Gay New Orleans, nicknamed the “Big Easy” by locals, is one of the most vibrant and unforgettable cities in America, especially for those who live for nightlife. Being gay in New Orleans means the hottest clubs and spectacular gay events – such as Southern Decadence – are just for you.
New Orleans sits on the mighty Mississippi River in southern Louisiana. And while Louisiana hasn’t always been welcoming to the gay community, it has been an epicenter in the fight for equal rights. In 2015 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Louisiana’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, effectively shutting the door on other statewide bans.
New Orleans’ gay district
No trip to gay New Orleans is complete without heading to the French Quarter. Known locally as Le Vieux Carre, the French Quarter cozzies up against the grand Mississippi River. It occupies the world-renowned space from Canal Street to Esplanade Avenue and inland all the way to Rampart Street. It’s true that the French Quarter is one of gay New Orleans oldests districts - and arguably one of its best.
If you want “gay ground zero”, head to the corner of St. Ann Street and Bourbon Street. That’s where The Bourbon Pub and Parade Disco, has been delivering the Big Easy’s best party scene since 1974. With two floors playing non-stop music, a gorgeous balcony where you can sit down and relax or have a bite to eat while watching performances by some of the hottest gay dancers anywhere.
New Orleans festivals
New Orleans Pride takes place every year in early June, but if you’re in New Orleans on Labor Day weekend, you’ll be treated to Southern Decadence, the city’s largest celebration. For six days the French Quarter lights up day and night, delivering one of the world’s best party scenes. Each year over 200,000 LGBT people attend Southern Decadence. Halloween in New Orleans is also a big deal and is second only to Mardi Gras for wild and crazy, dressing-up-in-costume kind of fun.