Contribution to Book
The Spanish Town parade is currently the largest Carnival parade in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with hundreds of thousands of attendees dressed in pink costuming, cross-dressing, and wearing pink flamingo paraphernalia. This chapter traces the queer origins of the Spanish Town parade to the racially integrated bohemian gayborhood of Spanish Town in the 1980s. Using interviews, archival research, and participant observation, I argue that current LGBTQ residents of Baton Rouge, even those who have never lived in Spanish Town, claim a vicarious citizenship to the neighborhood and parade through an understanding of the queer origins of the parade in the 1980s and the parade’s beginning in a gayborhood. This vicarious citizenship is tempered by the heterosexualization of the contemporary Spanish Town parade. Although LGBTQ residents still attend the parade in large numbers, there is more ambivalence about the homophobic imagery in the parade and the consumption of gay culture by heterosexual parade participants.
Stone, A. L. (2021). Wearing pink in fairy town: The heterosexualization of the Spanish Town neighborhood and Carnival parade in Baton Rouge. In A. Bitterman & D. B. Hess (Eds.), The life and afterlife of gay neighborhoods: Renaissance and resurgence (pp. 139-158). Springer. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-66073-4_6
The Life and Afterlife of Gay Neighborhoods: Renaissance and Resurgence
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