13 Names To Check Out in the Gay Community

Pj Pérez

Thom Reilly

Clark County Manager; part-time instructor at UNLV

Named the Gay and Lesbian Community Center's Man of the Year in 2000, Reilly holds one of the most influential and powerful political seats in Nevada. He has been an active volunteer, advocate, researcher, and board member of various AIDS service organizations, including AFAN, UMC Wellness Center, FACT, and the Clark County Health District.

James Healey, 31

President, SNAPI; director of Guest Services for New York New York Hotel and Casino

As the man ultimately responsible for the success of Pride, Healey takes his role as a leader in the gay community very seriously. In his position, he has vowed to unite the LGBT community and maintain SNAPI's stability and leadership.

Chris Campbell, 44

General Manager of Stonewall Publishing and editor, Q Vegas

Editor of the oldest and most well-read gay publication in Southern Nevada, the recent United Kingdom transplant oversaw the transition of the newsprint Las Vegas Bugle into the glossy Q Vegas.

Candice Nichols, 51

Executive director, Gay and Lesbian Center of Southern Nevada

A native Las Vegan, mother and grandmother, Nichols has worked for nonprofits for 15 years, including 11 years as director of prevention education at Aid for AIDS of Nevada. She is a past recipient of the Center's "Woman of the Year" award.

David R. Parks, 62

State Assemblyman (D)

The first openly gay man elected (and re-elected) to the state assembly, Sen. Parks has been a staunch supporter of gay rights, introducing a bill in 1998 outlawing sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace, which was signed into law the next year. Parks also has served on the board of trustees for AFAN (Aid for AIDS of Nevada) since 1986.

Valerie James


Since relocating to Las Vegas two years ago, the lovely Ms. James has become very involved in the local community, not only building a strong following with singing gigs at Hamburger Mary's and Rainbow Lounge, but volunteering her talents for a number of charity events, including Nevada Gay Rodeo Association's Charity Bingo.

Nick San Pedro, 26


Another Vegas native, San Pedro has found local and national acclaim for his highly stylized paintings, discovered while serving time as a barista at a local Starbucks. He continues to give back, donating his time and work to charities such as AFAN and Homeless Babies of Nevada.

Lori Lipman Brown

Former state senator, teacher, attorney

Lipman Brown proves you do not have to be gay to fight for gay rights. The former state senator led the effort to repeal Nevada's consensual sex law in the early 1990s, has written for publications like Out Las Vegas and Bugle, and actively fought against the anti-gay marriage campaigns.

D.R. McBride, 50

Curator, Boulder City Museum, historian and author

The native Nevadan and Boulder City resident established the Las Vegas Gay Archives as a special collection at the UNLV Library in 1984, and is writing a history of gay Las Vegas entitled Out of the Neon Closet.

Matthew Polzin, 21

Director, Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network

This overachieving, outspoken young activist is a former president of UNLV's gay fraternity, founder of the Polzin Education Foundation, owner of two small businesses, and plans to run for state senate in 2006.

Dale Erquiaga

Vice President, Strategic Development, R&R Partners

A former public servant, Erquiaga is the original drafter of Senate Bill 386, which provided an easy way for unmarried couples—both gay and straight—to obtain the same hospital visitation rights and funeral decision-making powers as married couples.

Marlene Adrian, 71

Co-founder and president of Women of Diversity Productions Inc.

A documentary filmmaker (her short film Becoming Me was featured at last year's gay and lesbian film festival, NeonFest) and activist, Adrian assembled the "100 Years of Influence: The Role of Women in Shaping the First 100 Years in Las Vegas" exhibit at Las Vegas Arts Museum for the city's Centennial.

Stephen Moore

Journalist; former editor, Q Vegas

A member of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, Moore established the overall design and look of Q Vegas as a glossy magazine even before taking the helm from September 2004—May 2005. He has also has a successful freelance writing career, covering political and social issues for the LGBT community.

  • Get More Stories from Thu, May 26, 2005
Top of Story