Paris Gay Pride (“Marche des Fiertés” in French) has steadily grown in popularity over the years to become one of the city’s most coveted yearly festivals, drawing tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of people into the streets of Paris every June for a lively, colorful street party celebrating diversity and underlining the importance of gaining full civil rights for LGBT people– in France and around the world.
While the annual Pride Parade and associated events are an opportunity for LGBT organizations to draw attention to key issues affecting gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals, and celebrate newly acquired rights such as the right for same-sex couples to marry (in France), Gay Pride is never a solemn march. This is a strikingly giddy event that brings together Parisians of all stripes, and not to be missed. Local politicians and celebrities are known to join the procession, and it’s a bit like Carnival: colorful and willfully over the top. All are welcome!
GAY PRIDE PARIS 2015: FROM THE LUXEMBOURG TO PLACE DE LA REPUBLIQUE
On June 27, 2015, the Gay Pride started at the Jardin de Luxembourg, the historical and local favorite park between Saint Germain and the Latin Quarter. The parade marched on to République, by way of Ile Saint Louis, one of the two islands of Paris, and Bastille.
The parade ended at around on Place de la République. But don’t think that this marks the end of the Gay Pride. On the contrary, the party is only about to start. After a few speeches, live music or DJs perform on the large podium. After that, special after-parties are organized in certain Parisian venues: Le Yoyo, le Gibus, le Redlight, le Club 79.
HISTORY: REMEMBERING THE STONEWALL RIOTS
On the 28th of June 1969, the police stormed into the mafia owned Stonewall inn, a gay bar in New York City. The raid turned into a violent battle between the gay community and the police. It is now considered as the starting point of gay and lesbian emancipation. Brenda Howard, the “Mother of Pride” and leader of the Gay Liberation Front, organized the first commemorations of the Stonewall Riots in 1970. The first European Gay Pride took place in Münster, Germany, in 1972, with 200 participants.
See the exclusive clip that captures the event in all its glory below:
Photo and video by Milla Cochran. All Rights Reserved.