Trans Vegas | Vegas Seven Magazine | Nov. 5-11, 2015

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A true rock legend.



R E D E F I N E D .






Michael Skenandore


Nicole Ely Genevie Durano SENIOR EDITORS Paul Szydelko, Xania Woodman SENIOR EDITOR, A&E Geoff Carter ASSOCIATE EDITOR Camille Cannon SENIOR WRITER Lissa Townsend Rodgers STAFF WRITER Emmily Bristol CALENDAR COORDINATOR Ian Caramanzana EDITORIAL DIRECTOR


SENIOR CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Melinda Sheckells (style)


Michael Green (politics), Al Mancini (dining), David G. Schwartz (gaming/hospitality)


Ryan Olbrysh Cierra Pedro Anthony Mair, Krystal Ramirez







Marc Barrington Jimmy Bearse DISTRIBUTION COORDINATOR Jasen Ono



Christy Corda Nicole Scherer ACCOUNT MANAGER Brittany Quintana ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Robyn Weiss



Kayla Dean, Troy Fosgate, Tia Keys, Sierra Lomprey, Jonmaesha Shadrick, Mitchell Weiss

Ryan T. Doherty

| Justin Weniger



PUBLISHED IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE OBSERVER MEDIA GROUP Vegas Seven, 702-798-7000, 302 East Carson Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89101 Vegas Seven is distributed each Thursday throughout Southern Nevada c 2015 Vegas Seven, LLC. Reproduction in whole or in part without the permission of Vegas Seven, LLC is prohibited.

Window to the Past Historian prizes diversity in collecting city’s stories By Amira Hall-Hood

Is that really the World’s Largest Gift Shop?

November 5–11, 2015




J A M E S P. R E Z A

Boulevard ends, Claytee D. White’s voyage begins. The frst director of the Oral History Research Center at UNLV’s University Libraries strives to unveil the colors of the city that aren’t emitted from the neon lights. Her passion for history is helping to develop nuances to the image of Las Vegas through detailed interviews recorded for posterity. White, who arrived in Las Vegas in 1992, said she learned many additional methods of collecting history, including oral history, while earning her master’s in history at UNLV. Building on Professor Ralph Roske’s work from the 1970s and ’80s, White and others in the History Department were able to continue recording histories, housing them in Special Collections. The Oral History Research Center, founded in 2003, has compiled such oral history projects as All That Jazz (entertainment from the perspective of band members), Heart to Heart (a history of early health care in Las Vegas), UNLV @ Fifty (marking the university’s milestone birthday in 2007) and the African American Experience. The Center is working on the Jewish Heritage Project and completing the West Charleston: Ward One project. “Oral history allows everyone to participate,” White says. Giving residents a voice says to the world, “[My] memory is just as good as the mayor of the city. Just because I’m a maid, my participation in an event is just as important as some ‘name person’ in that event. Oral history allows across-the-board versions of history.”

Ah, Bonanza! A great place to waste away an afternoon. Or an adolescence. Opened in 1980, Bonanza Gift Shop (at Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard) hearkens back to when family road trips were still a thing, the romance of Route 66 in our hearts. Nothing beat stepping out of the confined sauna of the family wagon and into a brightly lit wonderland of collectible spoons, bumper stickers, Jackalope postcards and beef jerky. At 40,000 square feet, Bonanza could be the world’s largest gift shop, but who cares if it isn’t? Roadside gift shops and Las Vegas share an affinity for superlative hyperbole, and when one store hawks roulette wheel ashtrays, used casino playing cards, Elvis sunglasses, dice clocks, acrylic toilet seats filed with coins and the Triple-B—boxing aliens, bolo ties and booze— size matters not. Just stop in and enjoy, before they tear it down and build another drugstore!

I recall some old buildings along Interstate 15 just before coming over the hill into Vegas from the south. Or do I? You’re likely thinking of a long-abandoned row where Las Vegas Boulevard (the old Highway 91) intersects with Sloan Road. As a kid, I called it “the ghost town,” and when passing it on the way home from one of those aforementioned family road trips to California, I knew the comfort of my own bed was just 40 minutes away. In more recent years, the interstate-adjacent buildings were razed, but Sloan itself remains. It’s a tiny, unincorporated mining community that is also home to the Sloan Canyon Petroglyphs, a 48,000-acre National Conservation Area worth the jaunt. And earlier this year, Sloan welcomed the George W. Dunaway Army Reserve Center. Photos of the buildings you remember, including an iconic restaurant painted simply “EATS,” can be found on Google.

These memories provide unique windows across the city and across generations. “Oral history allows us to vividly see those connections. If I want to look at gambling, ranching, or whatever Las Vegas institution, I can fll in all the gaps. It gives us a connecting fber to see the evolution of events on any topic,” White says. A good example is the Heart to Heart Collection, which will allow students of UNLV’s impending medical school to connect with the region’s past health care efforts. “Students [can] build

upon it because we have [interviews] on early nursing and nursing school. If we take all of that, we can see a complete evolution in health care in Las Vegas.” Las Vegas “is a caring town that has a vibrant, cohesive community,” says White, who was named Vegas Seven’s Best Keeper of Our History earlier this year. “When you look at the people who live in Summerlin, the West Charleston neighborhoods, Sunrise Mountain, John S. Park, these are very old communities … it has a core with a great memory.”

My Road to Ruin A humble thanks to those readers who gently (ahem) corrected my error in a recent column about UNLV’s Moyer Student Union. The Ramones, after all, were a punk-rock quartet, and despite the fact that I used the MSU show flier as reference (one that included a photo of the band), I still found a way to type “trio.” For this music fanatic, that goes down as my silliest error since writing “Jimmy Hendrix” in a story. I guess that teenage lobotomy really worked ... Questions?





Deborah Richards.

November 5–11, 2015


A brief history of transgender performers on Las Vegas stages

November 5–11, 2015


By Lissa Townsend Rodgers


➜ the las vegas showgirl is one of the world’s supreme examples of feminine glamour—and artifce, swathed in body makeup, false eyelashes and push-up bras. As with African-American performers during the era of segregation, many people who wouldn’t want a transgender person in their home lined up eagerly to watch one onstage a few decades ago. Christine Jorgensen, recipient of the world’s frst widely known, successful sex reassignment operation, was also the frst transgender person to play Vegas. Back in the big-boom ’50s, casinos were willing to take a chance on nontraditional performers—which is how Ronald Reagan wound up onstage with

a bevy of chimps at the Last Frontier. After her transition made world news, Jorgensen discovered the diffculty of creating a life outside the spotlight and decided on a stage career, despite her misgivings about the “low moral tone” of nightclubs. After a bad gig in Los Angeles and a good one in Pittsburgh, she was booked at the Sahara. Jorgensen’s show was mostly telling her life story, but there was a little song-and-dance and, most notably, some spectacular evening gowns. Jennifer Fox starred at the Gay 90s Club in North Las Vegas in 1970. The Gay 90s was a high-end gentleman’s club, and ads for Fox’s appearances billed her—with her approval—as “the


Glamour Girls

Myra Breckenridge of Burlesque,” askPerhaps Vegas’ most famous transing “Isn’t He or Isn’t She?” While audigender showgirl was Jahna Steele. As ences may have come to sate their cua member of the Riviera’s Crazy Girls, riosity, Fox’s remarkable proportions Steele was voted Sexiest Showgirl on and dynamic moves piqued a different the Strip in 1991, Las Vegas Entertainer kind of interest. Within a few years, of the Year in 1992 and Most Beautiful Fox moved from the strip club to the Showgirl in 1993. showroom (long before Nomi Malone) Steele grew up in Texas and did her and began appearing in Ann Corio’s best to conform, even serving as an This Was Burlesque, which she toured altar boy. However, in 1992, proto-TMZ with for a number of years. show A Current Affair outed Steele as Another famed transgender showtrans. The show’s crew came to Vegirl had ceased performing by the gas, ostensibly for a simple profle of time she moved to Las Crazy Girls castmembers Vegas, but her work still and Steele, in which she An exhibit of appeared on Strip stages. enthusiastically participhotos of Christine Hedy Jo Star ran away from pated. However, after they Jorgensen will be at The Center through home as a teenager and got all the footage the Nov. 30. 401 S. spent the ’50s performneeded, they informed Maryland Pkwy., ing as a stripper—and a Steele that their goal was woman—on the carnival not to profle a bodacious circuit. Star was rejected blond babe, but to expose for sex reassignment operations sevher transgender status. After the news eral times before fnally transitionbroke, she told her own version of the ing in the early ’60s. Soon after, Star story to the National Enquirer (Vanity married a doctor and moved to Las Fair apparently being unavailable at Vegas, where she became a renowned the time) and appeared on a number costume designer. Over many years, of talk shows, as well as an episode on she created costumes for a variety of NYPD Blue. In 2004, she returned to the performers, including Ann-Margret, Riviera to host the World’s Most BeauElvis and Kenny Kerr’s female impertiful Transsexual Contest and was also sonator show, Boylesque. an announcer at La Cage Aux Folles.

NIGHTLIFE Your city after dark, photos from the week’s hottest parties and Rex Dart on 13 years at the Double Down

Super 7 creator Jayceeoh moves from mixtapes to main rooms By Kat Boehrer


All Together Now

➜ JAYCEEOH IS ONE OF the few remaining DJs who can also call himself a true turntablist. Born Jacob Osher, Jayceeoh was already making moves in the music industry for years before he won VH1’s Master of the Mix DJ competition—and the quarter of a million dollars that came with it—a fact he credits with helping his career take off. With the fnancial cushion in place, Jayceeoh had time to hone his production skills and has since been able to book bigger shows, including his next stop at Light on Dec. 5.

November 5–11, 2015


Jayceeoh performs at Life earlier this year.



By Ian Caramanzana

MON 9 Dash Berlin is something of a walking contradiction. The trance DJ/producer born Jeffrey Sutorius hails from The Hague, Netherlands, not Berlin. Beyond that, however, his accolades are real. The 35-year-old recently earned two EMPO awards (essentially EDM’s people’s choice in Mexico)—one for Best Album and another for Best Loved Artist. Give him a high fve at Marquee, and let the hypnotizing melody of his latest single, “World Falls Apart,” remind you why he’s so deserving. (In the Cosmopolitan, 10 p.m.,

TUE 10

DJ Mustard.


Say farewell to Tryst! The club shuts its doors this weekend to make way for “an exciting new nightclub concept.” We’re not sure what that means exactly, but it’s going to be tough to compete with Tryst’s serene waterfall, tuckedaway VIP library and stellar roster of DJs. What better way to end Tryst’s chapter of Wynn nightlife than with resident DJ and nightlife fgure Dave Fogg? He’s been a Tryst resident since 2005, but before that, served as a music director at Palms. He’s worked behind the scenes and on the ground. Read our interview with one of the OGs at DaveFogg. (In Wynn, 10:30 p.m.,

FRI 6 Michael Woods spins at Foxtail. No, not the Hartlepool United soccer star who shares the same name

(although, we’d be willing to throw down good money to see that); we’re talking about the progressive/electro house DJ and producer from the UK. Woods recently dropped a new single, “Easy Tiger,” which is a short, sweet tune that features a catchy melody and huge drums. Expect to hear it tonight alongside his countless remixes of pop bangers. (In SLS, 10:30 p.m.,

SAT 7 If you’re trying to expose yourself to music from across the pond, Nicky Romero comes straight outta Amerongen, Netherlands, to Omnia, where he’s likely to drop his remix of Zedd’s monster smash with Paramore singer Hayley Williams, “Stay the Night.” Romero’s interpretation of the song has racked up more than three million streams on SoundCloud. While it’s not as popular as the original,

which boasts more than 121 million views on YouTube, it’s impressive for a remix. He’ll be joined by New York City’s own Ansolo, who’ll give us just “The Right Stuff.” Not feelin’ either? See if DJ Sinatra’s skills live up to the legend he’s named after at Heart of Omnia. (In Caesars Palace, 10:30 p.m.,

“Diamonds Dancing.” Hear it tonight, among other tunes. (517 Fremont St., 9 p.m.,

WED 11 Get over hump day by partying 63 foors above the Strip. DJ SINcere provides the eccentric soundtrack consisting of hip-hop, rock and house. We’re not sure how he’s going to pull that off, but witness it frst-hand at Foundation Room. Wednesday is the new Friday! (In Mandalay Bay, 10 p.m., Afraid of heights? DJ Mustard comes from Los Angeles to Light where he’s bound to play several of his melodic, rudimental productions such as YG’s “I Just Wanna Party” and Drake’s “Who Do You Love?” We just wanna love. (In Mandalay Bay, 10:30 p.m.,

SUN 8 Don Diablo hits Hakkasan to give us a double shot of house goodness. We’ve been bumpin’ his latest single, “On My Mind” since it dropped in July. It’s got enough catchy melodies and shuffing hi-hats to transcend the future and progressive house genres— making it a monster hit. Also making an appearance: DJ/producer, ex-BBC Radio 1 presenter and record label owner Fergie DJ. He’s basically an EDM renaissance man. (In MGM Grand, 10:30 p.m.,

Don Diablo.


November 5–11, 2015



Want to be a star for a night? You can at Double Barrel Lounge for Liquid Courage Karaoke. The weekly affair boasts a “happier hour” from 9-11 p.m. with $3 shot specials, $6 “DB Courage” drinks and $5 Bud Light and Shock Top, so you have no excuse to at least attempt that falsetto part in “Party in the U.S.A.” “Yeeaaaah!” (In Monte Carlo, 9 p.m., Los Angeles “chill trap” producer KASTLE hits Beauty Bar for Nickel F---n Beer Night. You don’t need cheap beer to enjoy his smooth synths or unconventional use of drums, but hey, it wouldn’t hurt to take advantage of a deal. He recently released a laid-back, guitar-driven take on Drake and Future’s

Dave Fogg.



LAX Luxor



See more photos from this gallery at


November 5–11, 2015


Nov. 5 Throwback Thursday with Aybsent Mynded Nov. 6 DJ Corona and Aybsent Mynded spin Nov. 7 Cyberkid spins

MOVIES Spectre puts James Bond (Daniel Craig) in all-too-familiar territory.

FINE, JUST FINE Spectre is a good James Bond movie, but not a great one ➜ SONY PICTURES has formally

asked reviewers to not to reveal plot points from the 24th James Bond flm, Spectre. I will honor that request, and will not reveal that Daniel Craig’s Bond is (redacted) at the end of the flm, or that the flm’s true villain is (redacted)—though anyone who knows anything about James Bond’s history probably knows who the villain of a flm called Spectre is likely to be, and anyone who reads Entertainment Weekly knows that Craig is contracted to appear in one more Bond flm. Denied these easy spoilers, I will at this time reveal the last four words that appear on screen at the end of Spectre: “James Bond will return.” That phrase, or a variant of it, has appeared at the end of every Bond flm, and that’s really all you need to know. James Bond will be back, whether it’s Daniel Craig or Tom Hardy or Idris Elba. He will wear bespoke suits; he will drive fast cars; he will punch a guy in the throat. The emotional stakes of a Bond flm are confned to those who surround the British spy: Will they kill his colleagues, the women he’s bedded? Such has been the formula since 1962’s Dr. No, with only a few flms meddling with it. And the thing that’s most unfortunate about Spectre—the thing that makes it a solidly made, yet emotionally unsatisfying entry in the Bond series—is that two of those off-brand movies have been Craig’s: 2006’s Casino Royale and 2012’s Skyfall. Both flms found their way to the heart of the character and jammed sharp things into it: the loss of a woman he truly loved, the death of the one colleague he unequivically trusted. In just a few hours of screen time, Daniel Craig gave James Bond more humanity than any other actor did in the 20 Bond flms that preceded his. Spectre doesn’t piss away all that hard-won humanity, but doesn’t add to it, either. For a moment, though, you have hope. “The dead are alive,” reads a white-on-black title card at the

beginning of the flm—the frst time a Bond movie has opened with such an epigram—and then Spectre gives you its best set piece: a spectacular airborne fght over Mexico City’s Día de Muertos celebration. Director Sam Mendes, returning from Skyfall, begins the sequence with a long, unbroken take that follows Bond from street party to rooftop, and cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema—recently of Spike Jonze’s Her and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar—shoots it with artful grace. Mendes has made two great-looking Bond flms—flms that look like they belong to another series entirely, one that isn’t driven wholly by the desires of its producers. Skyfall and Spectre feel like they were directed, as opposed to requisitioned. Sadly, all this fne material is used to make a suit that was frst cut 53 years ago, with few alterations. The villain of the piece, Oberhauser—played by Christoph Waltz, wonderful as always— is largely standard issue: He talks in a purr, wants world domination, believes that Bond and he aren’t all that different after all. Oberhauser stands in stark contrast to Skyfall’s villain Silva (Javier Bardem), who only wanted to kill his old bosses, cheerfully talked shop with Bond and even hit on him. The 20 seconds of Skyfall where Bond endures and defects Silva’s advances are better than the entirety of Waltz and Craig’s scenes in Spectre, and that’s not the actors’ fault. Still, life goes on, and James Bond’s life goes right along with it. Cars are revved up, shots are fred, buildings explode in freballs. We ooh and ahh, because we love these Bond movies and Spectre does manage to scratch that singular itch. And through it all walks a man who’s probably wondering by now if anything else will ever happen to him that he didn’t expect. By now, James Bond has got to be tired of knowing all the spoilers. Spectre (PG-13) ★★★✩✩


By Geoff Carter




I expressed my femininity at a young age, and my family has always been supportive. When I was 15, I started entering [transgender] beauty pageants. I was discovered by a woman who took me in and became my other mom. That was a big moment, when I realized I was going to live like this 24/7. This is who I am, and I’ve got to just be myself. That was my frst job, as a beauty queen. You make money and travel all over the Philippines. When I was 17, I moved to the United States. Initially, I didn’t want to move, but the main catalyst was when my mom told me there’s a law in California where I could change my name and gender marker on my driver’s license. What’s the biggest difference being transgender in the Philippines versus the U.S.?

In the Philippines, I had a culture of visibility of being trans, but there’s no political recognition. When I moved to the U.S., there’s no visibility, but there is a degree of political recognition. What was it like to begin a career as a fashion model in New York City?

I was there by myself; I took the chance. Here’s the crazy thing, when I moved to New York, I went back to the closet again in a way. When I started modeling, I made a conscious choice to not share my trans history with my modeling agent. Modeling in the city and working— that was my dream. But I was hyper-paranoid. I would be scared. What if I get outed? It was very stressful.

November 5–11, 2015


You came out in 2014 during a TED Talk. What prompted it?


Geena Rocero The fashion model and transgender-rights advocate on coming out at TED, fighting for gender-recognition law and redefining diversity By Genevie Durano

I wanted to free myself, because I was fnally ready to own my story, and I’ve been thinking about it for so long. But at the same time, [I was thinking] if I’m going to do this, I want it to mean something. It has to stand not just for myself. I have to use this opportunity to shed light on my community and the need to speak about my experience, the diffculties and the process of what people are going through. I knew I wanted to harness as much as I could at the moment. Nobody knew

what was going to happen at TED Talk. That TED Talk could have gone in so many different directions. What are the goals of your advocacy organization, Gender Proud?

I [want to] focus on personal storytelling and visibility, and on a specifc policy called gender recognition law, [which will allow] transgender people to change their name and their gender marker without being forced to go through surgeries. Gender Proud collaborates with people and serves communities. We know we have the power in the media, so we want to consult with the communities that we serve [and learn] their needs. How is the perception of the transgender community changing?

It’s not changing enough. Visibility is [just] one component of it. But it has to translate to policy; it has to translate to actually changing culture. You can’t look at transgender rights if you’re not looking at the intersections of identity that plays into it. Caitlyn Jenner has this moment because she is a privileged person. She’s a white person. This is not the experience of 99 percent of transgender people, especially if you are a person of color. We’re just at the very beginning. What would you like to see happen next for the transgender community?

I would love to see a federal law for gender recognition. Right now it’s state-by-state basis. I would like to see the gender non-discrimination bill pass in Congress. I want people to look at diversity as a whole. What is diversity? We have been led to believe and been told that gender is binary, and it’s not. Gender is a social construction, and we see that as more people express themselves. I’m not talking about [just] being transgender; I’m talking about gender identity, gender expectations, gender roles—those things are not binary. Those are fuid; it doesn’t have to be just one or the other. That applies to everybody—a straight person, a bi person, a man, a woman, trans people, gender nonconformity people. This is diversity.



Assigned boy at birth and raised in the Philippines, when did you start changing your self-identification?