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Gay Carnival Krewes in New Orleans

After a century of Mardi Gras krewes, it was not until 1958 that the first krewe was founded by and for members of the LGBTQ community.

At first underground, gay balls gained such renown that there developed a tremendous demand for invitations both from within and outside the gay community. Gay krewes attained a more public profile in the 1970s and 1980s when membership was at its peak. However, the devastation of HIV/AIDS led to the dissolution of most gay krewes. Today, gay balls have experienced a resurgence and remain one of the most exciting opportunities to view some of the most imaginative costumes of carnival, all crafted by the krewe members themselves.

Wayne Phillips, Curator of Costumes and Textiles and Curator of Carnival Collections at the Louisiana State Museum, will present an overview of the birth and growth of gay krewes from the 1950s to today as well as traditions that laid the groundwork for the formation of these krewes.

The talk takes place at the BK Historic House & Gardens, across from the old Ursuline Convent on Chartres Street.

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BK Historic House & Gardens
1113 Chartres ST
New Orleans, LA 70116 United States
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