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Volume 22/Issue 19/2004

Rip & Marsha


       

 

by Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain 
Visit their site:
ripandmarsha.com

2004 Decadence Up, Arrests Down;
125,000 Participants, $100 Million Economic Impact

The 33rd Official Southern Decadence celebration was up an average of 3.2 percent over 2003. The event brought out an estimated 125,000 revelers including visitors and locals. The economic impact on the City could very well exceed $100 million, based on a conservative spending average of $800 per person.

According to 8th District Capt. Thomas A. Smegal of the New Orleans Police Department, there were only 11 arrests this year including one for leud conduct, two for simple battery and the other eight for public drunkenness. There were no arrest for public sex. The police department found the Decadence crowd to be one of the best behaved for an event as large as this celebration.

Ambush contacted many businesses following the holiday to find that business was up in some cases and down in others, which translated into a 3.2% increase over 2003. Some businesses were up as high as 50% while others were down 5 to 25%. It appears that participants are not confining themselves to only one area of the Quarter any longer. This year many visited different establishments throughout the French Quarter, CBD, uptown and particularly in the Faubourg Marigny/Bywater area of the city. Many gay friendly businesses showed their support of the giant celebration flying pride colors over their establishments and advertising in Ambush.

However, again for the second year, both shopping and dining establishments were up considerably. Additionally, participants visited more museums, art galleries and the casino this year while booking more historic tours than in previous years.

The community, including SDGM XXXII Donnie "Jager" Jay, worked closely with the City of New Orleans and the New Orleans Police Department 8th District in order to ensure that both visitors and locals alike would have a safe and fun Southern Decadence.

In the weeks prior to Southern Decadence, SouthernDecadence.COM and AmbushMag.COM brought in over 150,000 unique visitors to it's websites. SouthernDecadence.COM is the original and only Official Website of Southern Decadence in New Orleans dedicated to the preservation of the history and traditions of Southern Decadence since 1972. Ambush Mag is the Official Southern Decadence Guide.

This publication flew off the shelves of distribution points throughout the city. Even though Ambush printed an additional 3,000 editions for New Orleans, the mag’s number one distribution point, Dance Club & Show Bar of the Year, Oz, 800 Bourbon St., went through over 5,000 copies. Most other distribution points were out of Ambush by the end of the weekend.

The Official Sponsors of Southern Decadence included SDGM XXXII Donnie "Jager" Jay's choice of Jagermeister as Official Shot of Southern Decadence; Bud Light as Official Beer of Southern Decadence, the Bourbon Orleans Hotel as Official Host Hotel of Southern Decadence and SouthernDecadence.COM as Official Website of Southern Decadence.

Through sponsorship agreements promoting Official Southern Decadence in advertising, web and promotional support, Harrah’s was the Official Casino of Southern Decadence, D-Dance the Official Circuit Party of Southern Decadence, and Ambush Mag the Official Guide of Southern Decadence.

Promotional Partners included GayNewOrleans.COM, Oz, House of Blues, Petunias, GayAmerica.COM, GayBars.COM, GayMardiGras.COM, HalloweenNewOrleans.COM and GayEasterParade.COM.

Southern Decadence XXXIV is set for Wed., Aug. 31-Mon., Sept. 5, 2005.

32nd Southern Decadence Parade Brings Thousands to the Streets; Official Southern Decadence Bead Toss Ends Day

Southern Decadence Grand Marshal Donnie "Jager" Jay led the 32nd Official
Southern Decadence Parade
through the streets of the French Quarter bringing
thousands out for the spectacle. Donnie Jay was the first grand marshal to ride through the parade on a horse with a grand marshal entourage of 40 costumed participants. After addressing the crowd at the Golden Lantern, Donnie Jay headed down Royal Street where thousands of spectators waited in anticipation. Many of those joined the parade as it went by from Royal to St. Louis to N. Rampart to St. Philip to Dauphine to St. Ann to Bourbon, ending at Lafitte's.

Immediately following the parade, the day ended with the 12th Annual Official Southern Decadence Bead Toss at Ambush Headquarters, 828 Bourbon St. SDGM XXXII Donnie Jay and his entourage tossed some 30,000 beads, compliments of Harrah's Casino, Bud Light, Costumes by Derek and SouthernDecadence.COM.

Napoleon's Itch Dazzles Southern Decadence
with the 1st Annual Bourbon Street Extravaganza

New Orleans' newest upscale, exclusive club, Napoleon's Itch, Bourbon at St. Ann Streets, brought Southern Decadence its first free street concert billed as the Bourbon Street Extravaganza. Wow! Owners Chuck Robinson and Joe Jaeger pulled off this amazing feat lending to the legitimacy of the Official Southern Decadence celebration. The street stage was across Bourbon at St. Ann directly in front of Napoleon's Itch. The crowd in the streets and on area balconies had an excellent view.

Robinson, who put the event together, was the master of ceremonies bringing two hours of live performances to the Southern Decadence street crowd, estimated at 15,000 by Ambush. Not only was the crowd treated to the talents of Martha Wash (It's Raining Men) and Jeanie Tracy (Cha Cha Heels) in separate concerts, but Robinson engineered a duet closing out the show with both stars. The enormous crowd went absolutely wild! Throughout the performances, confetti cannons fired raining down on the crowd, adding to the excitement of the festive event.

During the event, VIPs were treated to a private cocktail party hosted by Joe and Becky Jaeger in their Bourbon Orleans Hotel suite which opened onto their private balcony above Napoleon's Itch. The view from there was unbelievable. Following the show, guests returned downstairs to mingle with both Martha Wash and Jeanie Tracy.

Napoleon's Itch is already planning to make next year's event even larger, expanding the hours or possibly hosting it over two days. According to Robinson, "We have to give something back. We can not take, take, take!" Southern Decadence visitors and locals alike cheer this philosophy.

Leather Decadence Boasts 5,000 Revelers

Ambush was shocked when it arrived at Leather Decadence 2004, the leather block party, hosted by Leather Bar of the Year, The Phoenix, 941 Elysian Fields. An estimated 5,000 revelers were participating in this packed event, making it even larger than 2003. The giant block party brought out vendors and organizations alike, but inside the Phoenix, revelers were wall to wall.

The weekend dubbed Leather Hell boasted the talents of guest DJ Erick of Austin, house DJ Tony and a special appearance by DJ Robbie.

Forum For Equality Announces Endorsements

The Forum For Equality PAC has issued endorsements for the Sept. 18, 2004 elections. The endorsement meeting of the General Membership followed interviews of all interested candidates. Those endorsed by the Forum’s General Membership are:

Criminal Sheriff – Warren J. Riley Judge, Civil District Court, Division M – Bernadette D’Souza Judge, Juvenile Court, Section C – Sandra Cabrina Jenkins School Board, District 3- Jimmy Fahrenholtz School Board, District 4 – Lourdes F. Moran School Board, District 5 – Phyllis Landrieu School Board, District 6 – Una Anderson School Board, District 7 – Glenn Wilson, Amendment # 1, NO.

"The general membership discussed the merits of each candidate and we believe these candidates uphold our objectives of promoting good government and civil rights. After our general membership meeting, I feel confident that those endorsed will be of the greatest good for our city", said Gerri Jumonville, Chair for the Forum For Equality Foundation & PAC.

The Forum For Equality PAC formed in 1989 is an organization comprised of lesbian, gay, and straight professionals. The Forum PAC has been issuing endorsements in all elections, participating in governmental reform efforts, and working to pass legislation at the local, state, and national levels. We are dedicated to the establishment of a society free from discrimination and to the support of good government.

Same-Sex Marriage Amendment Opponents Face Off

Just four days before Louisiana voters decide whether to add a ban on same-sex marriage to the state constitution, supporters and opponents of the proposed amendment will face off in a panel discussion at Tulane University Law School. Making up the Sept. 14 panel will be amendment author state Rep. Steve Scalise (R-Metairie), Rev. Gene Mills with Louisiana Family Forum, Chris Daigle with Equality Louisiana and Randy Evans with Forum for Equality. Scalise and Mills will speak in favor of the amendment, and Daigle and Evans will speak against the measure.

The panel will be moderated by Robert Travis Scott, chief of The Times-Picayune’s Baton Rouge bureau. The panel likely will be the last time before the election that leaders of the campaigns for and against the amendment appear together to debate the issue.

The free public event will be held at 7pm, Tues., Sept. 14, in Room 110 of the law school at 6329 Freret St. The panel is being sponsored by the Louisiana chapter of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA), the Press Club of New Orleans, the Tulane Lambda Law Alliance, the Tulane chapter of the American Constitution Society and the Law and Sexuality Journal.

NLGJA-Louisiana is an organization of journalists and other media professionals who work within the journalism industry to foster fair and accurate coverage of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues.

The Press Club is an organization of local journalists that promotes higher standards in the industry through education, recognition of journalistic excellence and assistance to aspiring young journalists.

Lambda is an association of students, faculty and staff that strives to ensure that Tulane Law School provides an environment that is accepting of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

The American Constitution Society is an association of law students, lawyers, scholars, judges and others who work to ensure that fundamental principles of human dignity, individual rights and liberties, genuine equality and access to justice have a central place in American law.

The Law and Sexuality Journal provides the legal and academic communities with readily available information on legal issues affecting the lesbian and gay community

15th Annual NO/AIDS Walk Sept. 26th at Audubon Park

NO/AIDS Task Force, a local nonprofit agency providing services and support for individuals infected with HIV/AIDS, is pleased to announce the 15th annual NO/AIDS WALK. This year’s WALK will be held Sun., Sept. 26th at Audubon Park.

Walkers and supporters are encouraged to meet in Audubon Park at 8am for registration. The Walk will kickoff at 10am and will proceed down historic Magazine Street to Napoleon Avenue and then will turn onto Prytania Street as it heads back into Audubon Park.

Participants will enjoy music and refreshments from sponsors including as Starbucks Coffee, Abita Beer, Louisiana Pizza Kitchen, French Market Wholesale, Rain Vodka and Kentwood Springs Water. Other sponsors include: Walgreens, The Times-Picayune, Gambit Weekly, Ambush Magazine, Where Y’AT Magazine, Entergy, Hibernia, The Donovan Edward Duplant Memorial Fund, Agouron Pharmaceuticals, Dorian Bennett/Bell Title, Gilead Sciences, Inc., ID Lubricants, Intermarine Inc., and Ortho Biotech Immunology. The NO/AIDS Walk is extremely kid-friendly with activities for children and pet-friendly with doggie water stops in the park and along the route.

NO/AIDS Task Force has been at the forefront in the battle against HIV since 1983. The agency offers a comprehensive array of services such as prevention education, HIV antibody testing and counseling, community outreach, the Louisiana Statewide HIV/AIDS Hotline, primary medical care, peer support, mental health therapy, support groups, case management, housing coordination, medicine assistance, home delivered meals and a food bank. The NO/AIDS WALK is one of the largest fundraisers for those infected with HIV/AIDS in Louisiana.

For more information, call the Walk Line 504.821.2601 ext. 250. or go online at www.noaidstaskforce.org. Sponsor forms may either be downloaded from the website or picked up at any New Orleans area Starbucks.

Louisiana ArtWorks Set to Open Oct. 23

The Arts Council of New Orleans (ACNO) has adjusted the Grand Opening date for Louisiana ArtWorks. The opening is now set for Sat., Oct. 23.

Louisiana ArtWorks, the new landmark project of the Arts Council of New Orleans located at the corner of Howard Avenue and Carondelet Street, was designed to provide resources for visual artists and to bring the public in contact with the creative process.

According to ACNO President and CEO Shirley Trusty Corey, various last minute construction challenges made moving the opening date into October most practical. "Specifically, the schedule for completing the staining of three floors of the building will require a few more weeks to conclude," she said.

The Arts Council will take possession of the building on Oct. 9 and will use the time until the public opening on Oct. 23 to finalize the building environment for the visitor experience. Artists who will occupy studios in the facility will move in during that time, as well.

"We are taking this added time to make sure that we deliver, from the first day, an exceptional visitor experience and a satisfying environment for the artists who will make the building come to life," Corey added.

ACNO has planned a full day of activities Oct. 23 to celebrate opening. There will be an official ribbon cutting with public officials and community leaders at 10:30am. Arts Council members will be the first visitors to the facility starting at noon. And then, Louisiana ArtWorks will open to the general public at 2pm.

Celebrating 29 years, The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, nonprofit organization providing programs and services to artists, arts organizations, the business community, and city government. Established in 1975, the Arts Council works in partnership with city government to meet the needs of the community based on three guiding principles: supporting the rich and diverse cultures that define this city, acting as an advocate for the cultural community, and promoting the arts as a business and a means of economic development.

National Coming Out Day Project Calls on Friends and Family To Act for Fairness

Washington - Come Out. Speak Out. Vote. is the theme for this year’s National Coming Out Day - encouraging gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans to talk to their families and friends about their lives, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation announced.

"This year, we need more than ‘I’m gay and it’s OK.’ We need our families and friends to say ‘It’s not OK to use gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues as a wedge,’" said Cheryl Jacques, president of the Human Rights Campaign. "We must talk to and involve our families and friends. Their voices are some of the strongest in the fight for equality."

In December 2003, the HRC Foundation conducted a public opinion poll that found while 77 percent of respondents consider themselves "out" as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, only 32 percent talk to their parents about public policy issues, and only 46 percent talk to their brothers and sisters about such topics. In contrast, respondents were much more likely to speak frankly on these topics with casual acquaintances (57 percent) or coworkers (54 percent).

National Coming Out Day is celebrated every Oct. 11 to mark the anniversary of the 1987 March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Equality. Each year since, thousands of GLBT people and allies have celebrated National Coming Out Day in schools, churches and businesses nationwide through workshops, speak-outs, rallies and other events aimed at showing the public that GLBT people are everywhere.

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.

GLAAD Unveils 30-Second
I Do
TV Spot

Los Angeles - The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) unveiled the winner of its I DO contest, a national advertising competition designed to promote equal marriage rights and protections for gay and lesbian families. GLAAD also announced a partnership with Rock the Vote to take the ad and its message of marriage equality to young voters in key states.

I Believe in Love was created by Kyle Grote of West Jefferson, Ohio, with the help of his siblings Katie Stephenson and Tom Grote and producing partner Frank Koch. GLAAD will place the 30-second ad in select markets this fall. The ad can be viewed online at www.idoin30seconds.org.

"As millions of gays and lesbians see their lives reduced to a partisan political wedge issue, it’s more important than ever that we open America’s eyes to the reality of our families, the rights we lack and the protections we need," said GLAAD Executive Director Joan M. Garry. "The Grote family’s ad reaffirms the dignity, the value and the common humanity of our relationships. GLAAD is honored to be able to share this ad with people across the country."

I Believe in Love depicts a woman who traces her family’s history of overcoming prejudice and discrimination against the backdrop of her own fight to marry the woman she loves. The ad closes with the recent quote by Vice President Dick Cheney: "Freedom means freedom for everyone."

"Making the spot was really a family project," says Kyle Grote, who, like his sister, Katie, is straight. "When our brother Tom came out 14 years ago, it really opened our eyes and our hearts. We’ve seen the intolerance he’s faced, and it’s strengthened our desire to support him. Creating this ad - putting a human face on such an important issue - gave us the opportunity to do just that."

To help promote the I DO campaign, GLAAD is also joining forces with Rock the Vote as an issue partner, taking the message of marriage equality to college campuses and promoting young voter turnout this November.

6th Annual Spirit Awards Gala Benefits New Youth Empowerment Program

In 1998 Metropolitan Community Church of Greater New Orleans (MCCGNO) created the Spirit Awards to acknowledge the tireless generosity of those who give of themselves by demonstrating leadership in bettering the quality of life in our community. Nominees are designated in the areas of Care, Education, Community and Entertainment. The event benefits the ministry of MCCGNO, and the Young Men’s Project, a CAN and NO/AIDS Task Force Youth Empowerment Program, offering young gay and bisexual men (18-35) healthy options for socialization to build self-esteem and create a better community.

The 2004 gala theme, A Taste of New Orleans, will feature cuisine from many of New Orleans’ finest area restaurants, served as a dinner buffet. In addition to the presentation of the awards, evening highlights will include entertainment, an open bar, dessert and wreath auction. Created and donated by local artists, the wreaths have become popular collectibles within the community.

Winners of the Spirit Awards Raffle will also be announced. Prizes include an Adler’s gift certificate for $250, a weekend stay at the Audubon Garden Cottage in Uptown New Orleans and the GRAND PRIZE is a South Beach, Miami vacation for two (including airfare & accommodations). Raffle tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5 and are available through members of MCCGNO and the NO/AIDS CAN division.

The 2004 Spirit Awards Gala is Sat., Nov. 20 at Musée Conti Wax Museum, 917 Rue Conti, 7:30pm, in the Legend’s Ballroom with $40 admission.

For more information, please call 504.945.5390 or email at spiritawards2004@sbcglobal.net. Updates and further Information will be available at www.mccgno.com.

The Metropolitan Community Church of Greater New Orleans is a Christian church founded in the LGBTQ community welcoming all people. Sunday Worship celebration is led by Pastor Dexter Brecht every Sunday at 1pm at St. Mark’s Sanctuary, 1130 N. Rampart Street.


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