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02 January 2020

Marsha Naquin-Delain (1953 - 2017) publisher, community activist

Marsha was raised as Marion Greeson in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  His mother Betty Greeson was a cop, and Marion came out to her at age 15 – although they agreed not to mention the fact to his father, a high-school football coach.  His first boyfriend was his mother’s hairstylist. 

Marsha & Rip 1972
In 1973, on a weekend trip to New Orleans Marion met Rip Naquin (1954 – 2017) on Bourbon Street. They soon moved in with each other in Baton Rouge, and Marion became Marsha Naquin-Delain.  They started two gay publications that ultimately failed.  Their third attempt was Ambush Magazine.  Originally it covered Baton Rouge and north Louisiana, until 1985 when they moved to New Orleans.  

In 1986 they acquired the building at 828 Bourbon Street.  The ground floor was the office of Ambush Magazine and Naquin and Delain lived upstairs.  They have been active in Southern Decadence, PFLAG, LGBT+ Archives of Louisiana.  They founded the carnival Krewe of Queenateenas, and participated in the Gay Easter Parade.

When New Orleans introduced same-sex domestic partnerships in 1993, Naquin and Delain were the first to be registered.   In 2013 they were married in St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York on their 40th anniversary.   

Rip died age 63 in August 2017 of liver failure.  Marsha died four months later – some say of a broken heart.

·         Frank Perez & Jeffrey Palmquist. In Exile: The History and Lore Surrounding New Orleans Gay Culture and Its Oldest Gay Bar. LL-Publications, 2012: 131-2.
·         Cathy Hughes. “Rip Naquin, a leader in New Orleans' LGBT community, dies at 63”  The Times-Picayune, Aug 10, 2017. Online
·         Frank Perez.  “Obituary: Marsha Naquin-Delain”.  Ambush Magazine, February 27, 2018.  Online

_________________________

Ambush Magazine is still going.   
I did not find any statement to the effect that Marsha considered herself transgender.  Certainly she did not change her legal gender to female so that she and RIP could marry before 2013.
In the two articles by Frank Perez the pronouns referring to Marsha drift from male to female.

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