JOZ OF LIFE: Bulls, blood, dust and mud

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It’s 80 degree in Las Vegas. There is a light breeze. I can see the mountains, and for the first time in months, I am not running from my air-conditioned house to my air-conditioned car to my sub-arctic-temperature office. With another summer on the books we may now look forward to all things fall. Mild weather, PRIDE celebrations, general bad-assery from female athletes (if Lizzo is out here living her best life — and making up words — by God, so can I) and the return of the Nevada Gay Rodeo.

Inching toward the quarter-century mark, the event celebrated 21 years of bulls and blood, dust and mud. And the roar of a Sunday crowd. You guessed it, that damned ‘ol rodeo came to Horseman’s Park for its largest fundraiser of the year. Nationwide, contestants competed in various events and spectators enjoyed midway games, food and libations to raise funds for two beneficiaries, Funny Farm Mustangs and TransPride.

The Nevada Gay Rodeo Association (NGRA) has a long history of not only producing a gay rodeo (Big Horn Rodeo-Las Vegas) to enrich and enhance a Western lifestyle within the LGBTQ+ community, but also raising money for a variety of community serving organizations. In years past, the NGRA has supported organizations such as Nevada Aids Project, Pedrigal House, Aide for AIDS of Nevada (AFAN), Golden Rainbow, and Reach Out — an organization dedicated to children afflicted with AIDS and many more. Currently, NGRA is proud to sponsor The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada and the Sin Sity Sisters AIDS Drug Assistance Program.

Enter Daria Berenato, or as fans know her, Sonya Deville, a formidable fighter known for her power, speed, and dedication. Berenato is quite literally kicking ass and taking names when she returns to the screen in the upcoming season FOX’s “WWE SmackDown Live” and Season Nine of E!’s “Total Divas” (premiering Oct. 2).

The latter of which will see her come out as the first openly LGBTQ+ wrestler in WWE history. In the current political and social environment, I for one am glad to see athletes and celebrities standing their ground, coming out and introducing the world to their true identities.

We’ll be following her journey as it unfolds, and she continues her work to foster diversity in an extremely hetro-normative, hyper masculine industry.

And last, but certainly not least, PRIDE month in Las Vegas has (finally) arrived. At long last we get to see what our annual celebration will look like in its new home, the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center.

Whether you are team Sunset Park, or Team Progress to DTLV, I hope you make it out to some of the many events planned to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

From weekly bingo (most of which benefit a community serving/nonprofit organization) to the Womxn’s Picnic co-hosted with Vegas Women’s Fest, to Coffee for a Cause with GLSEN at Pour Coffee House, to the All Black Party hosted by Vegas Urban Pride or the Kings of Las Vegas Pride going down at the Artifice and, honestly, countless other parties, shows and gatherings.

There is literally something for everyone. Find your tribe this PRIDE month and live out and proud. You can find Las Vegas PRIDE events online at lasvegaspride.org, Vegas Urban Pride at  www,setlifeimages.com/urban-pride, with tons of event listings available on Facebook events.

Go on now, get your PRIDE on!

 

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