On Saturday, January 10, 2015, New Orleans Pride announced its 2015 Grand Marshals at the 5th Annual Masquerade Black & White Gala. The Gala was held at the Healing Center on St. Claude Avenue and included The Esplanade Ave Band as entertainment, a silent auction which featured a line of celebrity designed masks, and the announcement of the 2015 New Orleans Pride Grand Marshals, the 2015 New Orleans Pride Poster, and, this years keynote speaker. The event was hosted by WDSU News Anchor Camille Whitworth and attended by more than 100 guests dressed in black and white masquerade party attire. Chris Leonard, Director of New Orleans Pride, announced that the 2015 New Orleans Pride Grand Marshals to be Adikus Sulpizi and Persana Shoulders. Additionally, Jon and Derek Penton-Robicheaux were announced as 2015 Honorary Grand Marshals.
Adikus is a well-known community supporter, activist, and 2014 Big Easy Leather Title holder while Persana, also an avid community supporter and charity event emcee, is best known for her comedic character personality and unique talent in entertainment, hosting, and emceeing. Both Adikus and Persana were selected amongst a long roster of nominees and voted on via the New Orleans Pride facebook page. Honorary Grand Marshals Jon and Derek Penton-Robicheauxx, two of the first plaintiffs involved in the Federal Same-Sex Marriage Lawsuit in Louisiana, Robicheaux et al. vs Caldwell, are paving the way for change in Louisiana hoping to have their 2012 Iowa marriage validated in Louisiana and win the freedom to marry for countless other gay couples in the State of Louisiana. Arguments in this case were recently heard by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals just one day prior to attending the event and being named Honorary Grand Marshals.
Trevor Wayne, artist (www.trevorwayne.com) created the 2015 New Orleans Pride Posters inspired by the LGBT community fight to legalize gay marriage in Louisiana and features an outline of the state of Louisiana highlighted by the love shared between two grooms in one version and likewise between two brides in another version. Both posters also feature blue backgrounds, a proclamation of celebrating 5 years of the New Orleans Pride Organization, this year’s Pride Festival dates, and the New Orleans Pride logo and festival website.
Ryan Sallans was announced as the 2015 Keynote Speaker. Through his website, ryansallan.com, Sallans is noted as a public speaker, publisher, diversity trainer, consultant, publisher, and author specializing in health care, campus inclusion and workplace issues surrounding the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual (LGBTQIA) community. He is best known for sharing the story of his transition from female to male through his memoir Second Son: Transitioning Toward My Destiny, Love and Life.
Congratulations to New Orleans Pride for a great event which raised more than $5,000 and to Adikus, Persona, Jon, and Derek on your titles. We look forward to your representation of New Orleans Pride and the New Orleans LGBT Community and supporters. This years New Orleans Pride Festival will be held June 19-21, 2015 with additional information available at www.prideneworleans.com.
Written by: Levi Knot, VIP Media Group.
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