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One Hundred Per Cent Tolerance for Humanity of Every Persuasion

Eight year old speaking against 0 tolerance policy in Paris

Democrats Abroad Vigil - Paris, France

Banksy Murals in Paris - France24 Photo by AFP

Gay Pride 2018 - Paris, FranceGay Pride 2018 – Paris

Gay Pride - Paris, France

Gay Pride - Paris, France

Gay Pride - Paris, France

Gay Pride - Paris, France

Gay Pride - Paris, France

"Ticket de Métro, landing strip"


I didn’t get choked up until the eight-year-old got up to speak. She corrected her mother by informing us all that she was, in fact, eight-and-three-quarters years old, to which we chuckled. But it was clear that this young woman was destined to become a lawyer or a congresswoman or an advocate or activist or whatever…but she had both gumption and conviction, not to mention opinion.

Even the famous street artist, Banksy, Popped Up in Paris with powerful political-statement murals, although targeted toward the European immigration crisis, and not America’s. (See the article in 

The young lady’s speach was part of the “Keep Families Together Candlelight Vigil” Friday night sponsored by Democrats Abroad at Place de la République. A small group of those who feel the need to do something, anything, showed up to hear a few speeches and light candles. While the message was loud and clear that this group is horrified by the U.S. zero tolerance immigration Policy that has separated children from their parents and a whole host of unspeakable crimes against humanity*, the number one message is to vote!

Come this November, we have an opportunity to change the course of history by voting during the mid-term elections, from home or abroad. Federal offices that are up for election during the midterms are members of the Congress, including all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, and the full terms for 33 or 34 of the 100 seats in the Senate. In addition, 34 of the 50 U.S. states elect their governors to four-year terms during midterm elections, while Vermont and New Hampshire elect governors to two-year terms in both midterm and presidential elections. Thus, 36 governors are elected during midterm elections. Many states also elect officers to their state legislatures in midterm years. There are also elections held at the municipal level. On the ballot are many mayors, other local public offices, and a wide variety of citizen initiatives. (Source:

Midterm elections usually generate lower voter turnout than presidential elections, but I’ll bet this year will be a record turn-out – at least it needs to be if we’re going to make a difference. It is not unusual for the midterms to result in the president’s party losing seats in Congress and his opponents to gain power. If not, we could have two or six more years of an America we don’t recognize.

Those of us living abroad, who are immigrants in our respective countries, just like those who make up the foundation of the United States (weren’t your parents or grandparents immigrants to the U.S. like mine?), can easily vote from outside the U.S. Just click here and do it now! 

*Special note: “‘Crimes against humanity’ are certain acts that are deliberately committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack or individual attack directed against any civilian or an identifiable part of a civilian population. The first prosecution for crimes against humanity took place at the Nuremberg trials. Crimes against humanity have since been prosecuted by other international courts (for example, the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and the International Criminal Court) as well as in domestic prosecutions. The law of crimes against humanity has primarily developed through the evolution of customary international law. Crimes against humanity are not codified in an international convention, although there is currently an international effort to establish such a treaty, led by the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative.” (Source:


It happens to me every year. After wading upstream through the Gay Pride Parade to almost the end, realizing that there are thousands and thousands and thousands of people parading under the rainbow colors, punctuated by dozens of floats, I think, “I’m I the only straight person in Paris?”

Every year I have the habit of organizing a gathering of friends to drink and “schmooze” at a café near the end of the Gay Pride Parade to wait for it to land there. Once at its final destination, usually Place de la Bastille or in recent years, Place de la République, some or all of us, leave and hit the crowd on the streets. I like to walk against the parade so that within an hour I can see the whole thing and take pictures along the way.It’s impossible not to smile and laugh the entire time. Impossible. Everyone is having loads of fun, except perhaps the drag queens wearing mile-high platform shoes that have been killing them for the last three-plus hours during the entire trek! I noticed this year that there were more women than ever before, many of which were exposing their breasts and even one woman who was entirely nude, with her panties around her thighs looking like the garters while she exposed her landing strip (ticket de Métro) style bikini wax.

Anything goes. Anything. Monsieur Papillon dons his wings every year. The RATP float glides by every year. The drag queens love to have their pictures taken and will stop at every opportunity to pose. There is dancing in the streets. All the way home, after I’d seen and laughed enough, I sang the song written by William Stevenson, Ivory Joe Hunter et Marvin Gaye that so many recording artists sang and made famous:

It doesn’t matter what you wear,  just as long as you are there
So come on, every guy, grab a girl, everywhere, around the world
They’ll be dancing, dancing in the street
It’s an invitation across the nation, a chance for folks to meet
They’ll be laughing and singing, music swinging
Dancing in the street

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds - Paris, France

Adrian Leeds
Adrian Leeds Group


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P.S. Coming up at the next Après Midi, Tuesday July 10, Kathleen Spivack  will read from her latest novel “Unspeakable Things,” which deals with refugees from Eastern Europe coming over to New York during World War II. Details on our Après Midi page. Make your plans toattend now!


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