 18 I expressed to my went though many weird stages of family my desire to transition from not looking like the gender I wanted male to female. I shared my feelings to be. I was somewhere, stuck in the and the initial reaction of my parents middle. I self-medicated my pain with was mixed. I was lucky; my parents had drugs. It made me not deal with the many gay and lesbian friends, but had pain of what I was going through. I little to no experience with anyone felt like I was hurting my family by who was trans. It was a teachable living my life like this. I distanced moment for myself and the people myself from them and made a new I loved. As I transitioned so did my family with my friends. I got heavier family. As I developed into a beautiful, and more involved in the scene and well-rounded and productive citizen became a sex worker to pay my way of the community my family’s fears of through schooling and to help pay for a lifestyle marred with difficulty and my surgeries. struggle fell away. I began a spiritual path and started To this day, I always look to my family; caring about myself more and they will always be my greatest source wanting to live. Not taking life for of support. Without their patience, 12 | Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine


Sasha Rochelle (Pictured below)

I felt confortable in a dress at the age of 5. It started with me wearing my sister’s clothes. Deep inside I always felt more confortable being a girl. Everything about myself was focussed on the feminine. My siblings and I grew up in a very abusive household. My father, who was an alcoholic and drug user, abused me daily. Knowing that I was different, he could not love and accept me for who I was. Home life was very difficult, and it got to the point where my mother did not feel safe for herself and her 6 children, me being the youngest. In the middle of the night, mom packed herself and her 6 children and escaped to the other side of the island to find safety in our family church. The next morning we flew out of Hawaii and heading to San Diego, to live with family. Growing up in a safe place I started to discover myself, I experimented and dressed like a women, not drag, but like a women. In High School my primary group of friends were female and gay boys from drama class. At the age of 17 I wanted to reconnect with my father and decided to go visit him in Hawaii. Everything was wonderful for the first 2 weeks. Being in transition, he made me feel like everything was ok. My father got drunk one night and abused my step mom and when he was done with her, I love, and understanding my story could have had an entirely different outcome. I currently work, as a make-up artist here is Las Vegas. I share my life with my partner of two years, and I think wedding bells may be in my near future. For now I enjoy all that life has to offer me, and continue to share these amazing moments with my family and friends. I’m most proud of the relationship I was able to nurture with my family through my transition. It was as if they transitioned with me, educating family and their friends on how to refer to me and to trans people like me. Helping them to understand the trans culture they were definitely allies to the trans community and myself. Before my father retired he would counsel fellow father’s at work who had trans children who were coming out. He would share with them that “These are our children and we must always love our children no matter what. They are, and will always be, a part of us.” I want my fellow sisters or brothers to know that they are prefect and good enough. That they can be exactly what they envision themselves to be in the world. It is their selfvision of how they see themselves that matters most. It doesn’t matter what anyone else says, thinks, or feels. Only they need to know their own potential, for everyone’s journey through transition is uniquely their own.


was next. He told me “There is no way my son will become a woman”. He took a knife and proceeded to cut my hair (that was his way of thinking that I would be a man). That night, after he passed out, I packed my backpack and ran away from abuse. I found my way to Waikiki, on the other side of the island. Not knowing anyone I became homeless. I slept on the beach, under bridges and did what I needed to do to survive. Part of survival was entering into the sex industry. After living on the streets for about 8 months, I met a very nice man named Marco. We became friends, and he got me off the streets. Part of his charm was that he encouraged me to be who I wanted to be. He made me feel very confident about myself. Being together for about a year, I decided I needed a change and wanted to become a makeup artist. I flew back to San Diego to start beauty school.

throw you many obstacles, but if you stay strong and focus, believe in yourself, work hard and have faith in God, you can accomplish anything that you want to.

Keyska Diva I was asked to tell my story and struggle of becoming a transsexual. It all began in a small, red neck, country town called Uvalde, Texas, where there were not many openly gay people.

Growing up I tried to tell myself I was Bisexual to soften the blow, so to speak, because I was not 100% comfortable with my sexuality due to The very next day I threw away all my surroundings. I always had a flair of my male clothes and started my for dramatics, wearing costumes and transition. It was a crazy start for me even wanting to perform. I think that is part of the reason I enjoyed running cross country and participating in traditional Indian dancing. It was my only outlet back then to express myself. I don’t think the residents of Uvalde were ready to see a young man dressing up as a woman. In fact, I was not even sure I was ready for all of that yet! I never knew there was even such a thing as a transsexual growing up.

Graduating from beauty school I started doing makeup for photo shoots, while at a gig I was hired to do makeup, however the model scheduled for the shoot didn’t show up. The photographer asked me to fill in. I’m not stupid and jumped right in. This is how my modeling career During school things weren’t too started. bad for me, just the typical name calling and teasing. Once I graduated I was a bikini model (pre-op) for 2 I moved up to Austin with a group of years and no one knew. I was told friends with the hopes that I would be keep this a secret. At the age of 22 able to find out more of who I truly I had my surgery, and finally felt was. Austin was (and still is) the most complete. My success included liberal place in Texas and I noticed that 8 international magazine covers, I was more comfortable there which countless centerfolds, and being the allowed me to start to understand my winner of over 30-bikini contests. situation more clearly. I did what I wanted to accomplish and I was done. It was time for me to reveal my real self to the world. I decided to go to the Tyra Banks show to share my secret. The topic of the show was “how the gay community treats each other”. That was the start of many other TV appearances focusing in on me being a transgender super model.

On one of my visits to San Antonio I went to my first drag show, and for the first time I was able to witness the ever so flawless Erica Andrews! She was the first transsexual I had ever seen I wanted to share my story so that and knew right everyone would see that life can 14 | Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine

there and then that is what I wanted to be. I always felt like a female but like I said didn’t know it was possible to change. I was finally able to find my true calling as an entertainer and started performing at bars doing shows and pageants while in Texas. While I was there I meet a great person named Adam, he was the first person that I felt totally comfortable sharing everything with and vice versa. Adam helped me build the confidence to start my transition. He told me he could tell I was happier when I was in drag and dressing as a female, and asked why didn’t I just do it if that is what would make me happiest.


with hormones because I didn’t have many girls to talk to because in Texas it’s all about pumping your body to get where you want to be, not waiting to let the hormones do their job. As my transition progressed, it was harder and harder for me to get real jobs. Doing drag shows alone was not cutting it financially, so as many girls starting their transitions, I turned to the adult industry for more income. Shortly after that I moved out to Las Vegas to try and change things and better myself. With the move came more opportunities and more money in the film industry, I found myself getting deeper and deeper in the adult industry and with that came drugs.

designers, and am now breaking off they are going to always make me on my own as a stylist. grow personally and professionally. I never want to settle for mediocrity or It has been a long journey getting to become complacent because I know where I am today. I have had to fight that no matter how old I am there a lot as a transgendered woman and will always be something to learn. I I have been knocked down by others want other transgendered people and even by my own poor choices. to look at what I am currently doing and hopefully find some inspiration. I have become proud of myself I want them to see that they can because I have developed resilience do anything they want to, just like to naysayers and have become anyone else, and that we deserve to determined to succeed and be a better be treated the same as everyone else. person. Have I figured out everything I know that our place in society is just that there is to know about life? No, of as significant as anyone elses. course not, no one does... and I am just fine with that. I don’t mind failure and I don’t fear challenges because I know

I had come to Vegas to find myself, and while I became totally comfortable with my transition, I was becoming a person I just didn’t like due to my poor life choices. My biggest heartache came when my own past came to haunt me. I was the first transgendered woman crowned Miss Las Vegas PRIDE in 2012. It was an honor I had been working towards for almost 5 years. Once I finally got to share my title with my bestie, Freddie, I was asked to step down. Some people didn’t feel I was a good representation for our youth as an ex adult entertainer. Although this hurt me so much it made me even stronger and pushed me to want to make a change. With the encouragement of my friends I decided to go back to school after that event. I am now a full time student receiving my bachelors in Fashion Retail Management to start my own business. While I’ve been attending The Las Vegas Art Institute I started interning with Fashion Week Las Vegas. From this experience I meet Russel Frank, from whom I have learned so much. He pointed me in the direction I now want to go. With his help and guidance I have been part of conducting runway shows, worked one on one with

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Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine | 15


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Trans Deaths WHITE PRIVILEGE By Jennifer Finney Boylan

It was snowing in Maine on Jan. 9. I’d been to the dentist’s the day before. The staff there were pleasant enough when I changed genders 12 years ago. “We’ll just change your forms,” the receptionist had said, cheerfully. “It’s no problem.” That day, Papi Edwards, 20, a transgender woman of color, was shot to death outside a hotel in Louisville, Ky.

Lamia Beard, a 30-year-old black trans woman, was shot that day in Norfolk, Va. It was the weekend before the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday. Feminist scholars write of the concept of “intersectionality” — the way people who occupy multiple oppressed identities can be understood only in terms of their sum, rather than as a set of independent experiences. As two trans women, Ms. Beard and I had some common experiences. But the differences between us have to be understood not only in terms of race but also in the way the oppressions generated by race and gender are bound together.

If you’d told me in 2000, as a transgender woman just coming out, that I was a person of privilege, I’d have angrily lectured you about exactly how heavy the burden I’d been carrying was. It had nearly done me in: the shame, the secrecy, the loneliness. It had not yet occurred It snowed hard on Jan. 26. The to me that other burdens, carried by subways closed that night. The day other women, could be weightier. before I’d gone to services at Riverside Church. Sitting in the pews, staring at On Jan. 17, I moved into a new stained glass, I’d felt the power of God apartment on 106th and West End shining on me like a bright light. Later, in Manhattan, in anticipation of the I talked to a friend about the thing I’d spring semester at Barnard College, felt. My friend, an astrophysicist at where I teach English. My son Zach Columbia, is a trans woman, too. We came down with me, helping to carry are both white. my luggage. He was heading back to college the next day. We had lunch They found Ty Underwood’s body at an Ethiopian restaurant called in her car that day. She was a black Awash, on Amsterdam. I pointed out trans woman, a nursing assistant the window at the building across who lived in Tyler, Tex. the street, where I’d lived with the screenwriter Charlie Kaufman in Like a lot of white people, a lot of the the early 1980s. I wasn’t out as time I’m not aware of having “white transgender then; I couldn’t imagine privilege.” In a similar way, I can tell it. Yet here I was, 30 years later, a you that I wasn’t aware of having Barnard professor, having lunch with “male privilege,” either, in the years my son, who is a drama major at before transition. It’s something you Vassar. come to understand only when it’s gone, like the first time I walked down 18 | Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine

Artwork by Shannon Freshwater

an empty street alone after midnight as a woman, and heard a man’s heavy footsteps behind me. On Jan. 31, my wife came down from Maine. We went to see the movie “Selma” at the AMC Theater on West 84th Street. There, we saw the actor playing Dr. King say, “It is unacceptable that they use their power to keep us voiceless.” Firefighters found Yazmin Vash Payne that day in an apartment in Los Angeles. She’d died of multiple stab wounds, reportedly the third trans woman killed in Los Angeles in four months. On Feb. 1, I spent the day grading papers. That morning I worshiped at Riverside again. Sitting there listening to the carillon, I remembered the words my mother used to say: Love will prevail. Around the time I was at Riverside, Taja Gabrielle DeJesus was found dead in a stairwell in San Francisco. She’d been stabbed. A trans woman of color in her 30s, she was a member


of Bayview Church. Her mother North Philadelphia that day of stab described her as “beautiful inside wounds. One of her friends told a and out.” local station, “She had a heart of gold.” The 2012 National Transgender Discrimination Survey reported that On May 30, I was in San Francisco for trans people faced pervasive bias a meeting of the board of Glaad, the in housing and employment and L.G.B.T. advocacy group. suffered from higher rates of suicide. In almost every area, black trans Mercedes Williamson, a 17-yearpeople reported that they were doing old trans woman, reportedly worse than white trans people. disappeared that same day in Rocky Creek, Ala. Her body was found a On Feb. 11, I appeared on MSNBC with few days later, in a field behind the the anchor Thomas Roberts and the house of the alleged murderer’s actress Judith Light, who stars in the father. Amazon series “Transparent,” about a family with a transgender parent. On July 21, my wife and I were We talked about the progress being in a Los Angeles restaurant with made on transgender issues. But the the transgender minister Allyson progress isn’t equal for everyone. Robinson. “God knows us,” she told me, “before we know ourselves.” Penny Proud, a 21-year-old trans woman of color, was shot to death India Clarke, a 25-year-old trans the day before, in New Orleans. woman of color, was found beaten to death in Tampa that day. A local On Feb. 16 Barnard — an all-women’s station referred to her as a “man college — had a community forum dressed as a woman.” Her father for students, alumni, faculty and said: “The Lord made us this way. It’s staff members to talk about the issue a shame that we could lose the life of admitting transgender women. I because of who we are.” spoke at the event, and told everyone to open their hearts. Two days later, I spent an evening on the set of the Amazon series Kristina Gomez Reinwald, also “Transparent” on the Paramount lot. known as Kristina Grant Infiniti, was My son, who knows all about having a found dead the day before in Miami. transgender parent, is working on the She was a transgender Latina in show as a production assistant. her mid-40s. A Miami TV station reported that, since there were no K. C. Haggard was killed that day, in signs of forced entry in her home, Fresno, stabbed by someone passing she may have known her killer — in a car. a person whose heart, one might guess, had not been opened. On Aug. 8, I went to dinner at the Village Inn in Belgrade Lakes, ME. The I talked to Caitlyn Jenner by phone for inn is across the lake from our house. the first time on May 18. She struck My wife and I traveled there by boat. me as a kind soul, from a very different world than my own, but determined Amber Monroe, 20, a trans woman to do good. “We don’t want people of color, was killed in Detroit that dying over this issue,” she told me. day. Someone shot her as she was getting out of a car near Palmer Londyn Chanel, a 21-year-old black Park. trans woman, was found dead in

In the last three weeks, news reports have come out about the deaths of at least five more trans or gender-nonconforming people including Shade Schuler, in Dallas; Kandis Capri, in Phoenix; Ashton O’Hara, in Detroit; Elisha Walker, near Smithfield, N.C.; and Tamara Dominguez, in Kansas City, Mo. My mother told me that love would prevail, and for me it has, as it often does for people of privilege in this country, people who can find themselves insulated from injustice by dint of race or class or education or accident of birth. For many trans women, though, especially those of color, something other than love prevails: loss. Did their lives matter any less than mine?

Photo of Jennifer by Jim Blodoin

Jennifer Finney Boylan became a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times in 2013, and has written for the Times opinion pages since 2007 about education, parenthood, gender and more. She is the author of 13 books, including “Stuck in the Middle With You: Parenthood in Three Genders.” A professor of English at Colby College, she is the national co-chairwoman of Glaad and serves on the board of trustees of the Kinsey Institute for Research on Sex, Gender and Reproduction.

Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine | 19


TICKLED PINK PROMOTING BREAST CANCER AWARENESS Southern Nevada Association of PRIDE, Inc. (SNAPI) has a new collaborative effort on the horizon. We are partnering with Susan G. Komen of Southern Nevada to promote breast cancer awareness in the LGBT community. This collaboration started with a reach out from SNAPI to the local Komen office to see if they had anything in place to promote breast health in our community. They stated that involvement with the LGBT community regarding breast cancer awareness and education was one of their top five priorities for this year and we determined this would be an excellent opportunity to partner with them. It is our goal to spread the message that cancer and, in particular, breast cancer, does not spare anyone and everyone needs to be aware of what information and help was available to them at the local level. Our first foray into this arena will be “Tickled Pink!” This event will be held November 19, 2015 at Emerald at Queensridge. At the event, we are planning to introduce our new partner, Susan G. Komen, to the community. The evening will be a 20 | Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine

fun mixture combining dinner, silent auction, informative speakers and entertainment. We also encourage everyone to wear pink, we will have a fashion contest and see who will win the “Pink Ribbon” trophy.

cancer knows no boundaries and, when it comes to saving lives, neither does Susan G. Komen. We’ll see you on Thursday, November 19th at Queensridge at 6pm looking fabulous in your best pink creation!

All the monies raised through the event will benefit Komen Southern Call (866) 930-3336 for information Nevada and will be dedicated to or email info@lasvegaspride.org! promoting breast health in the GLBT community through programs such as the Nevada Health Centers Mammovan. The Mammovan seeks to serve underserved populations by targeting individuals age 40 and over to provide education and mammograms. The Mammovan is scheduled to be at the Center in early December and we will attempt to get them scheduled for more stops in the future. Save the date and put this new fun event on your calendar! As a brand new event with a great new collaboration, we are excited to see how the whole night unfolds but, without a doubt, it will be fun! But, through the joyousness of the event, we want to do something to benefit our community. We know breast


OCTOBER IS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH Cancer. It’s not sexy or fun to talk about, but we certainly can’t deny that it exists. And, likely, we all know someone personally who has been affected by some form of it. Today, let’s talk about breast cancer. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but cancer doesn’t follow the calendar year…it shows up when it wants to show up. So while we are so grateful to have a month dedicated to breast cancer, being vigilant with your health twelve months a year is your best protection. Breast cancer is a disease that knows no boundaries…it does not care about gender, race or socio-economic status. It is, for sure, an equal opportunity disease. Because of that, we should all be aware of any changes in our bodies. At Susan G. Komen, one of our philosophies is to know what is right for you. But if something doesn’t feel right and you’ve never noticed it, do not hesitate to get checked. There are 8 signs of breast cancer and 6 are visual, so it is tremendously important to notice when something is different for you. Some of these signs include a lump, pain, swelling, redness and dimpling of the skin. The most common type of cancer among women is breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 231,840 new 24 | Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine

cases of invasive breast cancer will occur in the U.S. in 2015 and an estimated 40,290 women will die from the disease this year. The rates of diagnosis for men are lower, but it is so important to know that they do exist. In 2015, an estimated 2,350 new cases of breast cancer in men will be diagnosed in 2015 and approximately 380 men will die. Per the American Cancer Society, studies have found that lesbians and bisexual women have higher rates of breast cancer than heterosexual women. Unfortunately, these women also get less routine health care than other women. Some documented reasons for this include low rates of health insurance, fear of discrimination and negative experiences with health care providers.

of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, a Dutch study was released which researched the occurrence of breast cancer among transsexual persons 18–80 years with an exposure to cross-sex hormones between 5 to >30 years. The study included 2,307 maleto-female (MtF) transsexual persons undergoing androgen deprivation and estrogen administration and 795 female-to-male (FtM) subjects receiving testosterone. From the study, the researchers acknowledged that the number of people studied and duration of hormone exposure were limited, but it appeared that cross-sex hormone administration does not increase the risk of breast cancer development, in either MtF or FtM transsexual individuals. Breast carcinoma incidences in both groups are comparable to male breast With changes in federal law regarding cancers. However, that being said, we same-sex marriage, we are hopeful recognize that there is much to be that insurance coverage will become done in this area of research. less of a barrier but, for now, that is a very valid issue for too many. It does not matter if you are a woman Fear is a legitimate concern, so we or a man. It does not matter if you need to make sure, as activists and are gay or straight. Your ethnicity advocates, we determine who the does not matter. It does not matter LBGT friendly healthcare providers if you are Christian or Jewish. It does are in our community and share that not matter where you live. Your information widely. And, through salary does not matter. We are all that, we are hopeful that negative susceptible to breast cancer. It knows healthcare experiences will lessen. no boundaries. But what does matter is that this is your life. Make it the For transsexuals, when receiving best life for you. treatment for transition, they receive cross-sex hormones, potentially inducing hormone-sensitive malignancies. In the December 2013 issue


JESSICA WERT

A SURVIVOR’S STORY

she would have to do every three weeks for six months. Two weeks after her first treatment, her hair started thinning. Following her second treatment, she shaved her head. “The most traumatizing thing for me was the loss of my hair,” says Jessica. “I think I wore a wig once and couldn’t stand it so it was ball caps from then on out.” Her nails turned yellow and started chipping, which was odd for her having always had very strong nails. She recalls times when she was starving, only to go out to dinner and have the smell of the food make her sick. The side effects were severe but she used her sense of humor to push through it all.

In October of 2011, 28-year old Jessica Lynn Wert discovered a lump in her right breast. Concerned, she made an appointment to go see her doctor right away. She was immediately set up for a mammogram and ultrasound, followed by an appointment with a breast surgeon. She received a biopsy and when the results came back, her journey began. On November 1st, Jessica was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. “To be 28 and diagnosed was shocking to say the least,” says Jessica. “When this news Following chemotherapy, Jessica was faced with the came, it was like…okay…another challenge. I’ve been decision of having a lumpectomy or a mastectomy. For Jessica, the decision was easy. She had always been big fighting since I was born so let’s just keep going.” chested and considered having a reduction in the past, Due to the size of her tumor, doctors recommended so she concluded that a double mastectomy, followed by chemotherapy to reduce the size before surgery. On reconstruction, was her best option. The surgery went December 28th, she had her first chemo session, which well, however, by the second and third day of recovery, Jessica was feeling extreme pain. “It’s not a pleasant experience but it’s a necessary evil.” Her mother and then-girlfriend, Christina, were with her through this difficult time. “I couldn’t have done it without them.” After about five days, she started to feel better and more like her normal self. Through it all, Jessica took it one day at a time, trying to live her life as normal as possible. She is a police officer for Metro and worked during her whole treatment. “The police department was great. They let me be on light duty. I was able to work and I was able to do it at my own pace,” says Jessica. “Just to have the support from them helped me push through it. Besides the surgery, I only called off about 2 or 3 days.” Today, Jessica is three years cancer free and finished with her reconstruction. On October 5, 2013, Jessica and Christina became domestic partners with a beautiful wedding ceremony of their dreams held at Secret Garden Weddings. A year later they bought a house and are truly making it their own. And this year, they made their union official by legally tying the knot on July 4th! But wait, there’s more! At the beginning of this year, Jessica and Christina decided to begin the process to grow their family. They checked to see if Jessica’s eggs were still viable after chemo and made the decision that, if they were, they would use them for their first pregnancy and Christina would carry. They are happy to announce that Jessica’s eggs were viable and they are pregnant and expecting identical twin boys December 31st!! They are extremely excited and feel truly, truly blessed. Life, as they say, is good… Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine | 25


Dessert To Die For Cakes and cupcakes so good, they’re frightening! By Angel Porrino

Experiencing the theatrical side of baking is an everyday occurrence at Showboy Bakeshop, but come autumn, things gets a little more spooktacular.

sized chainsaw cake for the opening party of Frightdome. Stephen’s favorite part of the Halloween season is the store’s holiday cupcake assortment. “Last year we created a collection based on our favorite Co-owners Stephen Lowry and Jared horror movies,” he says. “This year we Sullivan have always enjoyed creating have something even more exciting themed cakes and cupcakes for their planned and I can’t wait to unveil it!” shop’s customers, but both boys agree that the darker and scarier side To keep up with all of the fun at of Halloween orders are their favorite. Showboy Bakeshop, check them out “We generally are asked to make on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and beautiful, sophisticated cakes,” says their website showboybakeshop. Sullivan, “so in October when we start com. You can also visit them daily getting orders for edible graveyards at 2591 Anthem Village Drive in and cakes splattered in blood, it Henderson. gives us something different and unique to invent. It’s an opportunity to experiment with elements and designs that we normally don’t get requests for during the rest of the year, so it’s something that we really look forward to and have fun with.” Last year the Showboy’s work was even featured on the cover page of CNN.com when they created a life

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Champagne Kisses & CAVIAR DREAMS By Chris Boutté

Whether you’re a Las Vegas local or just in town for a thrilling weekend of fun, there’s a hot new venue in town that you have to check out. Club UNITY is located in the World Famous Fruit Loop and it’s home to Las Vegas’s only Drag Queen Brunch. The magnificent Miss Conception has returned to Las Vegas after a three-year hiatus in Los Angeles, California. She moved when Krave closed and Lucky Cheng’s Dinner Theatre went dark. We had the pleasure of sitting down with her to get the lowdown about the show, and she told us that this is more than a show; it’s an experience. Miss Conception told us she’s “30ish something years old,” and she’s been doing drag for over 15 years. We asked why people should come down to Drag Queen Brunch when there’s so much going on in Vegas already. “I’ve been doing brunches for five years and dine and drag shows for over 10 years,” Miss Conception stated, “It’s all about laughter, love and EQUALITY.” If you’re a local, you’ll be able to make the Drag Queen Brunch your new Sunday morning routine because there will always be something new. Even if you’re just visiting, you’ll be sure to want to come back for a second taste. Miss Conception has made a lot of friends in the drag scene, so we can expect to see big names from Los Angeles and RuPaul’s Drag Race like Tammie Brown and LaGanja Estranja. Miss Conception promises this ensemble will also include transsexual woman, live singers and even Drag Kings because she believes “drag is whatever the entertainer wants to bring to life.” 34 | Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine

Drag Queen Brunch kicked off Sunday, September 6th. As long as you have a valid ID and and are 21+, entry is absolutely free. You’ll be treated to bottomless mimosas for $17, Bloody Mary’s and Waffle n’ Syrup shots for $5 and there’s a complete food menu too. The doors open at 11am, and the show starts at noon... so skip church and come cure your hangover with a fabulous time every Sunday with the Champagne Queens at Club UNITY.

Club UNITY is located at: 700 E Naples Dr. #110 Las Vegas, NV 0069 Phone: (702) 545-0069 Web: ClubUNITYLasVegas.com


EVOLVE VEGAS NYE RETURNS TO THE HAVANA NIGHTCLUB FOR AN EVEN LARGER

GAY NEW YEAR’S EVE BASH! By Mya Reyes

2015 is coming to an end and Evolve Vegas NYE is ready to usher in 2016 with a blast! The ONLY Gay New Year’s Eve event on the famous Las Vegas Strip promises to once again, be the party of the year, with gay revelers from around the world ringing in 2016 in an exciting and elegant venue. Last year’s Evolve Vegas NYE, hosting nearly 1,100 guests, was voted among the top 6 Gay New Year’s Eve blowouts by OutTraveler magazine, and attendees came from 6 continents. One guest said, “I enjoyed the fun atmosphere. The entertainment lineup was awesome. Everyone who attended was super nice. For showing up to the event by myself, I had the best New Year’s in Las Vegas, and Evolve was the primary influence.” Another posted, “I’m glad EVOLVE is happening again. It was just. So. Classy!”

Hosted by the fabulous Edie, from Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity, with national DJ Aybsent Mynded, and one of your favorite Drag Queens from Ru Paul’s Drag Race Season 8, plus hot dancers, amazing entertainment and special guests, this is an event you won’t want to miss, even if you’re a local who usually stays away from the strip, you’ll want to make an exception for this amazing party. The Havana Nightclub is truly a winner because even though the Strip closes early, there’s easy accessibility from the back entrance to the hotel, and it

can also be accessed by foot from a number of nearby properties. Guests will relish in The Havana Nightclub’s breathtaking indoor/ outdoor layout and when the clock strikes midnight, they will be treated to wonderful views of the Strip’s stunning firework display. The roster of entertainers and special guests is forthcoming, but one thing is certain: It’s the perfect gay New Year’s Eve extravaganza to attend with a group of friends, but if you’re flying solo it’s a great opportunity to meet new people. Tickets for Evolve Vegas NYE are $99 for General Admission and $149 for VIP Admission. The VIP tickets include a 2-hour private reception featuring open bar, special VIP performances, Meet and Greet with the performers and celebrity guests, plus VIP seating and bar access. Tickets are available for purchase at: EvolveVegasNYE.com For more information contact: Donovan Kaneshiro Donovan@evolvevegasnye.com Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine | 39


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Enthusiasm for

The Joy of Leather By Christina Lynn Scheffner with Don Norris and Brizzy

For nearly a year, I explored my new position and honed my craft. Then misfortune struck when The Rack closed its doors. I was torn from role of a leather designer. Or so I thought... Within very little time, many of my previous customers sought me out asking if I would continue. Starting a business was a challenging task. However, with my blossoming fondness and desire for creating leatherwear, my partner and I decided to dive into the opportunity head first. Thus, Amici Designs was born.

I have always had a passion for fashion, it seems, designing and molding my art ever since I could hold a crayon. During nearly 20 years of professional experience; I’ve designed and professionally created in various styles including Bridal, Renaissance, Shakespearian, Gothic couture, and Various Dance themed costumes just to name a few. After 13 years of living in Saint Louis, I decided I needed a change. I made the decision to move to the Fabulous Las Vegas. Upon my move I found myself in the welcoming arms of a new relationship, a new city and a new job. I had the pleasure of working at The Rack making custom leather designs. It was love at first touch! I love the smell, feel, creative possibilities, and the challenge that comes with molding it to perfection. My favorite part of the business was definitely the people I encountered. 48 | Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine

I was welcomed with such vivacious energy I couldn’t help being drawn to the culture, diversity and integrity of the Las Vegas LGBT community. My leather art pieces were accepted and encouraged with a level of enthusiasm I was unaccustomed to.

During the last five months, we have expanded our product line, improved our quality, and met many amazing new friends. We’ve participated in various exciting events like Leather Church, Sin in the City, and Smokeout. This spring, we received the great honor of being asked to create the sash for the new Mr/Miss Las Vegas Leather PRIDE title.


I studied sashes from various competitions for inspiration, really wanting this year’s sash to be something special. I decided the color scheme should match those of the Leather Pride Flag, and I sourced top quality leather in just the right shades for accomplishing my desired effect. I utilized a variety of techniques in constructing the overall sash. The main lettering was laser cut from a vector image, creating a clear and clean finish. Two red leather hearts, one embroidered with “Mr.” and the other with “Miss”, would be displayed on the night of the competition. Once the winner was selected, the extra heart could be removed, making it personalized for the winner. Now that the competition is over, I keep the “Miss” heart in my workshop, as little reminder of how proud I am to be of this community and my part in it.

You can find Amici Designs Leather online at AmiciCustomLeather.com, or in person at Get Booked. You can also follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/amicicustomdesigns. Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine | 49


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

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The Kleins, a Cake and a Chasm BY MICHAEL DIMENGO

Y

ou may have seen a recent news story that involved The Center and several other LGBTQ centers throughout southern California. On Thursday, August 20, we received an oversized package from Aaron and Melissa Klein of Portland, Ore. They are the proprietors of Sweet Cakes, a bakery located there. The Kleins became known to many in our community because they were the bakers who declined to create a wedding cake for a lesbian couple who had requested it. They refused based on religious values. As a result of their not accommodating the request, under public accommodation laws in Oregon, the Kleins were subsequently fined $135,000 in damages. The incident forced the Kleins to close down their business. On August 20, the Kleins were baking again. Were they baking up a scheme or what? They had sent to The Center a 9-inch cake. It was a cake covered in white fondant with a heart shape in red frosting on the top. Inscribed upon the red heart in white lettering it read, “We really do love you!” Also enclosed with the cake was a DVD of a movie entitled Audacity. Although I have not had time to view the movie, I am told that it is a view of homosexuality from a Christian perspective. The immediate reaction to the “gift” by the staff at The Center was rather

reserved. The cake was brought to my office and we were immediately suspicious. What was the motive of the senders? What was the “catch”? Was this a marketing ploy? And, admittedly, our suspicions worsened as time went on. Was the cake somehow booby-trapped? What did it mean? Could it have been laced with something to make us sick? Or even something fatal? In a leap of trust I immediately put aside all the suspicions and volunteered to cut the cake and have the first piece. Others had prohibited me. So, we walked the cake out to the lunch room where Jackson Nightshade, one of our Operations Specialists, was sitting at the table. We asked if they wanted a piece of cake and, of course, they said yes. Who wouldn’t? We explained where the cake was from then cut into the cake. And, not to take advantage of any staff, I ate the

first piece. The rest of the staff followed suit and devoured it. Besides getting an afternoon sugar rush, we were all safe. Several media outlets then contacted us about the cake, the Kleins, and the chasm that lies between us. The Associated Press, New York Daily News, and The Blaze—a Christian publication—all covered the “loving” gesture. In interviews with the press, I was amazed by the variety of reactions reported by the various LGBTQ centers. One center gave the cake to a homeless shelter. Another posted the question online and asked constituents what it should do. Another center took the cake and put it online on an eBay auction— with the proceeds to go to the homeless youth that they served. I noted as I read through the reactions that our response was rather tame and, admittedly, self-serving. After all, we ate the cake! Maybe our stomachs got the better u


of us for one brief moment. Yes, it’s just a cake. And, yes, it was just a gesture. But I couldn’t help but see that for what it was—a gesture of extraordinary nature. Here folks who were at polar opposites with our LGBTQ community reached out with a gesture. Here folks who relate with others some of whom use “religious freedom” as a guise for discrimination against our LGBTQ community, they reached out. What are we to think of this? What kind of gesture is this? How sincere is it? In my view, the gesture signals the work that remains undone. In this extraordinary nation, despite a multitude of differences, we are one country and one people. Out of the many of us, we are meant to be one. That, in essence, is “E Pluribus Unum,” the very basis of diversity that is built into our society as a value. I believe we have a long way to becoming one. And, with all of our

hard-fought and hard-earned rights and recognitions as an LGBTQ community, we balk at relinquishing any recognition that we have won. But does it preclude us from sitting across a table with others? Does it even preclude us from sitting across from those who may be our polar opposites—to begin to dialogue and to find common ground? After the June 26 Supreme Court decision on marriage equality, I had a moment of quiet reflection. What happens now? In that moment of reflection, I believe that now we have to allow this newly-found right and recognition to settle in. It has to soak in like a great rain soaks mother earth. And, I believe we have to take part in that soaking. Ours is a role in which we need to help people to understand. Just as discrimination has been confronted and has broken down because we are out and we are proud and we are

known and not hidden, so we need to be out, proud, and in dialogue with others who might be polar opposite to our LGBTQ community. We aren’t going away. We are a force across the land and in this community of Southern Nevada. What can we do to effect dialogue, even with those who are against us? How can we make ourselves better understood? Yes, it was a cake that reach across a chasm in a moment of communication. I saw we need to keep the communication open, active, and on the table—with all those in society, including our opponents. Proudly I have seen at The Center that we are an LGBTQ community that serves. It’s time to serve that great American experiment in its evolution each day where we strive to be one among many different persons. It may just be time to dialogue with those who oppose us to see what new learnings can be found. It’s having our cake and eating it too! q

Learn about career opportunities at local businesses and organizations that have demonstrated ongoing support of our human rights and will provide a welcoming, equal workplace for LGBTQ individuals.

CAREER FAIR

FIND UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION OR REGISTER YOUR BUSINESS TO PARTICIPATE AT

THECENTERLV.ORG/ CAREERFAIR

WEDNESDAY

NOV 18, 2015 1–4PM

401 S. MARYLAND PKWY LAS VEGAS, NV 89101


21st Annual Honorarium Returns to Drai’s, Introduces Colorful Theme for 2015

T

he Center presents Kaleidoscope: The 21st Annual Honorarium on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 5 p.m. at Drai’s Beach Club • Nightclub inside The Cromwell boutique hotel on the Strip. Celebrating the colorful, ever-changing community, this year’s Honorarium will be an extravagant evening of entertainment and recognition of community heroes. Beginning at 5 p.m., guests will mingle through Drai’s tropical paradise while bidding on an array of silent auction items. Perched atop the 11th floor of The Cromwell, guests will take in stunning views of The Strip while enjoying themed cocktails and light bites at Nevada’s premier LGBTQ fundraiser. At 7 p.m., the event will move inside Drai’s posh, ultra-stylish interior space as The Center recognizes the following three community leaders and partners for their contributions to the Southern Nevada LGBTQ community and its allies:

PERSON OF THE YEAR

Patrick C. Duffy

A philanthropist, speaker and treasured art collector, Patrick C. Duffy melds his love for art with his passion to give back. A dedicated executive by day intent on improving the customer experience for guests of Diamond Resorts International, Duffy spends most of his non-working hours participating in a variety of nonprofit organizations within the Las Vegas community. He serves as president of the Las Vegas Art Museum and is currently a member of the Foundation Board of Directors for Opportunity Village.

ALLY OF THE YEAR

Beano Solomon

As a human rights and civic activist, Beano Solomon has had a significant im-

pact within her community by supporting many local cultural institutions. In addition to being an avid supporter of LGBTQ organizations including The Center, Solomon serves on the board of directors for the Nevada Ballet Theater. Additionally, she has also made an impact nationally by changing the way people with AIDS access services at Washington, D.C.’s Whitman-Walker Clinic, successfully suing the state of Utah for the right to have a gay-affirming personalized license plate and much more.

CORPORATION OF THE YEAR

Las Vegas Sands Patrick Duffy

Beano Solomon

In 2014, Las Vegas Sands launched Sands Cares, a cohesive corporate citizenship program dedicated to elevating and expanding efforts in three core areas – people, communities and the planet. As part of this effort, Las Vegas Sands is focused on making local communities a better place to live. The nonprofit has supported a variety of local organizations, including HELP of Southern Nevada, The Shade Tree, Three Square, DISCOVERY Children’s Museum and many more. Additionally, Las Vegas Sands made a major contribution to The Center’s capital campaign, assisting in the purchase of the Robert F. Forbuss building.

Long-time Vegas headliner Clint Holmes will serve as emcee for the Honorarium. Guests are encouraged to dress in “polychromatic chic” attire — fashionably colorful clothing. For more information about the Kaleidoscope: The Center’s 21st Annual Honorarium or to purchase tickets, please visit www.thecenterlv.org/Honorarium. Tickets start at $150 per person with VIP upgrades available including poolside cabanas atop Drai’s picturesque rooftop. All proceeds benefit The Center. q


Inaugural Jewish Federations of North America LGBTQ Mission to Israel T

he Center and the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas are promoting the first ever LGBTQ Mission to Israel with Jewish Federations of North America. The Mission will take place May 26-June2, 2016. Join members of the LGBTQ community from around North America for this historic mission to Israel! Marvel at Jerusalem’s Old City one day and be dazzled by Tel Aviv’s beaches the next.  Meet with Israel’s LGBTQ politicians, business leaders and innovators and learn what is being done to advance the rights of the LGBTQ community. Visit incredible sites where Federations are changing lives ev-

ery day. Experience Israeli culture, cuisine and character.  Take pride in advancement. Take pride in Israel and her LGBTQ community on this unforgettable trip. The cost to attend the Mission is $2,999 plus airfare. Details about the Mission and registration is available online at www. jewishfederations.org/calendar/lgbtqmission-to-israel-2016. For more information please contact Marni Unger, Director of Leadership and Community Development at the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas at Marni@ Jewishlasvegas.com or 702.732.0556. q

Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, Israel


BETWEEN

STRENGTH AND Corentin by Verner Degray

Sensuality

Now in Las Vegas, Verner has finally chosen to release his work for the enjoyment of the general public with an exhibit at the Las Vegas Erotic Heritage Museum. The exhibit, retracing his work in recent years, features more than thirty of his artistic nude pieces.

Hiti by Verner Degray

Between shadow and light, strength and sensuality, Verner wanted to show that the body of man is beautiful and deserves to be seen. He stresses that the male form offers tremendous potential for expression. Verner’s work has allowed him to explore human nature and to discover what man is able to overcome. Of the subjects, he recounts that the artistic process also involves helping some of the individuals defeat their shyness. His first foray in the United States, Verner hopes that he will be able to continue to further his work here in the future. Through this first exhibition he hopes to seduce the American public and export his art beyond borders. He says, “The United States has always

been a dream for me. The greatness of this country fascinates me. I feel that in this beautiful country, anything is possible.” You may find Verner’s exhibition at the Erotic Heritage Museum through November 10th, 11AM – 10PM seven days a week. For more information, please visit Verner’s website at: verner-degray.com or find him on Facebook at: facebook.com/ vernerdegrayphotography.

Baïldir by Verner Degray

Verner Degray has specialized for many years in photographing the artisticly nude male. Through his work, he contributes to the fight against homophobia and promotes openmindedness. He remains, to this day, the only photographer specialized in male nudes in all of French Polynesia.


Las Vegas TransPride

PROVIDING A PLACE FOR UNITY By Jamie Lee Sprague-Ballou

This year’s, Las Vegas TransPride is bringing new events to our community. After a year that has been filled with violence against Trans-identified individuals, especially Trans-woman of Color, our community can use events such as TransPride to bring us together in solidarity, to help in the grieving and frustration as our community is finding itself in a backlash. So far in the US alone we have had 18 deaths of Trans-identified individuals, primarily Trans-woman of color. It appears that the Trans community is on the receiving end of a backlash, due to the Marriage Equality passing through the Supreme courts this year. We have now become the new target for the conservatives to hit hard and lash out against us. We are now fighting for rights to be able to use the restroom, just so we can pee in comfort. Now, more than ever, we need the rest of the community to stand with us to fight against discrimination laws being brought into effect, which would harm and hurt our community. We have also seen some positive changes within our community, which helps us when we are pushed back two steps for every step forward. We have seen the rise of some Tran’s individuals being able to break into the Hollywood scene of acting and modeling. Just recently Tran’s activist Raffi Freedman-Gurspan was appointed to the White House to serve as Outreach and Recruitment Director for presidential personnel. Events such as TransPride gives our community a safe place to come to be together, as we strive to make a better place for all people of diversity to live and learn from one another. It provides a place we can gather, since many places do not cater to the Transgender Community. It provides a time to gather resources, connect with one another and enjoy live entertainment. It gives us time to say thank you to our allies, as they come and support our event. For updated info on what is happening during Las Vegas TransPride, please visit: www.LasVegasTransPride.org 58 | Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine


Thanksgiving... A TRADITION AT THE CENTER FOR OUR LGBTQ YOUTH

gingerbread pumpkin trifle. The evening was a wonderful experience for them, and frankly I think even more for us as volunteers. And yes, the most important part…..at the end of the evening there were plenty of leftovers to take with them. What is more traditional than that!!

Since my first year, this annual event has grown exponentially. This past year we had hundreds of youth in By Ron Quinn attendance, all experiencing the same wonderful fare, and creating memories. While the number of volunteers have grown, as have those youth in need. Many volunteers, HRC and alike, contribute food, donations and their time to meet the needs of this growing event. Each year it is even more heartwarming to see the joy in the faces of our youth, as they spend time with what has become their chosen family. For me, to support and serve our youth at this special event, continues to be a highlight of my year. (Another is the LGBTQ Youth Prom, but that is another story.) While our society continues to evolve, some geographic areas more rapid than others, we must remember that many Thanksgiving. A holiday for family. A very close to me. I remember the of OUR LGBTQ youth still struggle holiday many consider to be thankful, first year when about a dozen or so of with being who they are, acceptance, to share, and to create memories. us on the HRC volunteer committee and that feeling of inclusiveness. The holiday we fondly remember for along with a few others prepared, abundant food and good times with served and supported this event I invite you to support The Center family while growing up. However, for so our youth could be who they are this year for The Youth Thanksgiving many LGBTQ youth in our community, in a safe, protected, inclusive and on November 16th. I look forward this “traditional holiday” comes with above all welcoming setting. We to it again this year and will bring the reminder they have no family, or witnessed about 125+ youth that what is now a new tradition of perhaps home, or worse yet were told first year together for a traditional my gingerbread pumpkin trifle by their family they were no longer Thanksgiving Dinner with their now (increasingly popular each year.) You welcome at “home” just for being who extended family. Some with existing can visit www.thecenterlv.org to make they are. For me, as a child growing friends, making new friends, laughing a donation. Or contact AJ Holly Huth up this holiday brings great memories and leaving their cares and concerns at ajhuth@thecenterlv.org to donate of family, as well as the many in my at the door. They were creating food or supplies. adult life. Now, as someone who likes memories, while chowing down on to cook, it brings joy even more to the traditional menu fare of turkey, Ron Quinn is an active member of the prepare for others on this holiday. dressing, gravy and all the “fixins” community, Board of Governor for or to those vegan and vegetarian The Human Rights Campaign, and This year will be my seventh year options, and of course they all had an Associate Board Member of The supporting the annual Youth room for dessert! Oh the pies, and Center. Thanksgiving at The Center, and one one of my personal contributions…. Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine | 61


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PRIDE Magazine - Issue 6