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Volume 22/Issue 3/2004

Rip & Marsha



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

Gulf South Now in Full Mardi Gras Mode

The Gulf South is now in full Mardi Gras mode. Many events have already passed and many more or to come. As you go through this issue of the Official Gay Mardi Gras Guide, Ambush Mag, you'll find club, krewe and organization events from Texas through Florida.

Three events are set for Sat., Feb. 7, the Krewe du VieuX Parade rolls through the Faubourg Marigny and Vieux Carre, beginning at the Friendly Bar at 5pm in New Orleans. There are two 8pm events including the Krewe of Apollo-Birmingham Bal Masque XXVIII at the Boutwell Auditorium in Birmingham, AL, and the Krewe of Olympus Bal Masque XXXIV in Houston, TX.

On Sun., Feb. 8, it’s the 11th Annual KCQ [King Cake Queen] Coronation: Drums, Drags & Dragons! presenting KCQ XI of Gay Mardi Gras, Ms. L, The Dragon Queen, presented by the Krewe of Queenateenas. The Coronation also honors the King Cake Queen Royalty Club - KCQ II: Jewel of the Nile - Jay A. Loomis/1995, KCQ III: The Rainbow Queen - the late Smurf Murphy/1996, KCQ IV: Pearl of the Sea - Reba Douglas/1997, KCQ V: The She Devil - Elizabeth Simms/1998, KCQ VI: Czarina - the late Christine Cheridon/1999, KCQ VII: Goddess 2000 - Stephanie Williams/2000, KCQ VIII: The Peacock Queen - Phyllis Denmark/2001, KCQ IX: The Freedom Queen - Lisa Beaumann/2002 & KCQ X: The Voodoo Queen - Teryl-Lynn Foxx/2003, by invitation only, Ambush Headquarters on Bourbon St. in New Orleans.

On Sun., Feb. 15, 2pm, the 12th Krewe of Barkus Parade hits the streets in the French Quarter beginning at Armstrong Park in New Orleans. The Krewe of Petronius Bal Masque XLIII [43], orignially scheduled for that same evening, has been cancelled this year due to illness and will return bigger and better Sun., Jan. 30, 2005. The Krewe of Satyricon Bal Masque II is 8pm at the Municipal Auditorium in New Orleans.

Fri., Feb. 20 brings us from 9pm-12midnight, le Vendredi De Nuit Mardi Gras Avant [The Friday Night Before Mardi Gras Extravaganza], benefiting Belle Reve & United Services For AIDS, at The Carrollton in New Orleans; and the Night of the Black Mask: The South’s Oldest Leather Block Party, 10pm-2am, at the Phoenix/Eagle in New Orleans.

Sat., Feb. 21, it’s to Baton Rouge for the 12noon Annual Spanish Town Parade at 5th & Spanish Town Road, then return to New Orleans for the 8pm Krewe of Armeinius Bal Masque XXXVI at the St. Bernard Cultural Center in Chalmette.

On Sun., Feb. 22 the Lords of Leather Bal Masque XXI hits the stage at St. Bernard Cultural Center, 8pm in Chalmette/New Orleans.

And finally, it’s the big day, Mardi Gras, Feb. 24, kicking off with the 12noon 40th Annual Bourbon Street Awards sponsored by Oz and Bud Light, at the corner of St. Ann at 800 Bourbon, in New Orleans followed by the 2pm 17th Annual Official Gay Mardi Gras Bead Toss: Drums, Drags & Dragons! Led by KCQ [King Cake Queen] XI of Gay Carnival, Ms. L, The Dragon Queen at World famous Ambush Headquarters Balcony, 828 Bourbon St. in New Orleans.

Visit the Original and only Official Gay Mardi Gras Website, for all of the latest, www.GayMardiGras.COM.

The Mardi Gras Ball Where Everyone is the Tableau Feb. 20, Open to the Public

The 5th annual Friday Night Before Mardi Gras extravaganza (le Vendredi de Nuit Mardi Gras Avant)will be held at The Carrollton in New Orleans on Fri., Feb. 20, from 9pm to midnight.

With patrons dressed in drag, costume or black tie, the Friday Night Before Mardi Gras extravaganza is the ball where guests are the tableau. Featuring an open bar, luscious buffet, festive music and celebrity guests, ball tickets are $50 per person and is open to the public. All proceeds benefit persons living with HIV and AIDS through donations to Belle Reve New Orleans and United Services for AIDS.

The Friday Night Before Mardi Gras extravaganza is the only gay Mardi Gras ball or event of this magnitude held on this night, soon to become a permanent fixture in the New Orleans Gay Mardi Gras alongside other better-known krewes, such as Petronius and Armenius.

New Orleans diva Mathilda Jones will perform as the celebrity musical entertainment for the evening. Professional on-site photographs are complimentary.

The Carrollton is located at 4710 South Carrollton Ave., New Orleans, L.A. Call 504.483.3211 for tickets. The dress code is drag, costume or black tie. Visit www.fridaynightbeforemardigras.org for more information.

The Friday Night Before Mardi Gras is a charitable organization that holds the annual Friday Night Before Mardi Gras extravaganza. The organization’s only rule is that all proceeds from ticket sales must be given directly to various charitable organizations assisting persons living with HIV and AIDS. Over $30,000 in charitable funds was raised in the extravaganza’s first three years of existence. Last year, the Friday Night Before Mardi Gras was able to donate $12,000 which was split between Belle Reve of New Orleans and United Foundations, Inc.

The Friday Night Before Mardi Gras’s charitable work was recognized with the 2003 Teri Estrada Memorial Award. This award is presented by AIDSLaw of Louisiana, the state’s only non-profit provider of free legal services to those infected and affected by AIDS. The Teri Estrada Memorial Award is a community service award recognizing individuals who are committed to improving the lives of those affected by HIV and AIDS.

Belle Reve New Orleans is a Louisiana-based non-profit organization that provides permanent and transitional housing with full support services to adults and families living with HIV and AIDS. Founded in 1993, Belle Reve is respected in our community for its founding principles of concern, for quality of life and equal availability of services for all such persons.

United Services for AIDS provides emergency aid for individuals affected by AIDS. The emergency assistance provided by United Services helps stabilize client living conditions, prevent homelessness and provide needed medications. 

Armeinius Announces 2004 Carnival Ball in New Orleans

The Captain and Krewe of Armeinius proudly announce their thirty-sixth annual gay carnival ball to be held on Sat., Feb. 21 at the St. Bernard Civic Auditorium, 8245 West Judge Perez Dr. in Chalmette, LA. The doors will open at 7:45 pm with tableaux at 9pm. Attire is strictly formal (tuxedo/floor length gowns). No costumes, food or cameras please. Balcony seating is available at Second Skin Leather Co., 521 Rue St. Philip, in the French Quarter, or order on-line at www.Armeinius.com for a $15 minimum donation.

For additional information, phone 504.949.4604 or e-mail krewe@armeinius.com.

Tony Green does Mardi Gras Exhibition Opens Feb. 7

An exhibition, Tony Green does Mardi Gras, opens Feb. 7, 2004 from 6-9pm at John Stinson Fine Arts, 900 South Peters St., in the Warehouse District of New Orleans.

The exhibition features watercolors, oils and etchings by Tony Green, Carnival Stylings by Herbert Singleton, 3ft. by 5 ft. Archival Color Photographs by the award-winning photographer Steven Forster, Black and White Silver Gelatin Photographs by photographer Skip Bolen, and the quarter million dollar Mardi Gras collection by Arthur Hardy. The exhibition runs the month of February and a little beyond.

The opening reception on Feb. 7 is set with a musical performance by Al "Carnival Time" Johnson and a fashion show by Rosemary, creator of EnRapturing ReVisions costume pieces. Antoinette K-Doe, in person, will serve the famous Ernie K-Doe Gumbo. A statue of Ernie K-Doe will be on site in Mardi Gras Costume.

The exhibition is free and open to the public. For more information call the gallery at 504.566.1944.

Pride Board Election set for Feb. 9 at Cowpokes

The New Orleans Alliance of Pride, the producers of New Orleans annual Pride Festival, will hold the organization's annual meeting and election of board members on Mon., Feb. 9, 7:30pm. The meeting and election will be held at Cowpokes, 2240 St. Claude Ave.

The financial report from last year's festival was not available at press time.

Panels to Discuss Marriage Equality in Baton Rouge & New Orleans Feb. 10-11

On Tues., Feb. 10, at 7pm, Equality Louisiana (formerly known as LAGPAC) will team up with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the Louisiana Chapter of the ACLU and PFLAG to sponsor a Town Hall meeting to discuss the issue of marriage equality for partners of the same sex. The meeting is being hosted by Rev. Stephen Moore of the Metropolitan Community Church of Baton Rouge, located at 660 North Foster Dr..

The meeting seeks to educate the public on advances that are being made in several areas of the country, the implications it might have for Louisiana’s citizens and both the legal and religious challenges that still face us.

As of press time, confirmed participants include Bo Shuff, Field Organizer for HRC; Christopher Daigle, Political Director for Equality Louisiana and Alfred Shapiro, President of Louisiana ACLU.

The public is invited free of charge. Refreshments will be served. For additional information, please call 504.628.6435 or write to bo.shuff@hrc.org.

The Tulane University American Civil Liberties Union will be hosting a debate on same-sex marriage on Wed., Feb. 11 at 6pm in Freeman Auditorium in the Newcomb Art Building at Tulane University’s New Orleans uptown campus. Panel members include representatives from the Tulane College Democrats, Equality Louisiana (formerly known as LAGPAC), the Human Rights Campaign, the Tulane Republicans, the Louisiana Family Forum, and Concerned Women for America. Heather Hall, the Public Education Associate from the ACLU of Louisiana will be moderating the debate. The public is invited free of charge. For additional information, contact Kimberly Frusciante at kfruscia@tulane.edu.

Les/Gay Chavurah to Hold Shabbat Dinner Feb. 13

The Lesbian and Gay Chavurah (friendship group) of Temple Sinai will be holding a Shabbat Dinner on Fri., Feb. 13, 6:30pm. Everyone is invited to join in this evening of friendship and fellowship. You don’t need to be Jewish to attend, nor even GLBT… just interested in spending an evening with your friends or taking the opportunity to make new friends.

The dinner is held at Temple Sinai Auditorium, 6227 St. Charles Ave., in New Orleans. The dinner runs $15 per person (children $10) with vegetarian options available. Reservations are required. Please call 504.861.3693 to make your reservation.

Reel Identities 2004: The New Orleans LGBT Film Festival Feb. 26-29

The Lesbian and Gay Community Center of New Orleans is proud to present Reel Identities 2004: The New Orleans Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Film Festival.

Entering its second year as the area’s premiere LGBT film event, the festival will run from Thurs., Feb. 26, through Sun., Feb. 29, with screenings at two locations, Le Chat Noir (715 St. Charles St.) and Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center (1724 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd). The exciting lineup of debuts and festival-circuit favorites are the perfect post-Mardi Gras remedy for film buffs of any persuasion, with a compelling assortment of mixed-gender shorts, documentaries and features from around the globe.

Featured films include: Britney Baby, One More Time, a zany romp based on the true-life experience of Britney Spears look-alike and drag queen Angel Benton (Robert Stephens); THIS obedience, a powerful documentary that traces a woman’s battle with the third largest Christian denomination in the United States to become pastor of her congregation; Rise Above: The Tribe 8 Documentary, an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the first and most famous all-queer, all-woman punk rock band; The Moment After, a poignant short film directed by CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’s Gerald McCullough; and Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin, an insightful documentary that reveals the story of this openly gay civil rights pioneer and mentor to Martin Luther King Jr.

Special events will include the Opening Night Reception, Thurs., Feb. 26 at 6pm at Ariodante Contemporary Crafts Gallery (535 Julia Street), as well as a Britney Spears Look-Alike Contest on opening night, before the screening of Britney Baby, One More Time. Those who dress up like Britney Spears will receive $1 off admission, and the winner of the contest will receive a free pass for two to the festival.

This year’s festival also features the addition of a competitive division, spicing up the lineup with some of the best of this year’s crop of independent film and video. Winners of the juried competition include:

Best Narrative Short: L.T.R., a mockumentary that explores the mysteries of the ever-elusive Long Term Relationship.

Best Experimental Short: Eat My Dust: A Fairy’s Tale, a whimsical tale of Fairy Quite Contrary’s burning desire to overthrow the Fairy Queen.

Best Documentary Feature: Experiment: Gay and Straight, an MTV Real World-style documentary that throws ten strangers – five gay and five straight – into the same house for a week.

Best Narrative Feature: Sirens of the 23rd Century, a campy, neo-classical, sci-fi fairytale that challenges mainstream representations of love and sexuality.

Admission will be $7 per screening. For schedule, ticket information and details about the Opening Night Reception, please visit: www.reelidentities.org or call the Lesbian and Gay Community Center of New Orleans at 504.945.1103.

Reel Identities is an annual fund-raiser for the Lesbian and Gay Community Center of New Orleans. In a needs assessment conducted by the Center in 2001, a film festival was the No.1 program community members expressed interest in. In putting together the program, the Center has tried to present a group of films diverse in subject matter, length and appeal to different audiences. Building upon the success of last year’s debut festival, the Center plans to continue offering this exciting opportunity to the New Orleans community for years to come.

The Lesbian and Gay Community Center of New Orleans (LGCCNO) is a multicultural, anti-oppression organization that strives to provide information and referrals, cultural and social services and crisis intervention, as well as a safe haven, to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered populations in the greater New Orleans area. The Center promotes increased understanding, tolerance and acceptance of the LGBT community among the general public.

The Center is the home base for many local groups, including the Dyke March Organizing Committee, Black Pride, the New Orleans Alliance of Pride and the Gay Men’s Chorus. The Center also collaborate with many local groups to offer programs at the Center including the Metropolitan Community Church, Women With a Vision, NO/AIDS Task Force, PFLAG, LAGPAC, the Jewish Community Center, the Office of Public Health, Fiesta Latina and the Mexican Cultural Center of the South.

For more information about the LGCCNO, visit www.lgccno.net or call 504.945.1103.

Saints and Sinners Literary Festival May 7-9

Join New Orleans for a weekend of literary revelry in the heart of the French Quarter. Saints and Sinners, now in its second year, is a literary festival for the GLBT community, their friends and anyone who is interested in reading and writing. It will take place May 7-9.

The weekend will include workshops, panel discussions, and a reading series that will appeal to readers and writers alike. There will also be special events and book signings. Presenters include such nationally known authors as Mark Doty, Christopher Rice, Katherine V. Forrest, Felice Picano, Patricia Nell Warren, Bob Smith, Ann Bannon, Val McDermid, M. Christian, Jess Wells, Karin Kallmaker, Jewelle Gomez, and Michelle Tea.

Some of New Orleans’ favorites will also be on hand, with Poppy Z. Brite, Kevin Allman, Kay Murphy, Chris Wiltz, Patricia Brady, Greg Herren, and J.M. Redmann. Other participants include Jay Quinn, Ian Philips , Dan Boyle, Jim Gladstone, Trebor Healey, Dean James, Judy Doenges, Ron Suresha as well as many others.

A number of publishers and editors will be present, including Nick Street, Alyson Books; Kelly Smith, Bywater Books; Robert L. Giron, Gival Press; Dave Smitherman, Polari Publishing; Jay Quinn and Greg Herren, Southern Tier Editions of The Haworth Press; Paul Marquis, STARbooks Press; Greg Wharton, Suspect Thoughts Press; and Patricia Nell Warren, Wildcat Press.

The weekend will start off on Fri., May 7 with a series of master classes on topics from The Role of the Editor with Nick Street of Alyson Books to Finding Your Hero’s Voice with Christopher Rice. Michelle Tea will talk about Writing Your Life, and there will also be workshops facilitated by Felice Picano, Val McDermid, Jess Wells, Karin Kallmaker, Ann Bannon, and Bob Smith.

The opening party of the weekend is a Friday night reception in that hot spot of Bourbon Street, Ambush Mag headquarters.

A special part of the weekend will be a chance to attend an intimate dinner party with a featured author such as Christopher Rice, Michelle Tea, Ann Bannnon, Bob Smith, Val McDermid, Felice Picano, Mark Doty, Katherine Vv. Forrest, and Jewelle Gomez. The dinners will take place in the elegant homes of some of New Orleans most renowned hosts.

Saturday kicks off with panel discussions and a reading series. There will be something for everyone with topics ranging from what is good editing to writing as activism. There will also be panel discussions on a herstory of lesbian publishing, writing responsible erotica, and queer poetry/queer history.

The saints can take an early night on Saturday, but for the sinners there will be an erotica reading hosted by Bob Smith at Chris Owen’s infamous club on Bourbon St.

Sunday continues with the panel discussions and the reading series. And the weekend ends with a closing reception upstairs at the Bourbon Pub with the newest members of the Saints and Sinners Literary Saints being recognized. Our first annual inductees were Dorothy Allison, Patricia Nell Warren, Katherine V. Forrest and Felice Picano.

The festival hopes to accomplish two things. One is to raise funds for NO/AIDS Task Force and its programs and services. But the festival will also serve as a community awareness forum, something to show another side of the GLBT community other than the one shown at party times like Mardi Gras or Southern Decadence. While there must be many facets to HIV prevention efforts, one way is to give the community social outlets other than ones that seem to place emphasis on drugs, alcohol and sex, as well as role models of talented and accomplished gay men, lesbians and straight people who are open minded and supportive for young people struggling with their sexual identity and needing affirmation for who they are and who they might become.

The festival will take place in the heart of New Orleans’ historic French Quarter, using O’Flaherty’s Irish Channel Pub as Festival headquarters where there will be readings, panels, and a bookfair. Other venues will be within easy walking distance. Visit the Festival web site at www.sasfest.com for a complete schedule of events, list of participants, and registration forms. For additional information or to register by phone, contact Tina Simon, at funddevelop2@noaidstaskforce.org or 504.821.2601, x 217.

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