This past weekend, there were LGBT pride parades in a lot of cites. I had been to the one in NYC before, and it's wild. It's great fun to see the crazy costumes and body paint and gorgeous men dancing with very little clothes on.
Compared to that, the Paris parade was a bit of a letdown, with none of the fun Carnival-style flamboyance I've come to expect, and just a few racy costumes that turned my head. I was expecting a little more from the city where it was originally okay to be gay, and acceptance of countercultures was the norm. Gay people have flocked here from all over the world for ages because of this, and a Friday night trying to squeeze down Rue du Temple in the Marais will really wow you as to how big and diverse the community here is.
France just passed a law decreeing that it's okay for gays to marry, so there was extra reason to celebrate. I was kind of shocked- I thought that would have been the norm here ages ago.
The parade starts at Montmartre and ends at Bastille, where the square around the pillar is closed to traffic and an impossibly loud thumping dance party goes on until the wee hours.