Say it loud: As another Pride unfolds, what are you celebrating?

Many local organizations join in on the Pride parade fun, including the casts of Chippendales and Divas.
Photo: Leila Navidi
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      Derrick Barry Entertainer, Divas Las Vegas “I’ll be celebrating the love I share with my partners, artist Nick San Pedro and model Mackenzie Claude. My family is coming out ... well, they are visiting to celebrate their first Pride with me, which is perfect because both of my sisters are finally 21! When I moved here 11 years ago, I found the bright lights of Las Vegas so inspiring. They were colorful and bold. I knew that is exactly how I wanted to live my life. I came out because I had nothing to hide, and I am proud of the person I have become. Animated and full of contrast, my life represents every color in the wheel.”

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      Nelson Araujo Nevada State Assemblyman “We in Las Vegas have come a long way. I myself, as a part of the LGBT community, am ecstatic about a lot of big wins, with the understanding that we still have a lot of work to do. We’re ready to move forward to advance an equality agenda until we have full, equal rights for everyone, including the trans community and the lesbian community. This is a unique opportunity for us to look at the history behind the movement and to be grateful for where we are today.”

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      Dawn Christensen Director of national diversity relations, MGM Resorts International “I’ll be celebrating the giant strides the LGBT community has made this year—especially marriage equality. Just a few months ago, there were states where I couldn’t get married, which still seems so unbelievable to me. Thanks to more and more people opening their hearts and minds, America has changed for the better this year, and that’s something to celebrate. After Pride is over, it’s back to the fight for equal freedoms for all Americans. There are still more than 30 states where you can be fired from your job simply for who you love.”

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      Hope Nulf Illustrator and special education teacher “I think Pride Week is more about the future. Those who are active in the community—whether it’s a teacher or a grocer or a policeman—I like to think we’re doing it for people who aren’t yet out. It’s about celebrating change, but more than that it’s about celebrating that people won’t have to go through what we went through. Since I’m a teacher and since I run the GSA in my school, I really celebrate for my kids who are out, or who have yet to come out. When they do there will be a community waiting for them.” (See another illustration by Hope on Page 21.)

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