"Decadence is a difficult word to use since it has become little more than a term of abuse applied by critics to anything they do not yet understand or which seems to differ from their moral concepts."
New Orleans (or NOLA, as they call it) resident Joey Swinson joins BLISS and brings his quick wit and keen observations on a variety of topics. What better way to kick off his column than with a breakdown of one of the biggest block parties in NOLA.
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Southern Decadence is the quintessential decadent event that encompasses all variations of LGBT community. In 1972, ten roommates, who resided at 2110 Barracks Street in New Orleans, innocently created Southern Decadence. What originally began as a going away party that took place on a sultry August afternoon, evolved into one of the largest gay events in the US and is one of the top five largest events in New Orleans.
Southern Decadence is described by one reporter as "a happening of haberdashery fit for an LSD Alice in Wonderland." After almost four decades the event has exploded from ten intimate friends to an exhilarating jubilation of 100,000 LGBT members and their hetero supporters. This year’s events will commence at midnight September 2nd and will cease September 7th or whenever you pass out or your plane leaves. This event is not for the faint of heart. It is a party that runs 24 hours a day from start to finish. There is no such thing as boredom during Decadence. People will be adorned with elaborate costumes or will be practically naked. Your wildest dreams will become your daily realities with no room for regret.
New Orleans will offer you Historic Cemeteries, Bourbon Street, Voodoo, and Gumbo. Southern Decadence will offer you, on a silver platter, Twinks, Jocks, Sons and Dads, Lipstick Lesbians, Bull Dykes, Drag Queens, Bears, and Leather. Many gay clubs throughout New Orleans will feature daily events such as the "Big Dick Contest" and will bring you the best DJs and Entertainers such as Chi Chi LaRue and a free concert by Deborah Cox. A personal suggestion would be to stop by OZ and get a drink from the most beautiful bartender in New Orleans, Blake. Yes, he will let you pet his long curly black hair. This is the one event where you can leave all of your inhibitions at home; you will not need them in New Orleans.
Blake from Oz
For a schedule of events you can visit the official site http://www.southerndecadence.net/. Come see me in New Orleans for Southern Decadence 2009 and discover how a gay party should be thrown. x
©Joey Swinson 2009