This past Mardi Gras I had the opportunity to see Mardi Gras in New Orleans from the perspective of a drag queen. Blanche Debris is a known personality in New Orleans, but mostly if the epicenter of fun exists at St Anne and Bourbon Street, the heart of New Orleans's gay nightclub scene. I've known Blanche's family for over twenty years but I didn't meet Blanche until 2002 when she started hosting Sunday Night Bingo at Oz. Before attending the 2015 Bourbon Street Awards with Blanche, the highlight memory I have is of her descending from the stage as Queen of Armeinius in 2004 in a Marie Antoinette gown the size of a 1964 Cadillac Eldorado. Since then Blanche has gone on to host Tulane University programs and has been the MC of the Bourbon Street Awards for 10 years. I spoke with Blanche during the Sparta Parade this year and she was feeling past her prime, and considering "hanging up the wig." Since the opportunities would be few, I agreed to document Blanche's Mardi Gras as she donned a gold satin dress to become Miss Fat Tuesday for the Bourbon Street Awards.
Blanche's biographer is hoping to write a book on her that collects lots of memories, dating back to the stage shows at the Cancan. Hopefully some of these images will be included in that ode to Blanche.