Tag Archive | "New Orleans"

[VIDEO] 40th Anniversary of Largest LGBT Massacre in America


By Dwayne Kinney, Digital Editor

40 years ago today 32 people died in a New Orleans gay bar. It was the largest LGBT massacre in American history. The bar was called UpStairs Lounge and had also served as the temporary home of New Orleans’ Metropolitan Community Church (MCC).

It was a sweltering night on June 24, 1973 in New Orleans. Gays throughout the city were celebrating the fourth anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and the end of Pride Weekend in New Orleans. However, their celebration looked very different from what we are accustomed to today. There was no Pride parade in New Orleans that year. There were no gay flags hanging in the streets of the French Quarter. Instead there was widespread homophobia, rampant discrimination, and hateful violence for gays living out and proud.

The French Quarter had nearly two dozen gay bars at the time; however, gay life was almost entirely underground and talked about in hushed tones. The threat of violence was something that followed gays of this era on a daily basis. Metropolitan Community Churches in both Nashville and Los Angeles had been torched by arsonists earlier that year.

The UpStairs Lounge was on the second story of a building located at 141 Chartres Street. Entering the bar from the street meant climbing a flight of stairs that ended at a heavy metal door that remained locked. To get in, gay patrons would ring a buzzer.

On the night of June 24th the buzzer sounded at 7:56 p.m. signalling that a cab had arrived downstairs. According to survivors no one had ordered a cab; however, to see who the cab was waiting on someone opened the door.

Immediately the intense smell of Ronsonol lighter fluid filled the UpStairs Lounge. Someone had saturated the stairwell with the highly flammable liquid. Before anyone had a chance to react a fireball erupted up the stairwell and into the UpStairs Lounge.

There was no such thing as a clearly marked exit back in these days. Patrons were left to scramble for their lives as the heat from the fire and poisonous fumes roared closer. UpStairs Lounge’s bartender, Buddy Rasmussen, helped 15 men escape from the fire. One of the men who made it to safety was George Mitchell, the assistant pastor at MCC. When he realized that his partner, Louis Broussard, had not escaped with him he immediately ran back into the burning flames. Mitchell managed to find Broussard in the chaotic inferno; however, they were unable to escape the building before being consumed by the fire. The two men burned alive as they held each other tightly in their final moments.

Other gay patrons tried to flee through the windows. Several windows were boarded up to maintain privacy and others were covered with iron bars 14’’ apart. A few men were able to squeeze through the bars to safety. MCC’s Reverend Bill Larson tried to escape through the window and got stuck. Helpless and wedged between the bars he was burned to death. His body remained in the window for nearly 24 hours after the fire was extinguished.

The story received very little press coverage. At first, news reports did not mention that the UpStairs Lounge was a gay bar. However, when the newspaper finally reported the sexual orientation of the victims it did so alongside bigoted quotes. In the newspaper a local cab driver said, “I hope the fire burned their dresses off.” A woman was quoted saying, “The Lord had something to do with this.”

However, the most insulting comments came from radio hosts who asked, “What will they bury the queers in.” They responded with, “Fruit jars.”

Three bodies were never identified and were buried in unmarked graves at Potter’s Field. The City of New Orleans denied requests from the MCC who wanted to give the three men a proper burial.

Media coverage of the 1973 UpStairs Lounge Massacre:

A new documentary entitled “The UpStairs Lounge Fire” will air tonight at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. on select Cox Communications channels:

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7 Can’t Miss Pride Festivals in June


June is almost here which means Atlanta’s Stonewall Month and Pride festivals throughout the country are just days away. If you’re staying in town, the Atlanta Pride Committee has a ton of great events planned throughout the entire month of June. You can find a complete list here.

However, if you’re itching to pack a bag and fly away, don’t miss these great Pride festivals taking place across the country:

Hawaii-PrideHonolulu Pride – Honolulu, HI June 1:

The Honolulu Pride Parade starts at 10 a.m. at Magic Island followed by the Pride Celebration from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Kapiolani Park.

Capital Pride – Washington, D.C. June 7 – 9:

The 38th annual Capital Pride Parade starts at 4:30 p.m. from 22nd & P Street NW. The parade will travel 1.5 miles through Dupont Circle and 17th Street. It will end in the Logan Circle neighborhood where more than 100,000 people are expected to come out to watch the parade.

LA-PrideL.A. Pride Festival – Los Angeles, CA June 7 – 9:

Unlike Atlanta, the L.A. Pride Festival costs $20 per day and is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The festivities take place in the heart of gay L.A.’s West Hollywood district at West Hollywood Park.

NOLA Pride – New Orleans, LA June 21 – 24:

Festivities start at Boomtown Casino on Friday, June 21 with a kick-off hosted by Jaymes and James, the runners-up from season 21 of “The Amazing Race,” while local talents perform alongside them to raise money for New Orleans Pride and the LGBT community. The Dow Pride Parade is at 6 p.m. the following day.

NYC Pride – New York, NY June 28 – 30:

If you think of NYC and big gay dance party then you’re undoubtedly thinking of the Dance at the Pier. The much anticipated party on Pier 26 in TriBeCa starts on Sunday, June 30 at 3 p.m. The annual party will end with the world’s longest-running LGBT fireworks display over the Hudson River.

Chicago-PrideChicago Pride – Chicago, IL June 28 – 30:

The 44th annual Pride Parade will start on Sunday, June 30 at noon. The parade will start on North Broadway and continue to North Sheridan Road. Take the CTA Red Line to Sheridan, Addison, or Belmont for the best viewing areas.

San Francisco Pride – San Francisco, CA June 28 – 30:

Head to Market & Beale for the start of the San Francisco Pride Parade at 10:30 a.m. The parade route continues down Market all of the way until 8th Street. Don’t miss the festival’s main stage where Raquel Rodriquez, Gypsy Love, Fou Fou HA!, Lovesick Radio, Gram Rabbit, DWV, Nina Sky, and Hedwig/Angry Inch will all be performing throughout the weekend.

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A Pastor, his Penis, and a Public Park


Níco Stoerner, Staff Writer

“Christian” Pastor Grant Storms who’s most well-known for his anti-gay protesting during New Orlean’s bacchanalian gay festival “Southern Decadence” was convicted of obscenity Wednesday, August 22 2012, for masturbating at Lafreniere Park last year.

Although he was found guilty Storms was only sentenced 3 years of probation due to his lack of a ‘criminal’ history. (Apparently harassment and bigotry against gays are permissible activities).

The judge noted that Storms admitted that the day he was arrested it was the third time that week he had masturbated in Lafreniere Park. Said Storms: “it was a thrill”.

Our wiener-wielding weirdo will be free to walk the streets for now, but keep your eye on the park… you might just catch him at it again.

Like the article? Like the writer! Find Nico Stoerner on Facebook by following the link below.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nico-Stoerner-at-Fenuxe-Magazine/106165826200732?fref=ts

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Break Away Without Breaking the Bank



Between resolutions of saving money and a shaky economy, it should come as no surprise that everyone is pinching pennies these days. But you don’t have to nix your plans for a much-needed vacation this year in order to maintain your savings account. Fenuxe asked Atlanta-based travel agent George Estelle, president of Trips With George, to offer a few budget-friendly travel tips.

Are there any specific destinations that are easy on the pocket book?
The best value is Mexico—Cancun, Puerto Vallarta or Cabo San Lucas. This is because the Mexican dollar trades very well against the US dollar, and there are a lot of flight options to Mexico. Also, cruises are a great value because they allow you to see multiple locations without having to pack and unpack, and the cost of the cruise includes your meals. 
 
If travelers wanted to spend under $1,000 for a trip, where could they go?
For $1,000 two people could spend a weekend in Charleston, Savannah, Asheville or Jacksonville.   They can also fly to Chicago, Washington DC, South Beach, Miami, Ft Lauderdale or New Orleans and this would include air and hotel for two.  You can also take a cruise for three to five nights in Key West or Mexico.
 
Are there things someone can do to save money on booking a flight, a car, a hotel, etc.?
Always weigh your luggage before you get to the airport. If you check in online and prepay for your bags you can save a few bucks.  Also it is less expensive to check a second bag rather than to check one bag over 50 pounds. I spoke to one person who only wanted to take one bag; it weighed 70 pounds, which is 20 pounds over the maximum weight. The airline charged him a $175 overweight fee.  Had he checked two bags it would have cost $50. 
 
Are there any travel fees that can be avoided if you plan ahead or know what to watch for?
Yes, online travel agencies charge huge fees to make changes or cancel your reservation; this is because they only get paid if you travel.  Airlines charge huge change fees. Sometimes it is less expensive to just purchase a new ticket.  Beware of hotels that offer a pre-purchase discount; this means they will offer you 5 to 10 percent off if you pay in full the day you make your reservation. However, they also note you cannot change or cancel your reservation, and they mean it. 

For more information about George and his travel agency please visit www.tripswithgeorge.com.

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Summer Travel: Let Biloxi Surprise You


Escape while you can! If you let summer slip by without enjoying a much-needed vacation, you’re simply not living life to the fullest. That would make us sad, so we’re going to help you narrow down your search for the perfect destination.

We’ve combed the world for our favorite unique travel hot spots, and boy did we find some out-of-sight options. Below you’ll find our recommendation for an unexpected vacation spot within 500 miles.

As a Mississippi native I’m well aware of the bad rap often awarded my home state. So I wouldn’t be surprised if you told me to jump off a shrimp boat after I suggested vacationing there. But trust me, the Mississippi Gulf Coast serves as both a relaxing getaway and an entertainment hot spot.

I recommend staying in Biloxi, which allows you easy access to other Gulf Coast towns and is only a one-hour drive to New Orleans and Mobile. Check into one of the city’s many casino resorts—perhaps the elegant Beau Rivage or the hip Hard Rock. Aside from gambling, the casinos feature fine-dining restaurants, endless buffets and top-notch entertainment. In fact, the summer lineup includes Melissa Etheridge, Barenaked Ladies, Wynonna Judd, Daughtry, Joan Rivers, Vicki Lawrence and Duran Duran, just to name a few.

Once you’ve had your feel of concerts and comedy, take a picturesque drive along Beach Boulevard with its antebellum homes, artsy shops and popular eateries. On the west coast, stop by The Buttercup or Trapani’s in Bay St. Louis (my favorite coastal town) for a delicious meal. Other notable restaurants include Shaggy’s in Pass Christian and Hula’s in Diamondhead; both overlook a marina and are perfect for sipping cocktails at sunset. In Gulfport, I suggest the Half Shell Oyster House and Lookout 49.

One of my favorite aspects of the coast is its thriving arts community. A few popular shops include Clay Creations and Gallery 220 in Bay St. Louis, Negrotto’s in Biloxi and Moran’s Art Studio in Ocean Springs.

It’s been eight years since I lived on the Gulf Coast and I still miss its serenity and easy-going vibe. I don’t visit as often as I like, but when I do, I return to Atlanta refreshed and relaxed.

GAY HOT SPOTS
Club Veaux, 834 Howard Avenue, Biloxi
Just Us Lounge, 906 Division Street, Biloxi
B Bob’s, 213 Conti Street, Mobile
Bourbon Pub & Parade, 801 Bourbon Street, New Orleans

ABSORB SOME CULTURE
Bay St. Louis Historical Walking Tour, 1928 Depot Way, Bay St. Louis
Old Biloxi Cemetery, 1166 Irish Hill Drive, Biloxi
Walter Anderson Museum of Art, 510 Washington Avenue, Ocean Springs
Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art, 386 Beach Boulevard, Biloxi

CELEBRATE LIKE THE LOCALS
Second Annual Gulfport Music Festival featuring Maroon Five, May 18-20
The Mississippi Film & Music Festival, November 7-11
Cruisin’ The Coast, October 7-14
Mardi Gras, January 26-February 12, 2013

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DJ Joe Gauthreaux | The Fenuxe Interview





From city to city, booth to booth, DJ Joe Gauthreaux brings the vibe and the beat to the premium gay clubs and parties all across the world. But the New Orleans born and bred beatmaster has his feet set firmly on the ground. He’s both shy and engaging, and his sincerity shines through both in conversation and in his music. That sincerity has fueled his jump from teenage busboy to global star.

Gauthreaux took some time out while roaming the streets of San Francisco to talk to Fenuxe about his upcoming Memorial Day set at Pensacola’s Emerald City, the nomadic lifestyle of a DJ, playing for straight audiences, a “revealing” first gig and his love for Atlanta boys.

Fenuxe: So how does someone go from busing tables at Chuck E. Cheese in New Orleans to traveling the world as a DJ?

DJ Joe Gauthreaux: I was 16, that was my very first job. Everybody’s gotta start somewhere I guess! Then when I was a senior in high school I started going out to the clubs. I just loved all the dance music and found myself really captivated by the whole club scene. So I asked some DJs there to show me how to do it and they did. I made some tapes and brought them to the clubs and it just took on a life of its own.

Fenuxe: What do you like most about traveling from city to city?

Gauthreaux: All the amazing friends I’ve been able to make. And it’s just been really nice to travel to all parts of the world that I wouldn’t have got to see on my own. But the act of traveling? I don’t think anyone really likes that, but you learn how to deal. I try and spend a lot of time at home in L.A. To achieve some form of normal life—going to the gym and dinner with friends and going to movies and stuff.

Fenuxe: What’s your strangest or most memorable gig?

Gauthreaux: One of the little-known facts I don’t even put out there is that one of my first DJ gigs was at a bathhouse. I DJ’d there for about three months until one of the clubs gave me a shot. I was so nervous! I’m very shy so I was all completely covered up and all these guys are walking around in next to nothing or nothing and I’m being offered sex from strangers. So that counts as one of the strangest! [laughs]

One of the best would have to be Black Party in New York. It’s such an iconic party and I got the last shift. It was definitely an experience.

Fenuxe: What is your creative process like?

Gauthreaux: It’s almost a 24-7 thing. I’m not the type of person to get up in the morning and work from 9 to 5 on music, it’s not like that. I have the luxury of doing it when I want to do it. I just have to be feeling it. I’ve been asked before if I have a day job. I’m like, “Are you crazy?!” [laughs] It takes so much time to get ready for these gigs, ya know?

I’m sure it wouldn’t take me all that time if all I was playing was Beyonce or Madonna and Lady Gaga. Those are obvious. I’m not trying to sound egotistical or anything but there are just so many DJs out there nowadays so I really have to work extra hard to set myself apart. I’m just trying to create an experience that you’re not hearing anywhere else.

Fenuxe: So Atlanta will be sending a huge crowd down to Pensacola. What do Atlanta boys bring to the table at your shows?

Gauthreaux: They make my job a LOT easier because I have so many friends in Atlanta and I’m so welcome in the DJ community there. I usually have a pretty good idea of what I’m in for which makes it a little easier, but it also makes it a little more challenging too because they’ve heard me be good. So it definitely makes me step up my game because these guys expect the best.

Fenuxe: What do you listen to when you’re on-the-go or at the gym?

Gauthreaux: I usually listen to stuff that I’m currently working on. I’ll download it and just bring it to the gym. Right now there’s one particular song that’s like my anthem right now which is The Temper Trap, “Sweet Disposition.”

Like I said, it’s just a 24-7 process. But I like it like that, it’s my livelihood. This is what I’ve chosen to do. And I love it! I love dance music. I’m not a DJ for people to cheer for me or anything, I just really love music.

Fenuxe: Do you ever play for straight audiences?

Gauthreaux: Not really, I mean I play for straight audiences that happen to wander in but I’m not one of those DJs who’s trying to cross over. I know that sounds silly but I know my crowd. I like playing for the gays. I’m not straight, I don’t know what straight people wanna hear and I’m not altogether that interested. If straight people wander into a gay club and happen to like the music then great! I think that’s awesome. I’m just not trying to be someone else, you know?

Fenuxe: Do you have a long term plan or goal or do you just take it day-by-day and see what happens?

Gauthreaux: Honestly I feel like there’s so much more to do with the path I’m on right now. I just started to produce, so I feel like my feet are just getting wet in that area. Part of me feels old because I’ve been doing it for like 13 years but another part of me still feels pretty young because there are a lot of DJs that are approaching 50 years old who are still going really strong. I’m gonna do it as long as I feel like I’m not…sounding lame [laughs] and as long as people keep coming to hear me play. If all those things line up then I’m going to keep on doing it.

Fenuxe: So what are your plans for Pensacola?

Gauthreaux: I’ll get there Friday morning and go to the beach with all my friends and then go to the gig on Saturday night. I’ll definitely hang out and have fun for a little while. I’m looking forward to it because all my Hotlanta boys are gonna be there, so I’m happy!

Fenuxe: We’ll see you there, Joe!

*DJ Joe Gauthreaux will be appearing at Emerald City in Pensacola on Saturday, May 29th. For more information visit his website atwww.djjoegauthreaux.com.

Joe Gauthreaux Top Ten:

Kelis – Acapella (Joe Gauthreaux Symphony Remix)

The Temper Trap – Sweet Disposition (Axwell Remix)

Lady Gaga – Telephone (various mixes)

Zoe Badwi – Release Me (Joe Gauthreaux Private Rework)

Richard Grey – I’m Back (One Night In Ibiza Mix)

Yinon Yahel – I Feel the Music (Original Dub)

Goldfrapp – Rocket (Ralphi Rosario Remix)

Edson Pride – Every Single Time (Joe Gauthreaux mixes)

Bimbo Jones – Freeze (Joe Gauthreaux 2010 Remix)

Hoxton Whores – Sunrise

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