For 33 years, Andre Du Broc has called George’s Place in Baton Rouge his home.
“People need a place like this to be accepted and to find that family that we all need to feel supported” Du Broc said.
As an 18-year-old gay man living in the deep south during the 1980’s George’s gave Du Broc the sense of family and community he needed.
“George’s has supplied that place where people can be accepted, be themselves, find that family when they might not have a family of their own” Du Broc said.
It’s a similar story for K.D. Linkous Smith who moved to Baton Rouge 15 years ago and immediately found his home at George’s.
“There’s nothing like it” said Linkous-Smith. “There really isn’t anything like it. It was some place in a man’s backyard and he left it to trusting people and they built upon it” Linkous-Smith said.
Opened nearly half a century ago, one year after the Stonewall RIots in New York turned the tide for gay rights in America, George’s established itself as a safe place who never turned away a stranger.
Today, George’s is one of the oldest gay bars in the state, if not the region and the country. It’s that same sense of community that kept George’s going for Baton Rouge’s LGBT community and their allies.
“It’s the people” said Linkous-Smith. You surround yourself with people who love. It’s beyond- yea it opened as a gay bar for safety for the older generation but now you surround yourself with people and nothing but love and you can love in return” he said.
This week, Baton Rouge Pride is celebrating its inaugural pride week- a week full of events celebrating pride, diversity and advocacy. For George’s Place, it’s also a time to look back on 49 years of proudly serving the Capital City and beyond.
“What they did was created a community, and they created a group of people who can be a community within these four walls and it’s because of that we can progress and make it even better every day” Linkous-Smith said.
Baton Rouge Pride culminates on Saturday, June 15 with a full day celebration at the Raising Cane’s River Center.