Coming Out of the Past: West Valley’s Gay History/ Gay Pop Culture Night

By Avi Vieira

With new faces joining West Valley one•n•ten, it was high time we tested the LGBT pop cultural and historical knowledge of our youth with a series of fun and challenging trivia questions spanning decades of LGBT related movies, television, music, and history with volunteers serving as judges and awarding points for correct answers, and occasionally providing hints to stumped participants.


With the promise of “fabulous prizes” to tempt them; our youth “buzzed in” and answered individual questions ranging from events and people from Ancient Rome through 2013 drawing on gay icons such as Judy Garland, Alan Turning, Freddie Mercury, Madonna, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and Lady Gaga; as well as events impacting LGBTs such as Lawrence v Texas, DOMA, Proposition 8, DADT, states allowing same sex marriage; and even tested LGBT related terminology such as defining pocket gays, fruit flies, gaydar, and chapstick lesbians.


The evening was lively as youth tried to answer quickly, often times scrambling to buzz in to answer, then stump others by picking older decades and more obscure categories.  In the end, when scores were tabulated, a rainbow round was held to determine the final prizes, which as promised, were fabulous gift cards to Target and Barnes and Noble and a special prizes of books on Gay encouragement for further research. As a bonus that was the highlight of the evening for the youth was the presentation of “Official Gay Cards” for their demonstration of LGBT knowledge; which both reminds cardholders to love, honor, and respect each other, and come with a “3 Strikes and you lose” clause for offenses against fellow LGBTs.


The evening served as both a learning opportunity from the trivia portion, but also allowed the youth to feel validated, empowered, and connected to the greater LGBT community. While the concept of a “Gay Card” brings a chuckle, and a smile to older members of the community, it was simply magical to watch the pride our youth had as they left for the night, with those cards in hand and sense of authorization and endorsement from “senior LGBTs.”