New Orleans is known for its openness to gender, sexuality, and performance. What happens when you didn’t grow up in this part of the city? How do you create your own sense of identity and carve out space that feels comfortable to you?
Audio Engineering by Joseph Peterson. Introduction read by Nicholas Broussard and Ashten Waldrup.
A photo collage of photographs of Ashten Waldrup from his family archive. Photographs courtesy of the Waldrup family.
Clockwise from top left: Bourbon Street Awards during Mardi Gras, courtesy of the LGBTQ+ Archives Project of Louisiana; "Gone Gay" one way sign in front of Oz on the corner of Bourbon and St. Ann Streets by Oliver Bruchez: CC BY-SA 2.0; Pride flags on balconies in the Gayborhood of the French Quarter by Paul R. Burley: CC BY-SA 4.0; Eat Restaurant on the corner of Dauphine and Dumaine Streets in the French Quarter, by Infrogmation of New Orleans, CC BY-SA 3.0; Andy Bergeron parading with his color guard group during the New Orleans Pride parade in June of 2018. Photograph by Brent Asay.
Left to right: Taniya Walker before a PRIDE event; Taniya (in the front on the left) with her cousins at church in Newark, New Jersey; A bounce show at the Dragon's Den in New Orleansr. Photographs courtesy of Taniya Walker.
In Act 2, “Owning Your Own Truth,” Taniya Walker maps her own experiences coming out as a young Black woman in Newark, New Jersey while her family’s church condemned her sexuality. Overcoming the voices of authority in her life, she finds her way to New Orleans, and immerses herself in the New Orleans bounce scene.
FEATURED JERSEY CLUB MUSIC: "Best Friend Anthem Remix" by Slink X, DJ Taj, and DJ Big O, and "We Are Young Remix" by DJ Smallz. FEATURED NEW ORLEANS BOUNCE MUSIC: "U Already Know" by Fifth Ward Weebie and Big Choo from New Orleans Bounce Essentials (2010) released by Take Yo Shirt Off/Gutta Bounce Music; "Workable, Shakeable" by Sissy Nobby from The Hate Is Real (2015) released by Terrelle Gallo; "Hottie Tottie" by Ha-Sizzle from the 2016 single released by Musical Geniuses Records; and "You're the One Bounce Remix" by Magnolia Shorty from Shake, Twerk, and Wobble (2013) released by Take Yo Shirt Off/Gutta Bounce Music.
In Act One, “Boiling Over: Navigating Gender and Sexuality,” Ashten Waldrup shares his childhood growing up transgender in the conservative Northshore town of Covington. In writing the story, he reflects: “You don’t just wake up one day and realize that you’re gay, or trans, or whatever. Correction - some people may have this sudden realization, but the experience I’ve had was much different.”
FEATURED MUSIC: "Man to Man" by Dorian Electra from the 2019 self-released album Flamboyant and Sophie's "Immaterial" from the 2018 album Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides released by Transgressive.
In Act 3, Nicholas Broussard tells the story of finding a job at a restaurant called Eat in the Gayborhood, the section of the French Quarter that has been an important home to predominantly white, gay men since the Upstairs Lounge Fire in 1973.
FEATURED MUSIC: "Supermodel (You Better Work)" by RuPaul from Supermodel of the World (1993) released by Tommy Boy Music; "Be My Lover" by La Bouche from Sweet Dreams (1996) released by MCI; "Dumaine Street Breakdown" by Tim Laughlin's N.O. Allstars from New Orleans Classics (2016) released by Inner City Records; "Uptown Funk featuring Bruno Mars" by Mark Ronson from Uptown Special (2014) released by Sony Entertainment UK Limited; "Vogue" by Madonna from The Immaculate Collection (1990) released by Sire Records Company.
In Act 4, Seth Robichaux takes us behind the scenes of his one-man cabaret act, which he developed in his hometown on the banks of Bayou Lafourche to step out of the type-casting he was experiencing in theater.
FEATURED MUSIC: "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most" by Bette Midler from Some People's Lives (1990) released by Atlantic Recording Company; "Friends" by Buzzy Linhart and Mark "Moogy" Klingman and sung by Seth Robichaux; "In My Life," by John Lennon, sung by Seth Robichaux; "Football and the Flag Twirler" by Joan Rivers from The Next to Last Joan Rivers Album (1969) released by RCA Records, A Division of Sony Music Entertainment; "Who I'd Be," by Daniel Breaker and Brian d'Arcy James from Shrek: The Musical (2010) released by Decca Label Group; "You'd Be Surprised," by Marilyn Monroe from Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend (2004), released by BMG.
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