Pride isn’t just a parade. It’s a movement and a zeitgeist, not only in New Orleans but also across the United States and beyond.
The celebrity grand marshals of the 2015 New Orleans Pride parade – Reed Kelly and Josh Canfield (you may recognize them from Survivor 29) – experienced New Orleans Pride through a variety of events, all with sweeping themes of tolerance and warmth.
Of course, it’s also an opportunity to have some fun and explore New Orleans as a loving couple. Kelly and Canfield had a little downtime to experience New Orleans’ romantic side. What might that entail? For Kelly, it probably includes historic architecture. “He’s always like, ‘Oh, look at that balcony, it’s very Parisian!’” says Canfield, laughing.
But Kelly’s overall top romantic pick is simple: “Spending quality time with my fiancé,” he says. “Doing that in the city has been amazing.
Watch the video below for an inside look at Canfield and Kelly’s full Pride experience.
The 2018 New Orleans Pride Festival takes place June 8 – 10.
New Orleans Pride Video Transcript
Josh Canfield: “You know what’s funny? Like, two years ago when we were dating, I told Reed I don’t … I don’t wanna be, like, a poster-child for like, ‘Gay.'”
Reed Kelly: He was like, ‘I don’t know if I wanna be … you know like … out in front of a parade holding a banner’ … And then literally yesterday…”
Canfield: “He was like ‘by the way, you know that you’re at the front of a parade waving a banner and the person being like, ‘We’re gay!'”
Canfield: “We are known as the Broadway Boyfriends from Survivor. Now we’re the Broadway fiances.”
Kelly: “We’re thrilled to be down here as the Celebrity Grand Marshals for New Orleans Gay Pride Festival.”
Canfield: “We’d both been here before, like younger: under the drinking age, under 21. You get a different experience as a child in New Orleans than you do as an adult, so we were both really looking forward to this trip just to enjoy what New Orleans really has to offer. And Reed’s also really into architecture and things like that.”
Kelly: “Gay!” (laughing)
Canfield: “So we’ll be walking down the street and he’s always like, ‘Oh look at that balcony, it’s very Parisian, and how this goes,’ and I’m like ‘Yeah … that is interesting … it’s a great balcony.'”
Kelly: “Personally, I’ve really enjoyed that but also, spending quality time with my fiancé, doing that in the city has been amazing.”
Canfield: “I think being down here you immediately feel different, and you’re like ‘What is that?’ People are just wanting to start up conversations with you.”
Kelly: We were standing outside of a house and the owner came out and said hi, and he was like, ‘Come on in, I’ll give you a tour!’ No one would invite you in New York City into their apartment!
Kelly: “For us, being Celebrity Grand Marshal was kind of being an ambassador for New Orleans Pride Festival, which was great. There’s so much more to Pride than just like everyone going out and partying all the time.”
Canfield: “Pride Parades around the country are very important, because at the foundation it was showing people that we were here and that we were proud to be gay. And that it’s OK to be gay.”
Kelly: “It’s about coming out there and being authentic and taking your place in the community.”
Canfield: Let’s see, what did we do?
Kelly: “Went to the park! It had such a family atmosphere to it. You had people out there listening to bands, kids running around playing ball, you know, like, families pushing strollers.”
Canfield: “I mean, there were snow cones!”
Kelly: “There were snow cones! I mean, my mouth was bright red. His was blue.”
Canfield: “I was blue.”
Kelly: “The Parade! Oh my gosh, it was crazy!”
Canfield: “I’d never done a parade before. It was so much fun for me to be up on a float. Doing the wave, you know!”
Kelly: “It’s going to be one of those things that I always look back on and am like, ‘Dude we got to throw beads in a parade in New Orleans!’ When you have pride and you’re out there and you’re having a parade, you’re saying we’re here and we have a presence in the community and it’s important to be recognized.”
Canfield: “That’s what Pride is, you know?”
Kelly: “It’s visibility.”
Canfield: “Exactly. It’s so much more than just a parade.”
Kelly: “People came out in droves and it was awesome. And it wasn’t just gay people there.”
Canfield: “It was gays, straights, just everyone. And everyone was just so excited and having so much fun. Everyone was smiling and waving and cheering and you were like, ‘What a great city!'”