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April 17, 2014

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Parade attracts thousands to downtown Las Vegas to celebrate gay community

Image

Leila Navidi

Margaret Cho, Joan Rivers and Kathy Griffin kick off the festivities during the 2012 Las Vegas Pride Night Parade in downtown Las Vegas on Friday, Sept. 7, 2012.

Thousands show for downtown LGBT pride parade

KSNV reports that thousands of people showed up for the Las Vegas Pride Night Parade, Sept. 7.

2012 Pride Night Parade

Rich Stevens of San Diego attends the 2012 Las Vegas PRIDE Night Parade in downtown Las Vegas on Friday, September 7, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Las Vegas resident Jimmy Emory knew he couldn’t miss this year’s Las Vegas Pride Night Parade on Friday night.

He leaned over the railing on Fourth Street waving a miniature rainbow flag in support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and cheering at each float. It’s been 12 years since he'd last attended the Pride Parade.

He said he ignored previous years' parades because they weren’t big enough. There were maybe five or six good floats, he said, but the rest weren't worth watching. This year, however, 85 LGBT and straight organizations and businesses were involved, many with floats on display. Emory said the parade’s quality has caught up with the size of Las Vegas’ LGBT community.

“It means we’ve finally gotten the notoriety we’ve needed for years in Las Vegas,” Emory said. “This is Vegas, half of the show performers are gay, but this has been a very closeted town. Now we’ve finally got the attention.”

Thousands of people joined Emory to watch the 15th-annual Pride Parade in Las Vegas, which coincided with the city’s annual First Friday event. People flooded the sidewalks lining the street with rainbow flags, neon necklaces, colorful outfits and signs in support of the LGBT community.

“It’s been a good show of support from the entire community,” said parade chairman Ernie Yuen.

Rich Stevens, who is from San Diego, came in his traditional gay pride parade costume: a glitter rainbow top hat, violet shoes, no shirt and short shorts among other accessories. He said he has been to 16 pride parades throughout the country wearing the costume to show his pride.

Another group of Christians, who represented the Marin Foundation, wore “I’m Sorry” shirts and held signs that read, “We’re sorry for being a bad example of Jesus.” April Rivera said their goal was to apologize for the negative way many churches have treated the LGBT community and build a relationship with them. Rivera said the Pride Parade was the perfect place to start.

“Today is the start of bridge-building in Las Vegas,” Rivera said. “It’s been long overdue.”

The parade kicked off with a speech from celebrities Kathy Griffin, Joan Rivers and Margaret Cho. For two hours, a flood of color, cheers, dancing, floats and pride flowed down the street.

Men dressed in elaborate drag outfits including a fairy-tale themed group, other danced around scantily clad. A convertible with two men in back read, “Just Married.” Parade walkers blew whistles, played music and passed out beads to the cheering crowd.

At one point a girl in the parade shouted, “I’m a lesbian and I’m proud.”

Pete Arias came with three other friends from Jacksonville, Fla., to attend the parade and visit their friend who lives in Las Vegas. Prior to even seeing the first float, he was impressed.

“It’s open diversity,” Arias said. “It’s something you do not see in Jacksonville ... We wouldn’t see it on this scale.”

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  1. This is good for the local economy as it generates plenty of jobs. Besides who really cares what your sex status is. Live and let live.

  2. Nevada needs to allow gay marriage, that will bring in more gay $$ and Las Vegas would luv it..

    .-)

  3. Same gender marriage would bring money and jobs to Las Vegas. Let's increase prosperity by increasing our tolerance.

  4. Nice tat, Margaret!

    "What is Ass Master?!" -- Margaret Cho's mother

  5. Should I expect less from the Capitol of Sin?

  6. Margaret, Margaret. The tattoo fetish? Really? Please stop. No "sleeve" tattoos. Looks very trashy.

  7. Would marriage equality be good for the economy of Las Vegas and Nevada? Yes, but the real reason to repeal Article 1, Section 22 of the Nevada Constitution is because it's the right thing to do.

  8. I too say live and let live

    It's good for the Economy

  9. "Margaret, Margaret. The tattoo fetish? Really? Please stop. No "sleeve" tattoos. Looks very trashy."

    TomD -- no it doesn't

    "And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music" -- Nietzsche quote and Megan Fox tattoo

  10. "Since this group has disrupted religious services in large churches, they are are a hate group and should be prosecuted for hate crimes against religious people."

    FrankLee -- what disruption, where? Your so-called "hate crime" pales next to American religions' institutionalized policy to execute homosexuals.

    This isn't Russia, and I'm not aware American prosecutors can convict for hooliganism here. Check that out @ http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/17/world/euro...

    "After coming into contact with a religious man I always feel I must wash my hands." -- Friedrich Nietzsche, 1888 "Ecce Homo - Why I Am a Destiny"

  11. "Just one huge freak show. Keep a close eye on your children..."

    summerof69 -- right, one never knows if they're gay, too

    "With morality the individual is led into being a function of the herd and to ascribing value to himself only as a function. . .Morality is the herd instinct in the individual." -- Frederich Nietzsche 1882 "The Gay Science"