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out on a limb

Volume 15/Issue 20

Circuits - Or What Makes Things Run

Ever notice how the boys have their full circle of circuit parties every year...Halloween, Decadence, Mardi Gras, Atlanta, Key West, you name it, they have it. So what do the girls have that is comparable, and why don't we have as well-organized gatherings, even on a local level?

One problem is money and sponsorship. We don't have as much of it, but we can get it if the women's community will come out and support their events. Is it just a lack of interest, or do women like different kinds of activities? I think women like more variety and with that in mind, I want to tell you about two upcoming events that will give the lesbian and gay community a chance to support a women's circuit.

The first is VooDoo Dreams on the Cajun Queen II, a sequel to last year's wildly popular riverboat cruise for women and men aboard the New Orleans paddlewheel Cajun Queen. We'll set sail on a two hour trip down the Mississippi on Oct. 24, from 8pm 'til 11pm. The event will be festive: entertainment on both decks of the ship, food, free draft, a psychic friend from the network-yes, even a high energy dance floor and an illusion show. Talk about getting your money's worth! And even more-because the proceeds from the draft beer will be donated to The Living Room and the Metropolitan Community Church to help them secure the maximum funding from a Ryan White Grant. It's the cruise with a dream to help our community in caring for people living with HIV. Southern Eagle and Bud Light will be our generous corporate sponsor and Ambush Mag 2000 is our ever supportive media sponsor.

Did you go last year?

If I can borrow from a favorite writer... it was a dark and stormy night...

...Everyone had the feel of Halloween excitement. The weather had been wild all the day and the river waters were choppy with whitecaps. But the Cajun Queen rode steady in the water at the dock as we loaded all our party equipment aboard. As time drew near for the cruise, we called upon every saint we could muster to calm the waters...even the old salt trick. Passengers began arriving and the night was transformed at dockside to a scene of bon voyage and good cheer. No little rainstorm would dampen our spirits.

The captain and deckhands greeted each boarding passenger and when the final whistle blew marking our departure, as if by magic, the clouds parted to reveal a full moon and starry sky to guide us south past the city.

The decks were filled with lesbian and gay couples, friends, family. Everyone crowded the rails to watch the Crescent City pass by aglow with its twinkling white windows, street lights and the UFO Superdome saucer.

It was romantic; it was delightful; it was all so grown up. It was a night befitting the pride and status each member of the lesbian and gay community merits. Even the Cajun Queen flew our rainbow colors on her masthead. It was the way things should be--equality through visibility, and the economic clout to make choices for our lives.

And what a scene it was. Women standing on the decks talking quietly, holding one another close. No fear of any negative remarks, just an open, free atmosphere for expression. Men sitting together on the benches enjoying the darkness of the river. People inside dancing, partying, greeting friends. The riverboat was rocking.

It was a night to remember. The After-Party at Rubyfruit Jungle featured big prize giveaways: trips to Hollywood for an Ellen taping and one to Orlando to MGM Grand Studios. This year's prizes will be even better. Check the ads for the details.

So don't miss out on this second opportunity to go rollin' on the river with VooDoo Dreams on the Cajun Queen. Make it a special occasion. Invite all your best friends. Dress up or dress down. Party or romance your favorite girl or boy. Propose. It's your night.

Tickets will go on sale Oct. 1 at Rubyfruit Jungle, on the web at through the Metropolitan Community Church, and by phone at 504.947.4000. Get your tickets early. The boat has a limited passenger capacity. Those folks left standing on the dock were mighty lonely last year.

The other event soon to be produced will be called Velvet. This party will be held at the House of Blues and will feature a national club act. The House of Blues is a fun place to gather. Its cajun/folk art flavor put you in the mood to let the good times roll. It also gives our community an opportunity to showcase some of our local and not-so-local talent. Velvet is produced by PM Productions, a new venture by two familiar friends in the community: this writer and DJ Mary Pappas. Our goal is to offer big events to the lesbian and gay market and to keep the community's dollars at work in the local economy. It's a plan whose time has come.

There are other ideas in the works, too. But we don't want to give away too much information too soon. Just be on the lookout for PM Productions' Parties around town and don't miss the fun.

Will we see you at VooDoo Dreams? Will you come dancing in the moonlight with the Sherreece Band and DJ Mary Pappas? Will you venture out with a psychic friend and look into your future? Will you experience the magic on the mighty Mississippi?

Come on board. The river holds all your VooDoo dreams.

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