While the cancellation of Southern Decadence, the LGBTQ+ festival and parade on Labor Day weekend, is disappointing, there are still activities in New Orleans that allow us to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. New Orleans is known for its accepting and welcoming nature, meaning that there are plentiful things to do to celebrate a community who has brought love, entertainment, and diversity to this city.
Support LGBT-Owned Businesses
Another Where Y'at article, written by Essence Warren
(click here), provides a link to this resource, entitled
"LGBTQ-Owned Businesses Guide." This article lists numerous LGBTQ-owned
businesses in multiple categories, such as bars, bed and breakfasts, event
planning, grocery, historical landmarks, etc. Visit one of the art galleries and
studios, such as Dutch Alley Artists Co-Op or Galerie Vinsantos, and visit the
restaurants listed, such as Clover Grill or Mona Lisa. Use this resource to
indulge in, learn more about, and develop your appreciation for LGBTQ+ culture
Dutch Alley Artists Co-Op:
912 N. Peters, (504) 412-9220, dutchalleyartistsco-op.com
Galerie Vinsantos: 811 Royal St., (504) 603-6038, galerievinsantos.com
Clover Grill: 900 Bourbon St., (504) 598-1010, clovergrill.com
Mona Lisa: 1212 Royal St., (504) 522-6746, monalisaneworleans.com
Visit Allways Lounge
On their Facebook page, The Allways Lounge and Cabaret describes themselves as "The Pearl of the Marigny" and a place for "burlesque, music, drag, comedy, erotic readings, and an evening cocktail." The lounge is still open in these times of corona with social-distancing guidelines, such as no direct personal contact, the requirement of face masks, and a maximum of two people per viewing. Support this LGBTQ+ entertainment center by attending an event; click here to view their calendar and schedule your visit today. 2240 St. Claude Ave., (504) 321-5606, theallwayslounge.net
Watch LGBTQ+ Movies
Heteronormativity tends to creep into different valves of entertainment, including the movie industry. Watch shows that embrace diversity by featuring LGTBQ+ cast and protagonists. A popular movie released in 2018 is Love, Simon, a movie about 17-year-old Simon Spier who struggles to accept his homosexulaity while also hiding it from his loved ones. Boy Erased, also released in 2018, is a true story based on Garrad Conley's memoir that explores the life of a boy being sent to a conversion camp by his deeply religious father. Another movie, entitled Boys Don't Cry, was released in 1999 and depicts the real-life story of a trans-man named Brandon Teena. While these films may be difficult to watch, it is important that we educate ourselves about the hardships the LGBTQ+ community faces.
Visit the AIDS Memorial
The AIDS Memorial, constructed by Tim Tate and completed in 2008, is located in Washington Square Park. The sidewalk leading up to the memorial is filled with granite stones that have names of people who were affected by the AIDS pandemic. The sculpture consists of glass circles with bronze rims; there are also faces created from the glass. 700 Elysian Fields Ave.
Wear Pride Gear
Express your pride or allyship by donning pride-themed outfits. This can range from shirts to pants to socks to hats to boas. Shop for LGBTQ+ gear while also supporting LGBTQ-owned businesses, such as Bourbon Pride and Friend. Looking for a rainbow-striped tote bag or koozie? Dreaming of a t-shirt that reads "I Go Both Ways"? Find whatever you need to show your pride, your solidarity, or just your fun-loving festive side. Even though Decadence was cancelled this year, you can still dress up and have some fun in honor of the festival and the LGBTQ+ people.