First and Foremost, I want to say Thank You!
I would like to take a few moments to personally thank all of my family and friends, my amazing and hardworking staff, my Executive Assistant Kim (of which I could probably not get through the day without), my partner Chad, (I love you!), and most importantly all of YOU! Since the day that I moved to New Orleans, having a place to explore my creative aspirations within the interests of this City has always been front and center in my life. I published my first novel nearly 11 years ago but because of this thing we call life, I haven’t done anything in the publishing sphere since, until now. This magazine is truly something that I believe in and hope that you will also embrace it as I know that its voice is truly something that our city needs and deserves. Again, Thanks for all of your support! It means the world to me.
Why French Quarter Magazine rather than just say Magazine? Depending on your point of reference, the term French Quarter means a great deal more to me than just a location or demographic area. So many of my personal experiences in the LGBT community have started with something going on in the French Quarter, and I suspect that is true for many of you as well. The Bourbon Pub was the first gay bar I ever went into and of course being from a small town in Texas, I moved here three days before Southern Decadence. (Yes, it was the biggest culture shock of my life.) So, I am using the term French Quarter to create a sense of a lifestyle (no, not just the nightclub scene, strippers, and the famous early morning Lucky Dogs, although I have enjoyed plenty of each) but more inclusively the character, resolve, eccentricities, livelihood, community awareness, and culture that I think is at the heart of our LGBT community. Additionally, the truth is that there is much more for us to be proud of right now than ever before. I hope to provide a voice for all of us to share our talents and gifts through this publication as well as celebrate the many traditions, festivities, other publications, and nightlife that certainly makes up the foundation of our community as well as me personally.
Last but not least, I want to tell you about my commitment to YOU. Getting a magazine like this together is no easy task, that much I can tell you, but my dedication to bringing and sustaining this for our community is. Yes, its one step closer to having my dreams become reality, but its also about creating and respecting the relationships that I have built since moving to New Orleans. My partner and I lost our entire Lakeview home during Katrina, but never once did I ever think that I wanted to call another city home. If home is where the heart is, then my home is HERE, both within every image and article of this magazine as well as with you, my support system. I have much more to add to this publication in the coming issues, and promise to work hard to ensure that each issue is a collection of pictures and content that represents all the LGBT community. I also encourage YOU to let me know what you want to see and read as well. The magazine is Graphic Visions In Print, so let’s bring all of OUR visions to life through print and become true VIPs for our community. We can truly make something great if we all come together to make it great.
Thanks again to everyone and please be kind and respectful to one another, be visible in our fight for equality, and be fabulous in everything you do.
Rick Lara, Editor in Chief