(Exclusive) The days are getting warmer, and we're finally nearing the summer months that can only mean one thing for the fabulous LGBTQ+ community: Pride! Shifting our focus to one of the biggest pride events that will kick off the season is the 4th Annual Vegas Black Pride happening this Easter weekend. The festivities begin Thursday, April 14th and will continue through Sunday, April 17th, 2022.
With events ranging from parties on the Las Vegas Strip to a celebrity charity basketball game, Vegas Black Pride's 4-day weekend will be sure to appeal to and accommodate everyone's taste from start to finish.
After a long two-year hiatus, founder Johanna P. Perez is eager to bring back Vegas Black Pride in full swing!
“We are so excited to bring back Vegas Black Pride after a 2-year hiatus. I grew up in Las Vegas and we have connected with the pride community from different states to invite them to enjoy Las Vegas for a fun weekend celebrating pride and inclusion in our city," Perez stated in an official press release.
Perez exclusively tells Gaye that she decided to push back Vegas Black Pride after her grandmother caught COVID.
"During the time I was taking care of her, I unfortunately ended up catching COVID as well. So that put a pause on promoting, planning and organizing Vegas Black Pride. With these obstacles during the process of planning, we decided to push it back so we could present the absolute best experience of pride for our community."
Vegas Black Pride has been defined as and recognized by politicians as the first urban, diverse and inclusive Las Vegas party of its kind. Perez has even received a Proclamation from the Mayor of the City of Las Vegas for her contribution to the city.
To guarantee that everyone remains safe, there will be free PrEP and COVID testing available. Vegas Black Pride is committed to ensuring that all patrons have a safe and entertaining time, all while enjoying an experience that is unique to Las Vegas.
There will be new and returning events both on and off the infamous Las Vegas strip, including fashion shows, brunch, pool parties and of course the highly anticipated All Black Party. The All Black Party will be hosted by none other than Vegas' very own eye candy Melissa Benz at the Hard Rock Café located on the Las Vegas strip.
There will also be several celebrity appearances throughout the weekend including Love & Hip Hop's AD Diggs and international guest Lil June Afro Punta, so be sure to be on the lookout for some familiar faces and get ready to turn up!
Worthy causes are not to be forgotten as the weekend will also include the 'Drop The Guns Pick Up A Ball Celebrity Charity Basketball Game' sponsored by The Aids Healthcare Foundation. The Aids Healthcare Foundation and Vegas Black Pride are intend to bring awareness to gun violence, focus on eliminating hate crimes and providing free resources to black communities.
The event utilizes celebrity sport influencers and special guests to encourage sportsmanship, physical health, and teamwork while discouraging gun violence among the youth. This cause is near & dear to founder Johanna P. Perez as her mother was gunned down at the age of 7, leaving behind 6 kids. Her being the 2nd to the oldest. Her grandmother Dessie Lee Walker took them all in.
"It was very important to have AHF part of Vegas black pride. Our mission has always been to bring awareness to getting tested ending the stigma and also knowing your status," said Johanna Perez exclusively with Gaye.
"The African American and Latino community has one of the leading rates of new diagnosis of people living with HIV. I can't continue to say I’m a community leader and say I care about my community, have all these amazing events without making sure that my community has the knowledge and the capability of knowing their status. Not only will the community event and celebrity basketball touch on the children. We also want to promote and highlight resources for mental health . We have a mental health specialist coming from Boston who is also co-founder of Boston's Black Pride.
Perez continued, "You don't have to stay in the house, you don't have to feel like you're alone, we're here. We're bringing you those resources for you to be able to utilize them."
Pride is always a significant time for the members of the LGBTQ+ community as it marks a time and place where we can all gather and unapologetically express ourselves, and Vegas Black Pride is no exception.