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Volume 15/Issue 16

Write me!


What the hell is going on?

Yes, I have to ask the question..." What the hell is going on?" I ask this question in reference to this so called "Great Southern Gay & Lesbian Festival" being held at the Lakefront Arena. The Alliance of Pride Board of Directors, as well as myself, have gotten bombarded with questions concerning this event, thinking it is us putting it on. So I need to clarify this matter right now!

First of all I have to state that I was greatly disturbed when I saw prime time television commercials for this event. The reasons:

1.) Because of the homophobic feelings that still resides in New Orleans, we can never get the T.V. stations to give our 18 year old, volunteer ran, "Pride" any coverage unless it is "shady" news for them to report.

FYI: There are hundreds of Prides that are organized and put on across the states and Europe. They all have had bouts with the straight press and their lack of coverage of us unless it is news that makes us look bad.

2.) Unless you have some mega capital, motivational moneys of which to "payoff," they won't show their faces or their cameras at a Gay event, for what I call, "happy news."

FYI: I did some investigating and found out that this event is allegedly being put on by 5 straight, rich investors from outside of our state and using local AIDS fund-raising organizations to be "partial" beneficiaries. Not cool!

Now I am sorry...the idea that some straight "setup" would come into our city and do this event at the magnitude and scale of which they have, pisses me off. It shows me that we and our moneys are being preyed upon and used to line these investors pockets!

The Gay Market

From a marketing stand point, the straight world is learning to ACCEPT our "life-style" due to the "Homosexual Windfall" that has been discovered in the community at large. The marketeers of the world have discovered the enormous "disposable income" that the gay community has as a whole. Gay couples have less dependents, plus a double-dominant income. What this means is that with a gay male or female couple's income, usually very high dollar due to holding prominent jobs and positions plus little or no dependant drain, we have more money to throw around as we wish.

The average straight family setup is usually man, wife, and a child or more. One of the parents usually has the dominant income while the other is at home raising the kids and putting them through college out of that same income.

So for a 3 person, straight household, you have one income and two immediate direct expenditures. Daddy works and Mamma spends! I saw it all my life with my own family. My Dad never got very far having to produce money for the past 30 years to raise his 16 kids. Did Mom and Dad get to enjoy any of the money he brought in! Hell no, still to this day! In most cases a gay couple doesn't have this problem. If a gay couple is raising kids, you still have a double-dominant income to raise those kids and give them more, plus enjoy some of it yourself.

The last couple of years the International Association of Lesbian and Gay Pride Coordinators encouraged the U.S. Prides to stamp all of our moneys with "Gay Money" to show the financial world that we generate a lot into this country's economy. We shop more, we travel more, we spend more than any common straight family. We have more money to throw around and do so!

Anyway, back to the main point I am trying to make. The straight world is finding out that our homosexuality "can be" overlooked to a certain degree because we have thicker lined pockets of which to dig in. I don't know about ya'll but I am insulted by the thought that they think we are just stupid queens. It's quite the opposite of that. Why can't they give us "just-due" acceptance as being human beings rather than just because of our moneys.

The Alliance of Pride has been in operation for 17, going on 18 years of volunteer, nonprofit service and lots of personal sacrifice, to put together our Pride celebrations each year. Then some alleged rich, straight investors from out of our state, just drop in to tap into that and run with a profit. On top of that, they had one of the benefactor AIDS organizations call the Pride Board for our list of vendors to market their booths to. Kind of ballsy, wouldn't you say! I am not amused as you can tell with all this babbling about it.

I am not saying you shouldn't attend, because frankly, I'd like to see the Village People myself, but I am asking for you to help protect our gay moneys. That's why many of these corporate companies have heeded to the Gay boycotts! For example, as with Ellen Degeneres' advertising sponsors backing out, like Chrysler....

They have marketed this event like a "Pride" to get our money and walk out with a profit. The television media will be there to cover this so called "GAY" event. But we, the Alliance, beg and plead with them to show up at our fest and do some news coverage on our real 17 year old Pride Fest Celebration.

Any input...write me! Sonny C Cleveland ~ c/o Ambush Inc., 828-A Bourbon Street, New Orleans, La 70116-3137 or email me at

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Rip Naquin-Delain | Sonny Cleveland | George Patterson

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