Marching for Equality with Pride

Democrats Abroad Marching Against Proposition 8

Marching for Equality with Pride

Parler Paris Nouvellettre®
Your taste of life in Paris and France
Monday, June 29, 2009
Paris, France

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Dear Parler Paris Reader,

The warm weather couldn’t have been a better stage setting for the annual Paris Gay Pride Parade Saturday. It’s become a habit to meet friends at the Café Français at the Bastille to drink their overpriced “Kir Peche” and wait for the parade to come in. It’s here that the floats and paraders collapse after several hours of merriment, having started the route at Montparnasse.

It is also a habit to abandon the table once we hear the first sounds of the approach of the parade and work our way down boulevard Henri IV going against the parade and into it, armed with our cameras and our smiles…impossible to refrain them from our faces. There is simply one hilarious sight after another and an amazing level of high spirit among the paraders and observers.

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Parler Paris Nouvellettre® continued…

Each year’s sights and sounds tend to blend into one another, as there are the ‘usual’ floats that appear year after year (Durex, Air France, RATP, etc.) and there is always a fine showing of every sort of sexual being on the planet. In fact, one of the most wonderfully refreshing aspects of the parade is that once the sea of humanity in all its colors has passed before your eyes, you easily forget to mentally ‘label’ anyone as gay, straight, transsexual, transvestite, lesbian, black, white, brown, pink or any term you might have thought of previously. It’s androgyny in its finest form.

Perhaps that’s the point of it all…and if you’re paying attention to your own inner self, it will make its mark on you, too.

Nudity is commonplace and discerning the real breasts from the implanted ones gets tough after a while. Tall men/women(?) become even taller in their exaggerated platform shoes, which are painful for such a long trek (when the parade is over one can often spot the same costumed paraders carrying them while walking barefoot through the streets). Those who have ‘dressed’ for the occasion spend their entire march stopping to pose for pictures.

Democrats Abroad was well represented with a large group carrying posters of Barack Obama marching against Proposition 8 — a controversial California ballot proposition that passed and took effect on November 5, 2008 changing the California Constitution which now reads: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

“This change restricted the definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples, and eliminated same-sex couples’ right to marry, thereby overriding portions of the ruling of In re Marriage Cases by ‘carving out an exception to the preexisting scope of the privacy and due process clauses’ of the state constitution. The proposition did not affect the existing domestic partnerships registry.” (

The campaigns both for and against Proposition 8 was the highest-funded campaign in any state ballot and surpassed every campaign spending except for the presidential campaign. And as you see, continues to haunt those opposed.

Children were ‘out’ along with their parents of all persuasions and there was special tribute to Michael Jackson, his music ringing out throughout the length of the parade from many of the floats. It was touching and we all remembered him with particular sadness.

Still, the sun shone brightly on Paris that afternoon as the revelers continued on into the night, particularly centered around rue des Archives near where rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie meets up with it and where one finds the local gay ‘watering holes,’ the “Open Café” and “Cox Bar.” It’s here that the ‘real’ action takes place!

Now, that’s what I call “the REAL parade route!”

Have some fun with these two videos from the wildly nutty afternoon…

If you don’t see the video, click here.

Or if you don’t see the second one, click here!

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris with Parler Paris team member Joe Soileau and other Dems Abroad

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Write From the Imaginative Storm
with James Navé and Allegra Huston


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Taos, New Mexico: August 2-8, 2009
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Costa Rica: October 31 – November 6, 2009

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