A few short weeks after I was appointed the CEO of The Center, I was visited by Gary Vrooman of the Lambda Business Association. Gary, a veteran in the LGBTQ community, spoke fondly of the many years that he had been involved in LGBTQ affairs. He was a pioneer of the movement in Southern California.
He came to me with a suggestion. “It is time,” he said, “that we all come together in a larger way to serve the LGBTQ community in Southern Nevada. It is time that we bring all LGBTQ organizations together.” He spoke firsthand of other communities in Southern California promoting a wider and broader collaboration. The gay and lesbian community centers in those areas were the catalyst of that collaboration. They were the hub of that collaboration.
I have never let go of Gary’s vision for a better community here in Southern Nevada. In my perception, the LGBTQ community here is made up of a variety of diverse well-intentioned organizations, serving a variety of needs and providing a variety of services. But in many ways as I soon perceived, many of these organizations did their good work in silos. There was very little cross-communication. I did not see the type of community-building collaboration that Vrooman envisioned. That was a role of The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada since our mission is to serve and advocate for all without exception.