Last Saturday, Paris wasn’t only the most beautiful city: it was, as well, the most colourful. Paris was proud. More than half a million people from everywhere attended the Gay Pride of the french capital.
Created in 2001, thousands of people gather each year in the streets of Paris for the event. LGBT Pride events are one of a kind; you have to see it at least once to understand what all that is about. It’s a huge party with a loud statement and one simple goal: earning equality and respect.
The parade in France called Marché des Fiertés LGBT left from Place de la Concorde at 2pm, travelled along the historic Rue de Rivoli, passed the Louvre, and then turned at Boulevard Sébastopol to go through the central district of Châtelet-les-Halles. Finally, it took Boulevard Saint-Martin arriving at around 5pm in Place de la République, where there was a concert and the final grand podium from 5pm to 10pm.
Even if it was too busy in the streets and incredibly hot, there was a fantastic atmosphere: people were smiling and dancing non-stop. It was a day of celebration: it is such a nice thing to celebrate love, to feel the support of some many people, to share the happiness of freedom and make it yours.
Some attendees stopped in the bars to watch the TV screens: that same afternoon France played in the World Cup against Argentina. French people were double proud, Argentinians not that much. It may be a coincidence, but the theme on this year’s event was ‘homophobia in sport’. Anyway, the very real protagonist of the day wasn’t the football, but the rainbow flag.
The party continued all night long in the gay district Le Marais -as usual with much more options for gays than for lesbians- and some surprises arrived in the early morning, when transport revisors profited this event -and first day of month- to collect money from disoriented post-proud people.
Anyway, the LGTB celebrations don’t stop here. From 4 – 12 Aug, Paris will also be hosting the 10th edition of the Gay Games, ten days of sporting events “open to everyone regardless of the level”.
> Mar Martínez