For Southern Decadence 2018, Visit New Orleans invited – Jazzmyne Jay – to experience the city’s magic first hand. Jazzmyne rose to national fame in 2016 when she participated as a model for NY fashion week, and has been a influential figure ever since. She continues to break stereotypes of the ‘traditional model’ and does fantastic work as an LGBT activist and BuzzFeed producer. We loved having Jazzmyne in our city! See below to learn more about her experience:
As a first-timer to New Orleans, how did you like it here?
Visiting New Orleans for the first time was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. I honestly did not know what to expect, but I was blown away. The food, the culture, the people, and the experiences were all fantastic.
What about New Orleans surprised you the most?
I think what surprised me the most about New Orleans was the fact that I still felt so connected. I am usually a “Big City” type of person and really feel at home in L.A., New York, and London. The second I came into New Orleans, it just felt so welcoming and so open to anyone, it was really amazing.
If you can describe the city in one word, what would it be?
I would describe the city as “comforting”. As someone who is not from New Orleans, I felt that wherever I went I was welcomed and made to feel comfortable. The people are amazing.
I know you’ve tried a lot of food since you’ve been here. What has been your favorite?
SO MUCH GOOD FOOD, but my favorite was the crab beignets that we had from The Country Club! I have never experienced something as good as those beignets.
How did you feel New Orleans stacks up as an LGBT friendly travel destination?
What I really loved about New Orleans is that everyone was so free and open to look, present, and feel however they want. Literally NO ONE cared as long as you were just having fun! I was shocked to see how much the LGBT scene is POPPIN in New Orleans. It was a beautiful site to see!
What was your favorite part of Southern Decadence?
Honestly, Southern Decadence got me a little emotional because it was just so beautiful to see people embracing themselves and not being judged while doing so. I was walking during the parade and everyone was celebrating everyone. No one knew what anyone identified as and it didn’t matter because we were all just happy to be with one another. It was really great to see!
Is there one specific story that really highlights your experience in NOLA?
During our trip we kept on bumping into a group of 5 nurses who were here celebrating a divorce. (hahaha) We saw them earlier in the morning and got to know them and then were walking to a bar and danced with them at night! It was so much fun and it was SO random. We took pictures together and exchanged Instagrams.
What do you plan to do on your next visit?
Next time I visit I will eat more fried chicken, go to more non-touristy places, and watch HYERPHLYY perform because they are amazing.