Yes, it’s New Orleans. There’s a reason this southern gay mecca always makes the list of most popular cities in America, and it’s not just because of the delicious originality of beignets. There are so many unique experiences that you can only find here, and the combination of the them in one trip or five is the absolute beauty of the place.
Check out these five really gay things you’ll only find in this one American city…
1. “The Fruit Loop”
New Orleans may be known for its slower pace and easy-going attitude, but when it comes to going out, the gays are all about efficiency. That’s why the majority of the bars are clustered within walking distance of each other, in an area of the French Quarter appropriately dubbed “The Fruit Loop.” And since New Orleans is one of the few places left where open containers are allowed on the street, it makes bar hopping extra fun. Not to mention convenient.
2. Endless Festivals
Pride. Bastille Day. Dirty Linen Night. Southern Decadence. The Red Dress Run. Halloween New Orleans. Running of the Bulls. The Champaign Stroll. The Gay Easter Parade. Bayou Boogaloo. And the list goes on and on. New Orleanians love any excuse to put on a crazy costume and go out, especially under the bright blue skies. Hence the many awesome festivals held throughout the year, most of which cater to the LGBTQ crowd.
3. Drag Galore
As the proud hometown of the one and only Bianca del Rio, it should come as no surprise the city’s drag community is bursting at the sequined seams. The Diva Royale Drag Queen Dinner Show happens Thursday through Sunday in the French Quarter and is a favorite among visitors and locals alike. There’s also the New Orleans Drag Workshop that offers classes to aspiring queens hoping to break into the biz. Then, of course, there’s Drag Bingo every Thursday at the Allways Lounge and every Sunday at Oz, as well as drag performances happening nearly every night of the week.
4. Drama, Drama, Everywhere
New Orleans is known for having a flair for the dramatics. Le Petit Theatre, Southern Rep, and the Anthony Bean Community Theater are just a few of the local troupes that highlight hometown talent in award-winning productions. Meanwhile, larger venues like the Saenger Theatre, Joy Theater, and the Mahalia Jackson Theater feature traveling Broadway productions, concerts, dance performances, comedians, and many other live events. There’s also the annual Faux/Real Festival that showcases more than 100 different performances over the course of three weeks each November.
5. Raining Men
Last, there are the gays themselves. According to the New York Times, New Orleans has the fourth largest LGBTQ population per capita in the United States, with an impressive 5.1 percent of residents identifying as such. It beats out New York, Chicago, and even Los Angeles. And according to the travel site Travelzoo, it’s also ranked the third most friendly city in the country. You do the math.
That’s a lotta fun to be had in New Orleans!