Robert Baxter pushes Grand Marshal Robert Doucet last night during Southern Decadence Parade in Exile in Lafayette, La. (courtesy: The Daily Advertiser)
For the second time this week, homosexuals held a “gay”-pride parade in Louisiana, a state that suffered catastrophic damage by Hurricane Katrina.
Last night’s event took place in the city of Lafayette, where events were renamed “Southern Decadence in Exile” after the storm canceled last week’s “Southern Decadence,” a tradition that began in 1972.
The parade commenced a few minutes late from its 5 p.m. start time, but that didn’t seem to bother participants.
“Queens are always late,” Levy Easterly, 43, of New Orleans, told the Daily Advertiser. “And we need time to get a buzz.”
Robert Baxter, one of the driving forces behind the event, told the paper, “We’re trying to show the world that the gay community wasn’t killed off.”
While the local newspaper reported there were a “couple dozen” participants in yesterday’s march, the website 365Gay.com put the figure at “several hundred.”
“Every gay home in town is filled to the rafters with friends and relatives from New Orleans,” Baxter told the website, noting he has eight Katrina survivors living with him in Lafayette. “There isn’t a person in this town who hasn’t been affected in one way or another by the hurricane. We didn’t get a drop of rain here, but our lives are changed forever.”
Baxter is among those who wanted the 33-year tradition to continue, even while hundreds of thousands of Louisiana residents have been forced to evacuate their homes.
“We couldn’t let it just end with the hurricane,” organizer Mack Money told 365Gay.com. “It’s too important to everyone in New Orleans.”
Not having a police permit to parade on Jefferson Street, marchers sauntered up the sidewalk between two “gay” bars, and came to a stop for a moment of silence to remember those did not escape the catastrophic storm.
“What do they want us to do? Roll over and die too?” Baxter asked. “Do they want us to just give up?”
With a theme of “Floatin’ Floozies,” parade participants wore FEMA armbands, standing for “Federal Emergency Mismanagement Agency.”
Many, including Grand Marshal Robert Doucet, aka Stephanie Stevens, were transvestites who scrambled to a Goodwill store to be properly outfitted.
WorldNetDaily reported earlier this week on the smaller parade of at least two dozen homosexuals, some clad in tutus and grass skirts, who marched up Bourbon Street in New Orleans in defiance of Katrina’s devastation.
Homosexuals celebrate on New Orleans’ Bourbon Street Sunday afternoon (courtesy San Antonio Express-News)
“Hey, we’ve got to keep our morale up, too,” Jill Sandars, aka “Jelly Sandwich,” told the San Antonio Express-News.
One woman wore a shirt with a handwritten message, “I survived Hurricane Katrina and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.”
New Orleans carpenter John Lambert had dressed up as a member of the Village People and carried a sign reading “Life Goes On?”.
John Lambert carries ‘Life Goes On?’ sign in Sunday’s parade on Bourbon Street (courtesy San Antonio Express-News)
He was confident the annual Mardi Gras festival would still take place next February in New Orleans’ French Quarter.
“Mardi Gras is a brew, it’s a gumbo. It’s defined by what people bring to it,” Lambert told the Associated Press. “There will definitely be a Mardi Gras. No doubt about it.”
The celebrations amid the deaths, disease and destruction of Katrina boggle the mind of some, including former homosexual James Hartline.
“The idea that human beings are continuing to party while hundreds of thousands of fellow citizens are starving, dying and suffering from a multitude of sicknesses brings into focus the real lack of judgment that these constant advocates of special gay rights demonstrate in a time of crisis,” Hartline said. “They want marriage, adoption and special protections, due to their alleged ‘vicitimizations at the hands of unfair laws,’ and yet the Southern Decadence partiers are the best examples of those who are truly victimizing the most vulnerable of America’s citizenry.”
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