Southern Decadence this weekend carries on a long a tradition of gay heritage in New Orleans.
There’s now a French Quarter walking tour highlighting previously untold stories of local gay history.
Historian and author Frank Perez is your guide to past events and experiences of prominent gay people in New Orleans, “The vast majority of gay history remains in the closet.”
Perez says the gay walking tour is based on research from the book he co-authored called In Exile, “We’ve created a timeline of important people, events and attitudes that have shaped the gay community in New Orleans.”
He says the biggest challenge researching New Orleans gay history is that very little was documented, “Gay history was not something that you recorded. You could be arrested.”
The annual Southern Decadence festival plays a prominent role in new Orleans gay history, all starting at the Golden Lantern Bar, “It is the official home of Southern Decadence. Probably the biggest gay event, definitely in New Orleans annually but also around the world. It demonstrated to the straight community that gay people had money to spend.”
Perez hopes future generations embrace his research, so these stories will no longer be lost to history, “This history needs to be kept alive and preserved and that was the motivation.” .
*Sign up to take the Gay New Orleans Walking tour through “Crescent City Tour Booking Agency” located at 638 St. Ann Street in the French Quarter. 504-568-0717