Las Vegas is a city that celebrates love.

There’s a reason why our town is known as “Sin City” due to our city’s correlation with being a progressive playground for adults. And this open-mindedness extends to the amazing LGBTQIA community.

However, our history isn’t as peachy when it comes to our state’s acceptance of the LGBTQ community. According to OutHistory.com, police often persecuted and conducted sting operations to entrap those in the LGBTQ community. The concept of community was alien in Nevada due to political and social repression.

As the movement for civil right began taking traction across the country, the tide in Nevada turned, too.

Marge Jacques was an entrepreneur who owned Le Café in the 1970s. Her bar was the unofficial community center, and Jacques spearheaded activism for the community. With Jacques’ outspoken politics, controversy and disdain was quickly met.

“Openly gay, Marge’s political activities in the 1970s established the political consciousness of Las Vegas’s gay community,” the Human Rights Coalition of Las Vegas said. “The good times ended on August 24, 1978 when Le Café was torched. It was never determined beyond doubt who burned Marge’s club.”

Throughout the ’80s and ’90s, Las Vegas morphed into a city that attracted and inspired efforts to build an inclusive and proactive LGBTQ community. As population boomed in Nevada throughout this time, more people moved into the city and established clubs, organizations and LGBTQ friendly events.

In 2014, same-sex marriage was finally recognized in the state, according to NBC News. And in 2020, the state became the first in the nation to protect same-sex marriage in its constitution, according to USA Today.

Today, Las Vegas fosters a community of love and inclusivity. Many of our wedding chapels in the city cater to everyone and anyone, and the list doesn’t just stop at community centers.

Las Vegas is home to a long list of trailblazing icons and figures, who’ve contributed to our country’s history and community. See below to see this list of amazing people that are fabulous icons that call — or called — Las Vegas home.

  • Kenny Kerr

    Kenny Kerr was one of the earliest drag queens, starring on the show “Boy-lesque.” According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Kerr pulled a local-heavy audience and performed at the casino the Silver Slipper for 11 years with his deadpan stare, cutthroat wit and killer gowns.”

    Remembering Longtime Drag Queen Kenny Kerr

    Veteran Las Vegas perfomer Kenny Kerr died over the weekend. Kerr's show "Boy-lesque" was one of the first hit drag queen shows in town. Kerr was...

  • Marge Jacques

    Marge Jacques was the owner of Le Café, the unofficial LGBTQ community center in Las Vegas. “Marge’s political activities in the 1970s established the political consciousness of Las Vegas’s gay community,” the Human Rights Campaign of Las Vegas said on Facebook.

    Marge Jacques at Le Café, 1970 (Panorama magazine, 2/6/70)Cocktail waitress Marge Jacques buys the Club de Paris in...

    Posted by HRC Las Vegas on Tuesday, June 11, 2019
  • Senator Pat Spearman

    Pat Spearman is the first openly, gay Black veteran to serve in the Nevada State Senate, she said on Twitter. She’s now running for the position of mayor in North Las Vegas.

    Happy top be endorsed by Silver State Equality. North Las Vegas, an endorsement is an oath of trust. I've been endorsed...

    Posted by Senator Pat Spearman on Tuesday, June 14, 2022
  • Nahnatchka Khan

    Nahnatchka Khan is an acclaimed director and writer, who’s produced an array of acclaimed TV shows and movies such as “Fresh Off The Boat,” “Young Rock,” “Ali Wong: Don Wong,” and more! The director was born in Las Vegas and grew up in Hawaii, according to TVOverMind.com.

  • Barry Manilow

    Barry Manilow has been a mainstay on the Strip for a few decades and has contributed a great deal to pop culture and our city. According to Las Vegas Magazine, Manilow’s has enduring impact and a “myriad of ways that the singer/songwriter/producer has permanently influenced the Las Vegas entertainment landscape.”

  • Candice Nichols

    Candice Nichols served as the Executive Director for The Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada (The Center) from December 2004 to 201, according to The Center‘s website. “Under her leadership, The Center expanded programs to serve the youth, senior citizens and mainstream LGBTQ community,” the website states.  Her leadership further cultivated The Center to be a central hub for those seeking services and acceptance.

    Candice Nichols She/They - The Center

    Director, Women & Senior Programs

  • Senator David R. Parks

    Senator David R. Parks is the first openly gay man in the Nevada State Legislature. He’s fought through a landscape that has hurled a multitude of harassment and sharp words toward him. Despite this, he’s been a loyal public service in Nevada, fighting for civil rights for marginalized communities.

    Henry Chaparro (L) and Nevada state Sen. David Parks (D-Las Vegas)

  • Marlene Adrian

    Dr. Marlene Joan Adrian was the Professor of Kinesiology, Rehabilitation Education and Bioengineering and Director of the Biomechanics Research Laboratory from 1983 to 1992 at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. According to her obituary, Dr. Adrian co-founded “the Women of Diversity Productions, Inc. (WOD), a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization created in 1992 to give visibility to women and to create a woman-appreciated future.” She moved to Las Vegas in 1997 and spent her time focusing on her non-profit’s mission.

    She was a member of the steering committee that created and hosted Equality Days at the 2009 and 2011 Nevada Legislative sessions, her obituary states. The group successfully lobbied for LGBTQ rights.

    Marlene Adrian Obituary - Las Vegas, NV

    Celebrate the life of Marlene Adrian, leave a kind word or memory and get funeral service information care of Palm Summerlin-Funeral Home.

  • Liberace

    Although Liberace denied being gay for many years, his heartbreaking story of denial and eventual death proved the tribulations that many LGBTQ people faced throughout our country’s history.

    13 Fabulous Facts About Liberace

    The lavish Liberace truly did laugh all the way to the bank. But there's a lot more to Lee-as his friends called him-than rhinestone costumes and his love of candelabra on pianos.

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