Gay Pride in Paris yesterday was long. Four miles of marching in the heat, with a parade that was two to three hours long if you stood in one point and watched it go by. The crowd is estimated by AFP to be in the tens of thousands.
Lots of great diversity and extravagant costumes, but also a lot of people who just jumped in and marched. The high-light was the lack of corporate floats, with just two at the end.
Photos and video after the jump.
This is around where I jumped out and started taking pictures. Amnesty International had just passed, I had to find a store with batteries, and I came back out to the death penalty abolition folks.
Then there was AIDeS, one of the larger groups.
There was lots of space for people not a part of any group to march along with the crowd with a lot of home-made signs. This one says: "My brother is gay and I'm proud of him."
Not only were there lots of home-made signs, but also lots of safer sex messages. I don't think I need to translate this one.
Then came the gay parents. This is big here - French gay activists' white whale is gay adoption and access to artificial insemination and surrogacy rights, not marriage. But four miles of marching in the heat was too much for the kids, so they got one of those little trains that does neighborhood tours.
Obama's message made it out here. I wondered how many of the people I saw with these signs really knew the baggage that sentence carries.
Now I'm not putting pictures of every float and group up here. Take any group of people and put "gay" in front of it and they were there. Also lots of unassociated drag queens looking beautiful in the heat.
And vendors. I'm not at all against vendors at Pride, but maybe these guys shouldn't have actually been in the parade? At least they put on rainbow flags.
The Democrates were way ahead of the other parties. I asked Alberto about them, since I had never heard of French Democrates. He said they're not that popular, kind of like rightwingers, but not as crazy or extreme. Sounds eerily familiar....
Also love the sign exclaiming how centrist they are. What do we want? Kind of a mix of what others want, but only not so much. When do we want it? Now!
The only groups I saw that identified themselves by nationality were the Swiss and the Brazilians. Switzerland brought cowbells, and Brazil brought drums.
This guy was a butterfly right in front of the trans truck. I imagine that was pretty heavy.
Then came the religions. First Jonathan/David, the gay Christian group here. Then the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
And gay Jews.
Then came another one of the bigger groups, the West Indians, led by a drag queen in a wedding dress.
And some more drag queens.
Then the professional associations started. Here are the gay police officers, who had squirt guns. (Get it? Because the police use real guns on the job, but here they just squirt water so it's fun.)
Hospital professionals. Their sign says "Orgasm donor." I wouldn't mind staying in that hospital.
Mass transit workers.
Now the fun groups start. These are LGBT deaf people, who clapped in sign language as they marched.
A few cars were devoted to the leather folks.
Now back to political parties. The Democrates were there (above) and here are the Greens. I didn't see the UMP or National Front (the two rightwing parties), but the Libertarians had a small group, as well as the Communists and the Socialists and the Democratic Socialists.
Now when I saw these girls, I asked Alberto, "Where are the other colors?" We saw Blue and Red a little while later in the parade, and Blue was completely trashed. We never did see Purple.
Everyone wanted to take their picture.
ACT-UP, one of the bigger groups there.
And, finally, da bears.
The last two floats were for Mamma Mia the play (coming to Paris this fall!) and Daihatsu. But they don't get their picture up here.