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Volume 23/Issue 8/2005

Rip & Marsha



by Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain 
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Over 15,000 Spectators Line the Streets; 6th Gay Easter Parade Raises $7,019.91 for Food For Friends

Over 15,000 spectators lined the streets of the French Quarter for the 6th annual Official New Orleans Gay Easter Parade on Easter Sunday, March 27, 2005. Led by Easter Grand Marshals VI James Swire and Lisa Beaumann, the number of spectators more than tripled last year's parade. The parade which boasted over 225 participants showcased the culture, color and creativity of the GLBT community.

All proceeds minus parade expenses benefited Food For Friends for the third year raising $7,019.91. Although the goal was $5,000 this year, incredible support for the parade's fund-raisers surpassed all expectations. Previous parades raised a total of $8,663.27 for charities since the parade became a fund-raising tool during it's third year.

The 2005 Financial Report prepared on April 12, 2005 follows:

Parade Income: Sponsorships - 4,600.00, GM Reception (Corner Pocket) - 51.00, Spring Fever (4 Seasons) - 1,315.00, Star Studded Benefit (Cowpokes) - 1,512.00, GEP Benefit (Golden Lantern) - 226.00, Purple Party (Double Play) - 1,452.00, Alice in Leatherland (Phoenix) - 537.00, Parade Entry Fees - 175.00

TOTAL INCOME $9,868.00

Parade Expenses: Parade Permit - 50.25, Police Escort - 815.00, Insurance - 630.00, Carriages/EGM VIs - 470.00; Parade Line-up Fee - 100.00, Band - 700.00, Banner - 82.84


2005 PROFITS benefiting Food For Friends - $7,019.91.

Special thanks to the entire community and to all official parade sponsors for their outstanding generosity including:

• Presenting • Ambush Mag, Queen Fashions;

• Platinum $1,000 • Electra City & Tittie Toulouse, Cowpokes, Double Play, 4 Seasons, Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain, Whiz Magazine;

• Gold $500 • Phoenix, Pride Specialty, Quartermaster: The Nellie Deli;

• Silver $250 • Zach Camardelle & Starr Daniels, Jay Cooper & Gizelle Bouvier, Corner Pocket, Golden Lantern, Graham Studio One, Oz New Orleans, Queen’s Head Pub/Good Friends Bar, Starlight, Paul VanGeffen;

• Bronze $100 • Craig Austin, Paul Davis & Tami Tarmac, Andy & Phyllis Denmark, King Cake Queen Royalty Club, Krewe of Mwindo, Chris & Buffy Naquin-Delain, Doc Reed.

The parade sponsors donate cash and/or in kind contributions. Cash sponsors included Electra City & Tittie Toulouse/Queen Fashions, Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain/Ambush Mag, Quartermaster: The Nellie Deli, Zach Camardelle & Starr Daniels, Jay Cooper & Gizelle Bouvier, Oz New Orleans, Paul VanGeffen, Craig Austin, Paul Davis & Tami Tarmac, Andy & Phyllis Denmark, King Cake Queen Royalty Club, Krewe of Mwindo, Chris & Buffy Naquin-Delain and Doc Reed.

In kind contributors of advertising, services or other donations included Ambush Mag, Queen Fashions, Whiz Magazine, Pride Specialty and Graham Studio One.

Venue sponsors (at the Silver level) who donated the use of their facility, some donating buffets and prizes included Cowpokes, Double Play, 4 Seasons, Phoenix, Corner Pocket, Golden Lantern, Queen’s Head Pub/Good Friends Bar and Starlight. The venues which hosted fund-raisers which brought in more than $500 or $1,000 were graduated to either the Gold or Platinum sponsorship level.

The 8th annual Official Gay Easter Parade rolls on Easter Sunday, April 16, 2006 at 4:30 pm. The Board of Directors of the Gay Easter Parade include Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain, and Electra City & Tittie Toulouse and they oversee all activities, events, selection of grand marshals and parade route each year. Visit www.GayEasterParade.COM for additional information.

Miss Gay America Joins Ambush Staff

Ambush is excited to announce that reigning Miss Gay America, New Orleans' own Raquel Chevallier, (www.RaquelChevallier.com), has joined this publication as a monthly contributor. The new column, titled Raquel's Reality, will cover the beauty queen's travels around the country as the prestigious Miss Gay America. Catch her column on Main-30 in this edition.

Chevallier is also the Miss Gay Louisiana America promoter and you can learn more about the state system on-line at www.MissLouisianaAmerica.com.

36th Annual Jazz Fest April 22-May 1

New Orleans - The 36th annual Jazz and Heritage Festival is April 22- May1. The Festival’s Louisiana Heritage Fair at the Fair Grounds Race Course will offer a total of 12 performance stages running simultaneously on April 22-24 and April 28-May 1 from 11am to 7pm.

For the first time, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival will feature the Jazz & Heritage Stage, solely dedicated to some of New Orleans most vibrant music and most venerable cultural traditions—the sights and sounds of brass bands, Mardi Gras Indians, and Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs.

The Jazz & Heritage Stage will be part of a larger area where all Festival secondline parades, which have always been an important facet of the event, will begin and end. In addition to music performances and parades, this dynamic venue will also feature demonstration tents with Mardi Gras Indian costume sewing and secondline parade footage from Backstreet Cultural Museum documentarian Sylvester Francis.

Another new feature at this year’s Jazz Fest is The Big Chief VIP Experience, a premium ticket package that includes the following: Festival admission with re-entry privileges; access to special viewing areas at major Festival stages and in some tents; the limited-edition Official Festival Poster; access to an air conditioned hospitality lounge; special access to restrooms and beverage concessions; parking, if desired; and more. Big Chief tickets are extremely limited in number and will be sold by weekend only, so interested patrons should act quickly. First weekend Big Chief VIP tickets are $550 and $700 with parking. Second weekend tickets are $650 and $850 with parking. To purchase Big Chief VIP tickets and to find out more about the packages patrons should visit www.nojazzfest.com or call 800.594.TIXX. Service charges are not included in the prices quoted here.

On the eve of Jazz Fest, Grammy-winning superstar Natalie Cole will appear in "An Unforgettable Evening" as part of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival & Foundation, Inc.’s annual Gala fundraiser, Thurs., April 21 at the Fairmont Hotel. Also performing will be Kermit Ruffins & the Barbeque Swingers with guests Donald Harrison and Big Sam; John Boutté; and Kind of Blue. Tickets to the event, which sell out each year, are currently available by calling 504.410.4148 and more information is available at the Foundation’s web site, www.nojhf.org.

The Festival will also feature a series of Educational Programs, formerly the Workshop Series, at various venues in the New Orleans area. Special programs for local school children will be held at the Heritage Fair on Thurs., April 28. The Festival’s Evening Concerts Series has been suspended for 2005.

Tickets for the Heritage Fair are available and can be purchased at the Festival’s web site, www.nojazzfest.com, at all Ticketmaster outlets including www.ticketmaster.com, and by phone at 800.488.5252 and 504.522.5555 in New Orleans. Tickets are also available in New Orleans at the Louisiana Superdome Box Office (Gate A, Ground Level). Daily tickets for the Heritage Fair are $25. These advance tickets are subject to service charges at the various outlets. Tickets at the gate will be $35. Daily tickets for children under age 12 are $5 in advance and at the gate.

Saints and Sinners Literary Fest Kick-Off Reading Set

Saints and Sinners, an alternative literary festival for the LGBT community, their friends and anyone interested in reading and writing. The weekend will include workshops, panel discussions, reading series, book signings, and special events. Topics will range from building an author website, to queer southern identity to the language of erotica.

The festival will be held Fri., May 13 to Sun., May 15 in the Heart of the French Quarter, using Club 735 as headquarters, where there will be readings, panels, and a bookfair. Other venues used will be the Bourbon Pub and Napoleon’s Itch.

The Festival will kickoff on Tues., April 12 at Garden District Bookstore from 6 – 8pm with a reading preview. Featured authors will include: Greg Herren, J. M. Redmann, Scott Bailey, Marda Burton and Bev Marshall.

Presenters at the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival will include such nationally known authors as: Jim Grimsley, Sarah Schulman, Tim Miller, John Morgon Wilson, Patricia Nell Warren, Radclyffe, Al McDermid , M. Christian, Emanuel Xavier, Ellen Hart and Patrick Califa. Many of New Orleans favorites will also be on hand: Poppy Z. Brite, Kevin Allman, Kay Murphy, Greg Herren, J. M. Redmann, Marty Ward and Patricia Brady.

The festival has a two-fold purpose. One is to raise funds for the NO/AIDS Task Force, a community based AIDS Service Organization that serves the New Orleans area. The other goal of the event is to serve as a community awareness forum, something to show another positive side of the LGBTQ community. While there must be many facets to HIV prevention, one way is to give the community other positive, healthy social outlets.

Other events for the weekend include a Friday night kickoff party hosted by Ambush Mag, author dinners, a performance by nationally renowned artist Tim Miller, and a closing reception and awards ceremony hosted by the Bourbon Pub.

For further information, full schedule, and registration go to www.sasfest.com or call the event line at 504.821.2601 x 250.

NOMA Reception Heralds Paris Exhibit April 14

New Orleans – Technology and a French-themed reception at the New Orleans Museum of Art will complete a strong New Orleans connection to the work of J.B. "Burt" Harter and eight others featured in a new and distinctive exhibit of Gay artists opening in Paris, France.

The J.B. Harter Charitable Foundation, established through the estate of the late artist, will host the local event from 6pm – 8pm on April 14. The New Orleans event is timed to include a Web cast of the grand opening in Paris of Classicism Subverted: Gay Art in the 21st Century, an exhibition of the work nine internationally-known gay artists at Studios Plat du Jour. The introduction to the exhibition’s catalogue is written by British artist Edward Lucie-Smith, who is also a featured artist in the show.

Selected examples of Harter’s original artwork will also be exhibited at the New Orleans reception.

Before an unidentified assailant murdered him in his home on March 13, 2002, Harter lived and worked in New Orleans where he served on the curatorial staff of the Louisiana State Museum and the Historic New Orleans Collection for 20 years. Others represented in the Paris exhibition also have New Orleans connections.

"Many people in New Orleans are unfamiliar with Burt’s work. Although his work was shown in other cities and a book of his art was published prior to his death, Burt’s art was exhibited only once in New Orleans, explained Jack Sullivan, adviser for the J.B. Harter Charitable Foundation.

"The Paris exhibition is a great opportunity to expand awareness of his interpretations of the male nude and sexuality. Because of his ties to the city, the foundation felt it was important to find a way for New Orleans to participate in the grand opening."

The reception is free and open to the public. A detailed video of individual pieces in the Paris exhibit will be shown continuously in the museum’s Great Hall, and a Web cast "virtual tour" of the grand opening will be televised at the party. Hospitality includes French-style wines and food.

"We believe this simulcast is a first for an art exhibit opening," Sullivan said.

Organized and curated by New Orleans artist Roberto Rincon, whose work is also part of the exhibition, the show features artists from four countries and their diverse interpretations of the male body and its classical metaphors.

>From the United States: J.B. Harter, Jonathan Webb, Roberto Rincon, Delmas Howe and Wallace Merritt. From France: Roland Beaufre and Oliver C. From the United Kingdom: Edward Lucie-Smith. From Greece: Dimitris Yeros.

NO/AIDS Patron Party & Humanitas Award Presentation A Success

NO/AIDS Task Force’s annual Patron Party was held on March 31. The House of Blues graciously hosted the event, which is designed to thank the patrons and sponsors of NO/AIDS.

NO/AIDS also presents the Humanitas Award at this event. The award, the highest honor NO/AIDS bestows, is presented to an individual who has had a significant impact on the Task Force and assisted in the betterment of countless lives. The honoree is presented with a crystal bowl, which signifies the full spectrum of the human condition. Past honorees include: Richard Devlin, Michael Callay, Peter Brasswell, Glen Kahrman, Roy Templeman, Jim Melancon, Richard Thompson, Paula Kreissler, Helen Siegel, Paris Winn, Philip Dynia, Milton Sieler, Randy Trahan, Patti Garcia, Kim Boyle and Charlotte Cunliffe.

The 2004 Humanitas honorees are Dee and Bert Bertel. Having lost both their sons to AIDS in 1992 and 1993 respectively, the Bertels have been ardent supporters of the Task Force since 1992. They have been some of NO/AIDS hardest working volunteers and a source of support for so many who have been affected and infected with the virus. They have been vocal about their story, helping to put a human face on the AIDS epidemic and letting people know that HIV/AIDS affects not only the individual, but the family and extended family.

The Patron Party was graciously hosted by the House of Blues, who also provided the food. Florals were provided by Wayne Christenberry of Evergreen Florist. Cocktails were provided by RAIN Vodka, Sutter Home Wines and Abita Beer.

The NO/AIDS Task Force has been at the forefront of the battle against HIV disease since 1983. The agency offers a comprehensive array of compassionate and critical services such as prevention education, HIV antibody testing and counseling, community outreach, the Louisiana Statewide HIV Hotline, primary medical care, early intervention services, peer support, mental health therapy, support groups, case management, housing coordination, medication assistance, home delivered meals and a food bank program. The NO/AIDS Task Force serves thousands of individuals through prevention education, community outreach and direct services for individuals living with HIV disease each year. Since it’s inception, Art Against AIDS has raised over a million dollars to support the efforts of the NO/AIDS Task Force.

Local Male Models Vie For $1,000 National Prize Contest at OZ

Aspiring local male models will strut their stuff in a Male Model Search Contest for the chance to win a $1,000 Grand Prize plus a featured roll in a national advertising campaign! Oz will host the April-May event featuring local men modeling items from MensUnderwearStore.com. Oz has been gearing up for weeks to host this fabulous event that promises hot bodies, unique and revealing underwear and a great time for all!

Dozens of bars across the nation will hold similar contests and determine their winners who receive prizes; including MensUnderwearStore.com gifts. First place winners, including one lucky local guy, move on to the national winner’s circle. All local winners get their shot at fame and fortune in an on-line vote at MensUnderwearStore.com. Then the grand prize winner will be flown to an on-location, professional photo shoot and receive a $1,000 Grand Prize!

Images from the shoot will be used on MensUnderwearStore.com and in a national advertising campaign that could put your local candidate in the national spotlight!

Aspiring local contestants wishing to interview should contact Tommy Elias at Oz, 504.593.9491.

Amon Ra Fund-raisers Set for April 17 & May 15

New Orleans - The Krewe of Amon Ra announces its two upcoming fund-raisers. The first will take place on Sun. April 17 at the Moulin Rouge starting at 2pm-6pm which is the krewe's annual Sister Sunday Social hosted by Lauren Brown. The event will feature a spaghetti dinner, show, and a 50-50 raffle. Moulin Rouge is located at 940 Elysian Fields.

The second fundraiser, a crawfish boil, will be held on Sun., May 15th at the Lions Inn located at 2517 Chartres from 3pm-7pm. The tickets will be $20.

Tickets for these functions can be purchased from any krewe member or online at www.kreweofamonra.org.

Pride 2005 Hosts Great & Powerful Oz Auction April 17

New Orleans - Pride New Orleans is proud to announce it's next big fund-raiser, The Great & Powerful Oz Auction on Sun., April 17, 8-10pm at Oz, 800 Bourbon St.

Hosted by Bianca Del Rio and Blanche Debris this evening will be highlighted by entertainment, live and silent auctions, door prizes and a "Whizard" Costume Contest (prize will be awarded for the best dressed patron). So come friends of "DORTHY" and show your true colors by supporting Pride New Orleans.

Mark your calendar for the next business meeting of the organization on Thurs., April 21, 7pm. at The Friendly Bar, 2301 Chartres Street.

Gay Catholic Community Reflects on Legacy of John Paul II; Leaders Look Forward to More Open, Inclusive Church

With the passing of Pope John Paul II, the World must begin to account for the legacy of an important and influential figure of the 20th Century. John Paul II brought a new day of hope for many, by his advocacy for the poor and for developing nations, for peace, and for human rights. His pontificate, however, frequently left lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics bereft of hope, and still waiting for the bright day of their full inclusion in the Church. The following are quotes from three leading American Catholic voices for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality on the legacy of John Paul II, and their hopes for the future of the Roman Catholic Church.

"The death of the Pope provides a golden opportunity for the Catholic Church to rejoice in his geopolitical accomplishments and take up where he left off in the achievement of justice among Catholics. Women expect the same freedom of choice Pope John Paul II urged for Cubans. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people deserve the same respect and freedom he championed for those who lived under Communism. Let that be his legacy."

--Mary E. Hunt, PhD, Co-director, WATER Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual

"Pope John Paul II was a leader of deep piety and strong convictions. His moral leadership was heeded not only by Catholics, but by politicians, philosophers, and religious leaders throughout the world.

He was a man whose ideas were deeply formed by coming of age in his native Poland, occupied first by the Nazis, and then by the Communists. These experiences of oppression inspired his deep concern for social justice. He will be remembered for his strong voice on human rights and dignity.

Unfortunately, his record on gay/lesbian issues is not as admirable. His 26-year pontificate was marked by an end to dialogue on many theological issues, including homosexuality. He closed the windows of renewal that were opened by Pope John XXIII and the Second Vatican Council...

We pray for the repose of his soul, and we pray that the Holy Spirit will provide our Church with a leader who shares Pope John Paul II’s strong voice and moral courage, but who will provide us with a Church that is more open to dialogue, reconciliation, and gay/lesbian equality. Lesbian/gay Catholics and their families need a leader who offers a healing hand after John Paul’s pontificate which often caused them so much pain."

--Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director, New Ways Ministry

"While we join millions around the world in earnest prayer for the Pope’s eternal salvation and the future of our Church, we remember that this papacy has used harsh and derogatory language such as ‘objectively disordered and intrinsically evil’ to describe gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people.

"This Pope led the Church in teaching damaging misrepresentations about the health and holiness of our loving relationships - calling them part of an ‘ideology of evil’ - and about the raising of our children while covering up the real abuse of children and related abuse of power by some of John Paul II’s brother bishops and priests. He also misused his authority to stop fellow cardinals and bishops from speaking for the obvious moral good of using condoms in the prevention of the spread of HIV.

"We are saddened that John Paul II has left this life without having used his personal faith, intellect and authority to learn how God is speaking through GLBT people to spread the Gospel.

"The Church’s teachings on sexuality and personal responsibility are arrested in a juvenile stage. They show neither respect for the moral development of individuals nor for God’s work in each of us in the development of our consciences and spiritual lives...In this regard, we believe (Vatican leaders) must fully inform their consciences as moral law requires by seeking to understand the spiritual lives of GLBT Catholics, by considering the ongoing works of theologians and social science researchers knowledgeable about GLBT issues and relationships, and by exploring the genuine Gospel call of Jesus Christ to love and inclusion."

--Sam Sinnett, President, Dignity USA

Dr. Mary E. Hunt, Sam Sinnett, and Francis DeBernardo are members of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Religious Leadership Roundtable.

For more information on these organizations, including their complete statements on the passing of the Pope, please see: www.dignityusa.org, http://mysite.verizon.net/~vze43yrc/ and www.his.com/~mhunt/.

First convened in 1998, the National Religious Leadership Roundtable of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is an interfaith collaboration of more than forty denominations and faith-related organizations. The Roundtable seeks to reframe the public religious dialogue on issues involving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community by amplifying the voices of LGBT-affirming people of faith, countering religious voices of bigotry and intolerance, and working to advance full equality for all.

Founded in 1973, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Foundation (the Task Force) was the first national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights and advocacy organization and remains the movement’s leading voice for freedom, justice, and equality. " We work to build the grassroots political strength of our community by training state and local activists and leaders, working to strengthen the infrastructure of state and local allies, and organizing broad-based campaigns to build public support for complete equality for LGBT people. Our Policy Institute, the community’s premiere think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a world that respects and makes visible the diversity of human expression and identity where all people may fully participate in society. Headquartered in Washington, DC, we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Cambridge, and Miami. The Task Force is a 501(c)(3) corporation incorporated in Washington, DC. Contributions to the Task Force are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law."

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