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On 50th anniversary of the UpStairs Lounge Fire, a look at LGBTQ+ history in New Orleans

It’s Pride Month, and in Louisiana and around the world, there are all sorts of parades, concerts and events that celebrate LGBTQ+ identities.But in New Orleans, 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the UpStairs Lounge Fire, when arson took the lives of 32 people at a gay bar in the French Quarter. No one was ever convicted of this crime. This year a coalition of local organizations, spearheaded by the LGBT+ Archives Project of Louisiana, will present a weekend of events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the tragic 1973 UpStairs Lounge fire.

Frank Perez, executive director for the LGBT+ Archives Project of Louisiana and local historian, tells us more about this event and highlights key moments in queer history in the Crescent City.

Today’s episode of Louisiana Considered was hosted by Alana Schreiber. Our digital editor is Katelyn Umholtz and our engineers are Garrett Pittman and Aubry Procell.

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Alana Schreiber is the managing producer for the live daily news program, Louisiana Considered. She comes to WWNO from KUNC in Northern Colorado, where she worked as a radio producer for the daily news magazine, Colorado Edition. She has previously interned for Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul and The Documentary Group in New York City.