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Volume 20/Issue 2/2002

Rip & Marsha

by Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain

Visit their site: ripandmarsha.com

LAGPAC Endorses Irons for N.O. Mayor

At a standing-room only forum held at the Pontchartrain Hotel on Wed., Jan. 9, the Louisiana Lesbian and Gay Political Action Caucus (LAGPAC) held a public mayoral candidates' forum and membership meeting which resulted in endorsements in 14 key New Orleans metro races for the Feb. 2 primary.

More than 200 people attended the meeting, during which mayoral candidates Troy Carter and Paulette Irons addressed questions prepared by the LAGPAC Board of Directors and fielded audience inquiries. Candidates Richard Pennington and Jim Singleton were confirmed as participants, but instead delivered two-minute statements and departed.

Following the forum, LAGPAC members convened for an endorsement meeting. An endorsement required a two-thirds majority of voting members.

The following candidates were endorsed: Mayor of New Orleans: Paulette Irons; City Council District A, Jay Batt, District B: Renee Gill Pratt, District C: (dual endorsement) Jackie Clarkson or Nelson Savoie, District D: Marlin Gusman, District E: Cynthia Willard-Lewis, At-Large: (two seats) Eddie Sapir, Tommie Vassel; Clerk of Civil District Court: Dale Atkins; Clerk of Criminal District Court: Ed Lombard; Coroner: Dr. David Newsome; Assessor, 1st District: Patricia Johnson; Assessor, 3rd District: Erroll Williams; Assessor, 6th District: (dual endorsement): Janyce Degan or James Wiggins.

LAGPAC will now mobilize its membership for endorsed candidates. The organization will conduct phone banking and neighborhood canvassing, will sponsor targeted mailings to 6,000 metro households, and will execute a targeted distribution of some 20,000 ballots.

Formed in 1980, LAGPAC is the state's oldest and largest nonpartisan political organization working full-time for equal rights for the Gay community.

The Krewe of Petronius Celebrates its 41st

The oldest Gay Mardi Gras krewe in New Orleans, the Krewe of Petronius, will celebrates its 41st year on Feb. 3 at the Municipal Auditorium with a bal masque entitled "Fly With Us."

A variety of unique costumes will be displayed in the tableaux staged by the krewe members. Entertainment will feature the incomparable Ms. Becky Allen and the angelic voice of Angela Mannino, the always entertaining Lyle Guidroz and his dancers, and the breathtaking acrobatic gymnastic feats of National Champions Gawain and Julie Dupree and their muscle-bound group.

There are still a few tables of ten available for only $250, reserved seating on the floor for $15, or general admission balcony seating for only $10. These tickets may be obtained at MRB, 515 St. Philip St.; Voodoo in Congo Square, 718 N. Rampart St.; The 9th Circle, 700 N. Rampart; from any krewe member, or by calling 504.525.4498.

Captain Mickey Gil says, "Forget the Super Bowl; Come to the Super Ball!"

No Bar HIV Testing in Feb.

Due to Mardi Gras, NO/AIDS Task Force will NOT be doing HIV testing in the bars during the month of Feb.

Testing returns in March. For more information about testing, call 504.945.4000.

Bourbon St. Awards
Changes Hands, Moves Back to Bourbon St.

The annual Bourbon Street Awards Costume Contest, now in its 38th year, has been acquired by Johnny Chisholm and Oz/New Orleans. Other Chisholm endeavors include Emerald City/Pensacola, Icon/Baton Rouge, Blu/Atlanta, and circuit parties Abracadabra/Pensacola hosted Memorial Day Weekend and One Mighty Party/Orlando hosted during Gay Days.

The awards return to Bourbon St. for the first time in 16 years. Chisholm and Oz will host "the best free show of Mardi Gras" at the corner of St. Ann and 800 Bourbon St. beginning at 11am sharp, Mardi Gras Day, Feb. 12. Both Oz and Bud Light are proud sponsors of this year's spectacle. Celebrity emcees will feature the talents of Southern Decadence Grand Marshal XXIX Bianca Del Rio and Oz Calendar Boy hostess Blanche DeBris.

Categories of competition remain the same and include Best Male, Best Female, Best Group, Fantasy, Leather, Best Tits [Male or Female] and Best of Show.

The awards previously were held by Tom Wood and Wood Enterprises since 1974. Prior to Wood Enterprises, the awards were hosted and founded by the late Arthur Jacobs, then proprietor of the Clover Grill. For more on the awards visit gaymardigras.com/bbb.htm.

Louisiana HRC
Calls for Nominations

The Louisiana Division of the Human Rights Campaign is seeking nominations for the annual Louisiana Human Rights Campaign Awards. The Human Rights Campaign is one of the leading national Gay and Lesbian rights organizations.

The HRC awards are open to all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender. The awards committee wishes to encourage participation by everyone whether Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or heterosexual.

Award winners are determined by four criteria. First, the length and duration of activism in championing human rights. Second, whether the nominee actually advanced the case of human rights in the community. Third, whether the individual is recognized as a leader in the community. Finally, whether the individual is able to personally attend the award events.

All nominations should be in writing and mailed to awards subcommittee co-chair, Jack Sullivan, at 862 Camp St., New Orleans, LA 70130. All nominations must be received by Feb. 18.

This year's HRC weekend is being chaired by Arthur Roger and Dr. Frank Welch. The HRC Dinner will be held on June 8 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in New Orleans. An honoree's reception will precede the dinner on Thurs., June 6 at the home of the Honorable Lindy Boggs. The chairs are committed to making the 2002 Louisiana event a weekend to remember.

N.O. Alliance of Pride
Selects Board, Sets Goals

The New Orleans Alliance of Pride, organizers of the annual New Orleans Gay Pride Festival and Parade, has selected a new volunteer board of directors and set goals for the 2002 season during its annual meeting.

The attendees of the meeting selected the following volunteer board members and officers: Crystal Little as Chair, Keith A. Istre as Vice-Chair, Keith L. Oalmann as Secretary, Thomas J. Franklin III as Treasurer and Allan D. Spach, James R. Bailor and Shayne McClain as Board Members At-Large.

At the conclusion of board member and officer selections, the 2002 board of directors set the following goals to be completed within the first quarter of the year: (1) clarify, revise and update its corporate bylaws including becoming a "member based" organization; (2) develop a budget including year-round, advertising and promotions, fund-raisers, festival and parade expenses; (3) clarify, revise and update sponsorship and vender booth contracts and programs including offering a low-cost "community" space for nonprofits, developing a new enticing and innovative sponsorship program and having contracts and program packets available and mailed out "as-soon-as-possible" and (4) establish an improved, inclusive and professional image for the organization through community and organizational inclusion and outreach, development of a comprehensive advertising and promotional campaign, a new logo, publishing a quarterly newsletter, development of a comprehensive Web site and adhering to its "conflict of interest" policy and board member "commitment pledge."

The board also has set goals for the year including contracting entertainment talents "as-soon-as-possible", offer more entertainment venues at festival, offer discounted "weekend tickets" to festival, becoming more "visible" within the community year-round and continuing the goals of improvement, inclusion and professionalism. Other business that evening included a vote to obtain and pay for as many licenses and permits as possible now, to reserve Armstrong Park for the dates of September 28 and 29, 2002 for the festival and donate $1,000.00 to the PFLAG Annual Scholarship.

The New Orleans Alliance of Pride 2002 Board of Directors officialiy invites the public to its monthly open public meetings on the first Monday of the month at 7:30pm in the Lesbian and Gay Community Center of New Orleans at 2114 Decatur St. The board would also like to invite anyone willing to dedicate their time by volunteering and/or becoming a board member. They are looking for persons to volunteer their time and/or talent in anyway, big or small. There are also six (6) board member positions available to anyone who is willing to dedicate a whole year of service to the community. For more information, anyone may call 504.943.1999, e-mail to mail@neworleansgaypride.org and/or postal mail to P.O. Box 52343, New Orleans, LA 70152-2343, or visit the Web site.

Tomcats on a Hot Tin Roof

A Celebration of Friends, called Tomcats on a Hot Tin Roof, a weekend get-together for mature men and their admirers, will be held the weekend of June 21-23 in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

The "home base" for this weekend of fun will be the Hotel St. Pierre, 911 Burgundy St.

Being organized by "TOMCAT," this unique "circuit party" has no registration fees and no agenda, what's more, you do what you want, when you want, with whom you want. Also, the Gay bars will be offering those in attendance "happy hour" prices all during the weekend, as well as feasts and shows. The Gay-friendly St. Pierre is offering room rates of $72 a night for a room with a king-size bed or $82 a night for a room with a double/double - note this rate is for room and not person. There is a two night minimum, but if you want to come a few days early or stay later, the prices will remain the same.

According to TOMCAT9722's press release, "there will be no hidden prices and no extra monies going to anyone or anything."

Call Luisa Brens, Reservations Manager, at 800.225.4040 or 504.524.4401 to make your reservation. For more information, e-mail TOMCAT9722@aol.com.

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