Find out about New Orleans’ annual LGBT events including the Saints & Sinners Literary Festival and the infamous Southern Decadence, also known as Gay Mardi Gras, here: http://www.neworleansonline.com/neworleans/festivals/gaylesbianfestivals/
Gay Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras Season – Through January until March
The schedule of events changes seasonally, but traditionally the eight Gay carnival
organizations host balls, block parties, coronations, Gay Mardi Gras Bead Tosses, and other events throughout the Mardi Gras season.
Mardi Gras Bourbon St. Awards
Mardi Gras Day – Fat Tuesday
“The most famous drag queen contest in America” takes place yearly on St. Ann on Bourbon. This giant costume party sees hundreds of flamboyantly dressed participants who compete for the Bourbon Street Awards.
Annual Official Gay Easter Parade
This yearly festival raises money for Food for Friends, a part of NO/AIDS Task Force. A parade marches in the French Quarter and participants come in costume. Additional parties and events occur along with the parade.
Saints & Sinners Literary Festival
A yearly festival where LGBTQIA writers from around the world showcase their work in
LGBTQIA literature. Discussions, workshops, readings, classes and performances all occur, with proceeds benefitting the NO/AIDS task force. Part of the Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival.
New Orleans Gay Pride Festival
New Orleans gay pride parade marches in the French Quarter with free participation for anyone interested in marching. Other daytime events occur and the main gathering spot changes yearly so check their website for more details!
Labor Day Weekend
Nicknamed “Gay Mardi Gras,” this LGBTQ festival takes place in the French Quarter, with many clubs, bars, and restaurants participating and throwing their own events. The weekend culminates with a parade led by a Grand Marshall.
August – Labor Day Weekend
Happening in conjunction with Southern Decadence, Dykeadence was created to highlight events happening during Decadence that are specific for women, women-identifying, trans people, and people of color. The schedule changes with each Decadence year.
This annual walk is held in Audubon Park and benefits the NO/AIDS Task Force, an organization that provides services to and empowers HIV-afflicted individuals and educates the public on those issues.
New Orleans Film Festival
This annual film festival screens hundreds of films throughout a week. Many of the films touch on issues of gender, sexuality, race, class, and other social and identity issues. The OGSD puts out an annual guide highlighting such movies and others of importance.
Hosts of Halloween – “Gay Halloween”
This nearly 30 year, multi-day celebration benefits Project Lazarus, a home in New Orleans that provides support for people with AIDS. The theme changes yearly, but the events generally include balls, club events, giant costume parties, and steamboat Halloween brunches.
New Orleans Fringe Festival
“The annual festival of the wild, weird, fresh, and original” puts on dozens of shows, performing groups, and one parade every year. Shows can be traditional, like dance performances or theatre, but usually are funky, such as one of last year’s hit shows, a musical puppet show about an axe murderer! Many of the performances touch on issues of gender, sexuality, race, class, and other social and identity issues.
The NOLA Masquerade consists of African American lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals who host New Orleans Black Pride Festival (aka “The Masquerade”) which is comprised of various, changing events. Check their website for more details.
Thank you to Tulane University’s Office of Gender & Sexuality for this compilation of events ©2013