Thousands of people in the streets of Paris for the pride march, June 25, 2022. THOMAS PADILLA / AP Unicorns, sequins, rhinestones and big sound: despite a very gray Parisian sky, the LGBTQ+ pride march has found colors, Saturday June 25, after two years tarnished by the Covid-19 pandemic. Shortly after 2:30 p.m., a compact crowd rushed from the golden gate (12th) towards the Place de la République, under a light rain and in a festive atmosphere as has generally been the case since the 1970s. Rainbow umbrellas and capes dotted the procession, between the various floats of associations or LGBTQ + communities of companies like Air France or SNCF. The authorities, who anticipated a mobilization of 25,000 to 35,000 people in the capital, had decided to strengthen security the day after the fatal shooting in Oslo near a gay club. But there was no concern among the participants. Several of them displayed signs “free hug” (free hug), called to “imagine life gayly” or even proclaimed: “we are not monsters”. Around the procession, sellers of hats, flags, whistles and other rainbow-colored goodies supplied the troops. Against transphobic violence The slogan chosen this year by the collective association Inter-LGBT, which is organizing this march, is: “Our bodies, our rights, your faces! “A virulent formula assumed which aims in particular to protest against the “trivialization” of “LGBTQIphobic and especially transphobic speech”, too often ignored by the public authorities, according to them. The march is also in solidarity with Ukraine. As a symbol, it was Anna, a lesbian activist from this country at war since February 24, who was the first to speak in the head square. Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Discrimination persists against LGBT employees “There are two situations that really changed my life: a very bad coming out twelve years ago and then the war”, she testified in French, rejoicing to be in front of “free and courageous people” and calling for support. Other speeches followed to denounce homophobia, but also to worry about the rise of the far right, to highlight the fate of LGBTQ + migrants or to be moved by the decision, Friday, of the US Supreme Court to revoke the right to abortion. An activist also insisted that the march is “a great moment of protest” and not “a big colorful party with good music”. Alternative marches But in the crowd, the atmosphere was joyful. Coming from Dawn with his wife, Sandrine Martineau, 51, feathered headdress, said she was “proud” and “blown away” by the crowds. Many young people were present, like Sandra Vail, 19, “proud to represent the LGBT community” and to “show that love has no sex”. Not far from there, Eloise, 15, who came from Etampes with friends for her first walk, heard “say that we are here, that we exist” and was delighted to spend some time with other LGBTQ+ because ‘“at college, there aren’t many people…”. Sequins of rhinestones stuck on the forehead, Jennifer Than, 22, for whom it was also a first, insisted on the fact that “you have to accept everyone and that’s it! “. Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Pride march: “From now on, LGBT + activists who carry out a radical discourse can influence more institutional organizations” In the afternoon, the organizers had planned three minutes of silence in tribute to the victims of the AIDS. A concert was also on the menu at the end of the day with a hundred artists including Bilal Hassani, former candidate of France for Eurovision. In addition to this usual demonstration, alternative marches have appeared in recent years, displaying other slogans and demands, often more protesting. On June 4, a thousand people marched in Saint-Denis for the second “suburban pride”. And on June 19, according to the associations, there were some 50,000 in Paris at the anti-capitalist and anti-racist “Radical Pride”. The World with AFP
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