History of Diva Las Vegas

The history of what we now call Diva Las Vegas began in 1996 between a group of users on IRC on the old #crossdress channel on EFNET. Those who became well acquainted on the IRC network started talking about how great it would be if they could meet in real life.

The question, of course, was where and when.

Several places were discussed and considered, including the known t-friendly places such as Provincetown and Key West, centrally-located places such as Chicago and Omaha, and "fun" places such as Las Vegas.

One suggestion was that the group meet at one of the scheduled T* conventions, and it was mentioned that Fall Harvest was to happen shortly. The response to this was an overwhelming "NO WAY" with unprintable expletives attached.

One of the people in the conversation that evening, John I believe, remarked "I want a vacation, not a convention!"

Since it was getting close to the holidays, discussion of this dropped off until the first part of 1997.

The suggestion of Las Vegas as a venue was the only one that was not met with various complaints, and it was more or less agreed that some weekend in March or April would be good.

Plans (or rather the lack of same) dragged on into early April, and it was finally agreed upon that the weekend of May 9 - 12 would work for all who were interested, which numbered about 10 or so at that time.

The name Diva Las Vegas first appeared on John's personal web page as an announcement of the event.

What we consider the very first Diva Las Vegas activity was an informal get-together at the Goodtimes Lounge on Saturday afternoon, May 10, 1997.

Total headcount of those who agreed in advance to meet for DLV 1997 was 5, and included Annie, Deb, Elaine, John, and Margeth. "A very small crowd and a very good time" was the best way to describe DLV 1997.

At dinner on Sunday, it was unanimously agreed for "Same Time Next Year", for DLV 1998.

DLV 1997 also marked the last time in DLV history that the entire group was ever in one place at the same time.

DLV 1998 was again a three-day event from Friday until Sunday, but some decided to extend until as late as Tuesday. It was clear that the weekend DLV was soon to be history.

It's very hard to determine an accurate headcount for DLV 1998. The photo prior to the Kenny Kerr show shows 6, I was taking the picture, two were taking a "bio break" at the time of the photo, and I know we had a few who did not go to the show. 12 - 16 or so total is about as close as we can get, with no activity at which all DLV attendees were present.

DLV 1998 marked our first international participant, from Switzerland, and our first "Dam Good Tour", a tradition which continued thru 2001.

Other highlights include a repeat trip to La Cage, our first Mall Crawl to Belz and FISM, more good times at Goodtimes, and the nightly hangouts at Keys, which remained a favorite of DLV thru 2001.

"A small crowd and an exceptionally good time" is the best way to describe DLV 1998. Personally, this one was one of my favorites of all times!

DLV 1999 was scheduled to run from Friday, May 14 thru Tuesday, May 18, but due to popular demand, we began Thursday evening with our "Pre-DLV" gathering.

Highlights from DLV 1999 include:

I consider 1999 to be a major turning point for DLV. Not only was there an explosive growth from DLV 1998, with 33 participants total plus tag-alongs, but this was the first time that the majority of the group was not from the IRC crowd.

From a personal standpoint, DLV 1999 is still my favorite!

DLV 2000 (The end of the world as we know it, the beginning of the world as it should be.) showed considerable growth, with a total of between 50 - 60, again, not everybody ever in the same place at the same time.

2000 marked the first Diva Las Vegas Open, at the Las Vegas Golf Club, an activity that would become a continuing tradition.

Las Vegas Lounge, a recently reopened club on Karen Avenue, was the defacto nightly hangout for the DLV 2000 crowd.

DLV 2001 was the height of exuberance, extravagence, and enthusiasm. It was a major party non-stop.

Keys was the defacto after-hours hangout for the gang, with Michael Cagle being named "DLV Entertainer of the Year".

Headcount for DLV 2001 was in the 70-80 range total, again, never the whole group together in any one place at any one time.

As a side note, DLV 2001 was the first year that the group did not see Frank Marino's La Cage show.