This week, cities all over the country are celebrating gay pride and commemorating the historic riots at New York City’s Stonewall Inn, which took place June 27 and 28, 1969, and marked a new era for gay rights. New Orleans has a full slate of events planned to cap off the annual Pride Week, and some of the activities might even manage to please Granny. In New Orleans, Pride Week is designed as an inclusive event. No one agency organizes the activities, and there's not one theme that binds them.
It is meant to give everyone something to do, whether they would like to walk, play softball or go to a drag show," said Martin Strickland, of NO/AIDS Task Force. "We have tried to incorporate all people."
The weekend's lineup kicks off with the first Gay Pub Crawl in the French Quarter on Friday night. Festivities continue with Family Day at City Park on Saturday, including a picnic at 11am where the New Orleans chapter of the Stonewall Democrats will be giving out free popsicles. Later in the day a game of drag softball will match Queens vs. Kings, leaving just enough time for everyone to freshen their make-up before the block party that evening at Harrah’s.
Sunday is the big day, featuring the Pride Parade and street festival. The parade starts at Harrah’s at noon, and winds through the French Quarter. Strickland is marching with his group, Re:vision, a social outlet group for young gay and bi guys between the ages of 18-35 who are looking for a more structured social setting. They focus on maintaining sexual health, and forming a more cohesive community for young, at risk gay youth. Anyone intersted in marching in the parade is free to contact him at [email protected]
The street fest includes performances by 2011 Mr & Miss NOLA Pride Monica Synclaire- Kennedy and Adonis and the presentation of 2011 Grand Marshals Misti Ates and Chris Leonard. Also performing will be 2011 Honorary Grand Marshall Jason Dottley, 80’s pop star Tiffany, and local fiddler Amanda Shaw, whose band the Cute Guys might finally get the recognition they deserve.
For more information, visit http://www.nolapride.biz/.