Diva Las Vegas
Who we are - What we are ...
Diva Las Vegas is an annual social event for the members of
the transgender community, including partners, friends, and guests.
As the name implies, this event happens in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Diva Las Vegas normally occurs during the spring months and our main page will list the dates of the next planned annual event if the dates are known at the present time.
Diva Las Vegas (DLV) is often called "a vacation, not a convention" as our event is not based upon the model which is used for most of the other large TG community events in the US. The activities which occur at our annual event are mostly social, cultural, participatory, and recreational in nature.
Diva Las Vegas has very little formal structure. Our activities are independently planned by our volunteers with the guidance and support of our Volunteer Group. Each activity is self-supporting and there is no registration or participation fee nor common pool of funds.
Our Introduction page gives a good visual overview of what you can expect at Diva Las Vegas. Our Frequently Asked Questions list gives answers to frequent and anticipated questions, and our Roadmap page lists the steps to take if you are interested in attending. Our main page provides links to follow-up pages from all of our past events. The Big List is an ongoing project to track TG-friendly vendors and merchants in the Las Vegas area and is our most "hit on" page.
Our beginning ...
Diva Las Vegas is very much the "accidental event" as there was never any intent to establish any kind of major TG event. DLV simply grew and grew - and grew - until we became one of the more significant TG events.
The event we know as Diva Las Vegas began in May of 1997 as an "In Real Life" meeting of some individuals who had become acquainted over the Internet by way of Internet Relay Chat. (IRC)
A group of five, Annie, Deb, Elaine, John, and Margeth (Hollye), joined each other over the weekend of May 9 - 11, 1997. The group took in a show, did some sightseeing, visited some attractions, and had what could be described as some "crazy" times. The infamous "7-11 Incident" (ask around if you haven't heard it) happened at DLV 1997.
It was decided to do "same time next year" and as the cliche goes, the rest is history!
Our growth ...
Diva Las Vegas experienced explosive growth between the years of 1998 and 2000. What was to be that small "same time next year" get-together in 1998 turned out to be over a threefold increase in headcount!
Shows! Shopping! Side trips! And at night, of course, a very heavy dose of Quality Social Time, (translated: Quality Social Time = partying) a tradition which continues today. The infamous "Galiano [sic] Incident" happened in 1998. Again, ask around for the story. Ask around some more for the "real" story. :) Our first annual Dam Good Tour, a personal behind-the-scenes tour of Hoover Dam, began in 1998 and lasted until 9-11.
DLV 1999 saw a more-than-doubling in the number of attendees over 1998 and an increase in the length of the event, beginning with a Pre-DLV gathering on Thursday and concluding with a rather intense "bar crawl" the following Tuesday, actually well into Wednesday morning.
The infamous "Del Mar Invitation" occurred in 1999. Again, ask around for a number of versions of the story.
The growth continued into 2000 with a total headcount of about 50, and included expanded activities such as group meals, a shopping tour, and a side trip to Valley Of Fire.
One important addition in 2000 was golf. This became the Diva Las Vegas Invitational, and is regarded as the world's first regularly-scheduled TG golf match.
It has been said that some DLV attendees consider Diva Las Vegas to be mainly a golf match that's surrounded by other activities. :)
Of course there was always plenty of that Quality Social time! Many of our attendees who joined us during the 1998-2000 years have perfect or close-to-perfect attendance from those years forward. Two of the original five have perfect attendance from 1997 on! (Those two are free to identify themselves if they wish.) :)
2001 began the expansion of the variety and scale of our activities, with such perennial favorites as the Air Tours and the Limo Tour.
Expansion, direction, and some growing pains ...
With growth there will be growing pains, and DLV was not immune by any means. The big question in the early 2000s was the direction in which the event was to go.
There were two opposing schools of thought. Several of the newer attendees expressed feelings of familiarity and comfort with the traditional TG conventions (Be-All, SCC, Fall Harvest, etc.) and wished to see the format of DLV adjusted in that direction. Some of the long-timers opposed this quite outspokenly, vowing that "DLV will have a Rubber Chicken Banquet or electrolysis lecture over my dead body!"
A few others wished aggressive expansion, to allow DLV to challenge the larger TG events (Fantasia Fair, SCC, etc.) to become the largest.
There were proposals to formalize, to adopt a fee structure, and to incorporate as a non-profit. There was the expressed desire for DLV to become more sociopolitically active.
Another point of contention was (and still is, to an extent) the degree to which DLV was to be exposed to the general public. Some wished a degree of seclusion, holding our major activities in GLBT-friendly venues out of the public view. One proposal was to move all major DLV activities into a rented "activities room." Others wanted all of DLV to be right in the middle of the mainstream, for better or for worse.
Much discussion ensued, some votes were taken among the volunteers, and some general principles were agreed upon, which included such things as:
In recent years ...
Diva Las Vegas continues to grow, with attendance exceeding 100 in all years from 2003 onward. Our highest attendance was in 2010 with a total turnout of 179.
The depth and breadth of our activities continues to grow as well. Each annual event provides a fresh assortment of old favorites, new requests, and those activities which are truly groundbreaking.
Unusual and innovative recurring activities include the Night Of The Soiled Doves, Shooting match, Jam Session, and the Murder-Mystery Interactive Theater.
As we continue ...
Above all, Diva Las Vegas give our attendees a chance to get away, to be themselves, to socialize, to celebrate life and enjoy each other's company. Just like it was back in 1997!