I’m proud to wear many New Orleans hats—historian, writer, editor, public speaker, teacher, activist, tour guide, Carnival krewe captain, wedding officiant, and Tarot card reader. But of all the hats I wear, the one I am most proud of wearing is being a French Quarter aficionado.
There really is no other neighborhood in the world quite like the Quarter. More than a smorgasbord of beautiful architecture and fascinating history, the Quarter is a place of people–quirky, eccentric, oddball characters who are defined by the neighborhood as much as they define it. I feel fortunate to be counted in that number.
One of the hats I wear is being the leader of a statewide non-profit organization. As a co-founder and current President of the LGBT+ Archives Project of Louisiana, I am dedicated to preserving local queer history. The LGBT+ Archives Project does incredible work and I am proud to serve at its helm. Find out more about this amazing non-profit group here.
As former English professor, I’ve always loved writing. These days I write mostly about life in New Orleans. I’m a columnist for Ambush Magazine and French Quarter Journal and I have authored several books on New Orleans history, including In Exile (with Jeffrey Palmquist), Treasures of the Vieux Carre, and Southern Decadence in New Orleans (with Howard P. Smith). I am also the co-editor of the anthology My Gay New Orleans: 28 Personal Reminiscences on LGBT+ Life in New Orleans.
As a licensed tour guide, I specialize in customized tours focusing on specific topics such as architecture and historic homes, Voodoo, cemeteries, and the city’s literary heritage. In 2012, I developed “The Rainbow Fleur de Lis,” an interactive walking tour of the French Quarter focusing on New Orleans’ rich LGBT+ history which has earned national and local critical praise in The Advocate, ABC News, USA Today, queerty.com, NPR, WGNO, WHIV, and other media outlets.
But my interest in history goes far beyond the rainbow. Recognized as a leader in the local tourism industry, I am honored to teach three Professional Tour-Guiding courses at Loyola University: The history of New Orleans and How to become a Tour Guide, Research Methodology and the Art of Story-Telling, and French Quarter History.
I’m available for private tours, public speaking engagements, historical consultations, and Tarot card readings. You can learn more about all that elsewhere on this website.
No matter which hat I’m wearing, I’m always aware, and draw energy from, the multitudes and variety of people who have called this place home–the Natives, who called this area Bulbancha before the French arrived, the enslaved people from Senegal and other areas in Africa, the Germans, the Irish, the Sicilians, the Slavs, the Canary Islanders, the Haitians, the Chinese, the Cubans, the Vietnamese, the Hondurans, and so many others.
Gumbo is the easy metaphor and all these different people groups are the ingredients. The French Quarter has been marinating for over 300 years now. No wonder it’s so flavorful!
Awards and Honors
New Orleans Advocates for LGBT+ Elders Trailblazer Award. 2023.
Gay Appreciation Award for Best Writer. 2022.
New Orleans Pride Grand Marshal. 2020. (no parade due to the pandemic)
Saints and Sinners Literary Festival Hall of Fame. 2019.
Gay Appreciation Award for Best Writer. 2019.
Southern Decadence Grand Marshal. 2018.
Gay Appreciation Award for Best LGBT Business (Crescent City Tour Booking Agency). 2016.
Gay Appreciation Award for Best LGBT Business (Crescent City Tour Booking Agency). 2014.
Fellow, The Salzburg Seminar 2006.
Honorable Mention Best Lecturer Contest Tarrant County College 2005.
Award for best paper in British Literature at the Conference of College Teachers of English San Antonio 2003.
University of Texas at Arlington Award for fostering academic excellence among transfer students 2001.
Fellow, The National Writing Project 1998.
Fellow, The Acadiana Writing Project.
Webb Award for Outstanding New Graduate Instructor at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette 1997.
Chair, Up Stairs Lounge 50th Anniversary Commemoration Planning Committee, 2023.
Member, Louisiana Historical Association Outreach and Engagement Committee, 2023–
Member, Partnership and Fund Development Committee, The Historic New Orleans Collection, 2022–present.
Executive Director, LGBT+ Archives Project of Louisiana, 2022–present.
Co-founder and President, LGBT+ Archives Project of Louisiana, 2014—2022.
Member, French Quarter Management District, Livability Committee, 2020–2023.
Member, Vieux Carre Commission Foundation, Membership Committee, 2021–2023.
Board Member, Save Our Cemeteries, 2022–present.
Member, Gulf Coast LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce, 2022–present.
Candidate, New Orleans City Council, 2021.
Member, Alliance for Cultural Equity, 2019–present.
Board Member, Letters Read, 2019—present.
Member, Sustainable Tourism Task Force, 2018—present.
Member, New Orleans Lesbian and Gay Hospitality Association, 2016—present.
Founder and Captain, Mystik Krewe de Rue Royale Revelers, 2013—present.
Tour Guide, Tennessee Williams Literary Festival, 2015—present.
Docent, Friends of the Cabildo / Louisiana State Museum, 2012—present
Member, French Quarter Management District Livability Committee, 2020–2023.
Member, Vieux Carre Foundation Membership Committee, 2021–2023.