The Zhoosh! Brighton Blog
Ah, Gay Paris, the land of liberalism, intrigue and romance. Myself and my partner hoped to experience this when we visited Paris this week. And boy were we in for a treat.
Paris was truly a delight, a pure melting pot of cultural experience and limitless fun. Never in a place other than Brighton have we felt as relaxed to hold hands or kiss in public.
Although French public opinion towards homosexuality is somewhat mixed, as seen below, gay legislation has always been very ahead of the times. Let me hit you with some facts. Same sex acts have been legal in Paris since 1791, in contrast to the UK where this was implemented in 1967. Furthermore, any discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in employment or service, public or private, has been prohibited since 1985, whereas the UK only brought this into power in 2003, a mere 8 years ago.
In 2006, an Ipsos survey revealed some fairly liberal results: 62% support same-sex marriage, while 37% were opposed. Also, 45% believe gay and lesbian couples should have parenting rights, while 44% think same-sex couples should be able to adopt.
Notably, the current mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, publicly revealed his homosexuality in 1998, before his first election in 2001. All in all, reasonably open-minded some may say.
Now back to personal opinion. We had a lovely time, especially in the gay cafés of Paris. A particular favourite was the Little Café, in which we were greeted warmly and felt really at home. This ickle place was buzzing even though it was a Monday night, and we were purposely seated next to an American couple so we could chat to them. The place ticked all the boxes, and it was a lovely change from having to shout to each other across a noisy bar or lip read in a jam packed club.
We also partook in some gay bar action. Going to the 3W Kafé, this cool, quirky ‘Women with Women’ bar couldn’t be any clearer. Not being able to speak the lingo does make it tricky to enjoy the bars and clubs as much as would have liked, my broken french and my girlfriend’s penchant for randomly throwing some Spanish into the conversation, as much as it amused the locals didn’t quite equal a rocking night. It was an incredibly interesting experience however, and one which would love to do again, perhaps when we can speak the lingo a little better!
Paris is definitely somewhere I’d go back to, not just because of its open-mindedness, but because of its beautiful architecture, gardens and laid back vibe. Oooh la la indeed.