Did you miss Gaycation this week? You can catch up right now, on SBS On Demand.
By
Stephanie Marie Anderson

5 Feb 2017 - 4:38 PM  UPDATED 24 Aug 2017 - 2:07 PM

1. Le Marais is the famous gay district in Paris

The epicentre of gay pride in France Le Marais has been a gay district since the 80's. Mostly a district for gay men, the men Ian Daniels speaks to say that it's easy to be gay in Paris, especially in comparison with more conservative areas like Boulogne and the 93.

2. France saw marriage equality become a reality in 2013, but the fight for equality is far from over

Edwin Nasr is orginally from Lebanon, but is now a rising voice in the fight to make minority issues visible. He runs an organisation holding an alternative to Paris's Gay Pride called Pride De Nuit--Night Pride. While Paris' gay pride parade has become increasingly depoliticised, Nasr is fighting for visibility and politicisation, asking the government to recognise trans rights, and to help low socio-economic areas.

3. In the 1920s, a vibrant subculture for queer artists emerged in the underground world of the Parisian night life

We meet Bambi, a trans-cabaret performer who rose to stardom in the 1950s after leaving her home in Algeria. She tells us that to leave the house as a woman was illegal then, and it was "absolutely forbidden by the police to dress however you wanted". She says that the community stood their ground and eventually won.

4. There are small groups of queer feminist women who hold private events and underground parties

We learn that there used to be more public spaces for queer women, but "little by little" they closed. It can also be difficult being a queer woman in France, particularly if you're a woman of colour, due to a lack of mainstream visibility.

5. It's very difficult for queer women to have a baby

It's currently illegal for queer women and single women to go through any kind of assisted pregnancy (ie, with a sperm donor), to the extent that doctors can be jailed for even giving a woman the name of a doctor in another country who would help.

6. France still has legislation in place demanding sterilisation in order to receive gender confirmation surgeries for trans people

A trans man tells us that France is "very sexist" and "macho", which leads to a lot of transphobia. He says he has it easier because he can "cis-pass" but credits that to "the result of male privilege within a patriarchal society". We're told that transphobia exists in the LGB community, with one trans man saying "The LGBT community is for gay, white men and rich" people.

"Adding the T is just for show," agrees his friend.

7. LGBT+ people of colour have it hardest in France

Edwin Nasr tells us that the queer community excludes people of colour from conversations about equality.

He says: "It's harder to talk about these things in France because identity politics isn't really that respected. So, even like seeing people of colour is offensive to a normal French person. They don't acknowledge multiple narratives. There is one national common narrative - which is like this constant universalist - you're either French or you're not, and that's it. You don't get to have your own experiences. And people who don't fit into this are usually just marginalised." 

Miss Gaycation this week? You can catch up right now, on SBS On Demand: