The Stapleton community is among Denver’s most dynamic and vibrant—filled with passionate people who believe in strong community involvement and improving the world around them. Stapleton is home to an eclectic mix of growing families, young professionals, empty nesters and numerous stand-out community leaders who are making positive change throughout Denver, the region and the world. One such couple is Anthony Aragon and David Westman…
Anthony Aragon and David Westman have been referred to as the “gay mayors” of Denver and wear this title like a badge of honor. Considering they are responsible for everything from organizing Denver’s Gay Pride Parade for the last 16 years to creating one of Denver’s most famous drag queen persona’s—Nuclia Waste, to organizing SQREAM—Scooter Queers Riding Everywhere And More—they have earned this designation and a tremendous amount of credit for their relentless commitment to numerous causes.
The couple—who has been together for almost 20 years—met while David was traveling the country competing in the Gay Rodeo. Anthony was organizing the Gay Pride Parade, which has become the seventh largest in the country, and their romance flourished into a lifelong partnership. After David was named 2002 Mr. Colorado Gay Rodeo and 2003 Mr. International Gay Rodeo, he retired from the sport, settling down with Anthony in their mountain home in Pine, CO — much like Oliver and Lisa from Green Acres. Anthony, taking a job at the Mayor’s office, felt it important to live in the City and County of Denver, so together they made the decision to move to Stapleton in 2003. While they planned to buy a home in one of the older neighborhoods like Capitol Hill or Wash Park, they fell in love with the charming architecture, ample square footage and location near the airport available at Stapleton.
“We loved Stapleton because it was just like the old neighborhoods of Denver, but offered new homes with smart floors plans, which felt like the best of both worlds,” said Westman. “The homes had porches, garages off the alley and tons of amenities–and one of the hard work of an older home. After touring 27 models, we bought a KB Home because it offered the best configuration and flexibility for us.”
Theirs was the first home completed on their street, and they have enjoyed watching the community change and grow over the last decade. True to their passion for community involvement, they became involved in many groups in the neighborhood including SWAG (Stapleton Wine Appreciation Group) and Gaypleton, forming a strong network of friends.
“I love telling people that I live in Stapleton and am proud to be part of this community,” said Aragon. “We have watched the kids grow up on our street and love how every year the community seems to come more alive. Whether it be the wildlife returning to the area, birds building their nest in a tree in our yard, or the new vibrant shops and retail coming to the area, we are still discovering Stapleton after all these years.”
Anthony has been a community leader for decades. Having grown up in Southwest Denver, he left school and began working with the Mayor’s office in 1988, thus began his activist work too. He currently manages the 130-plus civic boards and commissions that the mayor selects and helps oversee all LGBTQ community outreach. Westman, a Creative Director at DMXENGAGE, a digital marketing agency, finds unique and creative outlets for his vibrant personality, including the creation of Nuclia Waste — Colorado’s most famous drag queen who dons vibrant green hair in a massive bouffant style, bright pink and green eyeshadow and radioactive accessories.
“David and I are in many way opposites, very Ying Yang,” said Anthony. “But the thing we have in common is that our life’s passion is helping others.”
Their weekends always differ and are spent volunteering for one of their many causes, traveling the country, or just spending time walking their Spanish Water dogs- Andale and Arriba in the open space or at the Stapleton dog park. They also love catching a movie at Northfield Harkins Theater or getting their haircut with their favorite hair stylist at Fantastic Sam’s.