The options for French Quarter walking tours are many: cocktail bars, iconic restaurants, haunted houses and streets, riverbend history, voodoo and vampires.
But the tours led by Quinn Laroux cover a fascinating swath of the city’s colorful underbelly: vice and corruption, sexuality and sex workers, the former “red light” district known as Storyville, gay bars and the tangle of gay nightlife in the French Quarter affectionately known as the “fruit loop.” Laroux is a great storyteller, but she’s also armed with abundant historical material about this city that is the gay mecca of the South, or as she proudly puts it, “one of the most openly queer cultures in the country.”
It’s appropriate that Laroux’s tour aims to put “queer people in the center of the story.” She hosts Nola Drag Tours, a lively walking tour she founded last year as an alternative to the traditional and conventional-minded tours that thread the city daily. As one of the city’s new generation of drag queens, Laroux leads her tours in full regalia: a dress, wig and artful makeup. (On the steamy, end-of-summer day I spent walking about 2 miles through the French Quarter, she also carried a ladylike parasol.)