LGBT Center readies for Thanksgiving dinner

Dozens of youths will gather at The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada at 6 p.m. Monday for the sixth annual Thanksgiving dinner.

Every year LGBT youths, their families and friends flock to the center on South Maryland Parkway for the event, and some have nowhere else to celebrate the holiday.

Last year the center served more than 200 people home-cooked meals. All of the food is donated by staff and volunteers.

Peyton Williams, 20, said she loves the holiday event for the opportunity to make new friends and eat pumpkin-chocolate-chip cupcakes.

“It didn’t matter if you knew the person or not, you just sat down next to them. We have a tight-knit family here at The Center,” she said

About 20 percent of the youths that attended last year’s Thanksgiving dinner were homeless or had rough home lives. Many LGBT teens are kicked out of their homes after coming out, according to The Center.

This year The Center is hoping to see an even greater turnout, thanks to its new building at 401 S. Maryland Parkway, near Charleston Boulevard.

Employees and youth group participants are excited for the special event. This year they are doing a halftime show during the meal to entertain diners with performers from their Pride Youth Talent show.

Contact reporter Wesley Juhl at wjuhl@reviewjournal.com and (702) 383-0381. Follow him on Twitter @WesJuhl.