You don’t have to wander far in NOLA to spot a rainbow right now. In the lead-up to Pride Month, the universally recognized symbol of the LGBT community is slathered on signage, merchandise and banners that crop up right alongside those colorful, proverbial May flowers. But underneath a symbol that’s meant to represent all stripes, too many people were coming away from Pride celebrations feeling that the parties were a little too same-y.
As Pride has grown in stature and acceptance, it has also somewhat homogenized into a specific type of celebration of a certain kind of lifestyle. Some groups under the LGBT umbrella balk a bit as the yearly explosion of positivity seems to cater toward a group that’s already the focus of too much energy and attention the other 11 months of the year: white men.
“I’ve sort of always felt like an outsider at NOLA Pride,” said Lindsey Baker, a driving force behind local alt-country act Guts Club. “It felt like it was catered to cis, white dudes who are fans of Drag Race.”
Left with a bad taste in her mouth from the “super corporate” feeling of New Orleans’ Pride celebration and hot off of hosting a successful showcase at South by Southwest, Baker set out to create the sort of Pride party she wanted to see in her city.
“I came back [from Austin] and I felt really full of myself so I thought I’d put on another show,” Baker explained.
That show became Lost Binary, the upcoming day-long showcase of LGBT artists at Mid-City’s live music workhorse Banks Street Bar. Baker said she wanted to make a space where the queer artists she has discovered (locally and otherwise) could show off their talents away from the sponsored, rainbow-colored trinkets of the more established Pride events.
“We’re all making really cool stuff,” she said.”We’re making important work and it’s overlooked in favor of rainbow boas and churches that hand out go-cups during parades.”
Lost Binary will showcase acts from all over the country, representing different gender identities and expressions of sexuality as well as incredibly varied genres of music.
Representing the local scene, Baker’s own band will perform alongside acts like harpist/storyteller Daiquiri, the keytar enthusiasts in Macavoy and noise artist Edgeslayer. Brooklyn’s Uncle Meg will host a late night hip-hop set while Tim Higgins brings sweeping, dramatic country tunes all the way from Alabama and Mystic Light Casino drops in from Memphis with some sweaty garage rock.
All in all, it’s meant to provide a fun space for celebrants of all persuasions, regardless of their tastes.
“I want people to come and be like, ‘This is a party for me and my friends. I didn’t have to go to some stupid parade,'” Baker said. “I felt seen and I saw some cool music.”
Of course, Pride is rooted in activism and the party Baker’s throwing stays true to that with a higher purpose than a sick show. Lost Binary is raising funds for Girls Rock New Orleans and the national trans support group No More Dysphoria, which helps provide for the oftentimes prohibitive cost of transitional treatments and surgeries.
Lost Binary takes place on Saturday, June 8 at Banks St Bar. The show begins at 1 p.m. and runs through midnight. Admission is free. Learn more at their Facebook page.