I met Heather Veitch and Annie Lobert at the Cheesecake Factory, across from the Green Valley Ranch casino. We had to wait for a booth because Lobert’s stories about her years working as an escort in the Vegas resort corridor can get graphic.
Many years ago Veitch used to be a stripper in Vegas. Now both women are Christian activists trying to reach out to women in the Las Vegas adult industry.
They are in the midst of gearing up for Adult Entertainment Expo, the biggest adult industry convention in the country, which takes place in Vegas every January. This convention includes the adult movie version of the Oscars, the AVN Awards.
I discovered the duo through a series of popular YouTube videos they did called “Saving Sex City.” Episode 3 features the two walking the Strip as showgirls carrying placards with Christian messages.
Even before uniting for the video series, Veitch received a lot of media attention. She thinks it is because she doesn’t look like your typical Christian preacher. In fact, her look has been a major factor, she says, in the Christian community being slower than the worldly people of Vegas to accept her.
One Vegas topless bar allows Veitch to come at night to buy lap dances and use the time to talk to the dancers about Jesus. I have been invited along for a future trip and am very curious to see how that works out. Veitch says she has received almost no hostility from the people she is trying to reach in Vegas, even those not at all interested in her message.
On the other hand, selling her fellow Christians on her project has been difficult. Veitch has found that some churches are not interested in populating congregations with strippers she has invited to services. And then it always comes back to her look. Veitch says, “The Christian community can be very judgmental. But we think our look lets girls in the industry identify with us.”