Leave it to a Facebook post to stir things up. In 2011, then-local news anchor and LGBT community member Chris Saldaña shared a link about the first active-duty military ever to march in San Diego’s Pride Parade. A lively, if largely cynical discussion about Vegas’ event and general LGBT engagement followed, with Saldaña asking commenters what they were doing to better Las Vegas Pride or help LGBT-advocacy groups like Golden Rainbow. You could almost hear the exasperation when he finally wrote, “I ask you again, have you done something to get involved?” Only one commenter chimed in, to say he hadn’t.
The episode was in keeping with what I’d always heard and observed: Most aren’t moved to action. But local apathy is hardly confined to the LGBT community, and it might be anecdotally exaggerated, according to those working toward elevating the gay experience here. If people are less engaged with the community and its causes, one reason could be occupational realities. We’re a 24-hour town. Many LGBT professionals are in hospitality, gaming and entertainment and are sweating through their shifts during the evening parades and galas.