For LGBT visitors, Paris offers an above-average number of things to do, including some great yearly events. The city of light is a place where barriers are few and ghettoes are largely a thing of the past, and events like the annual pride parade are among Paris' most popular and widely-attended by Parisians of all stripes. Gay, lesbian, bi, trans, or genderqueer travelers will have no trouble finding things to do in Paris, though they should by no means feel restricted to "gay-themed" spots and events. It's a largely friendly city. So whether you're queer, straight, or eschew labels altogether, use this guide to learn more about what to do in the city of light.
Looking for a great night out on the town? Consult our shortlist of the best bars and clubs either catering to a queer crowd, or featuring a friendly mixed atmosphere.
More a huge street party than a traditional march, the annual LGBT Pride Parade (Marché des Fiertés) is one of Paris' most popular events, each year drawing at least half a million people into the streets for serious dancing, flaunting, and celebrating. Dozens of floats, many of them equipped with sound systems and energetic dancers, lead the procession from the right bank to the left. Paris' openly gay former mayor Bertrand Delanoe has been known in past years to make an appearance, along with other politicians. Street and bar parties in the Marais or Bastille usually follow.
Read related feature: Where to Party After Gay Pride (Best Bars and Clubs)
PopinGays is an association that organizes semi-monthly rock, pop, and indie dance nights that are queer-themed and open to everyone. Talented DJs make for fun and memorable evenings. Follow the link to the agenda-- it's in French but you can hit the "translate page" button on Google to find details on the next parties.
From the Popingays website: "We like girls who like girls, and girls who like boys, and boys who like boys, and boys who like girls. We like everyone else too. We like rock, pop, and indie (...) We like exposing as many people as we can to this music. (...) We like the rainbow in all its guises. We like these colors because they symbolize diversity. We like diversity because it is a source of life (...)"
Paris Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
Generally held in December at the Forum d'Images cinema at Les Halles in the city center, the Paris Gay and Lesbian Film Festival is a lively week-long event where screenings of noteworthy GLBT-themed and directed films attract large crowds. Showing everything from commercial romantic comedies to experimental, documentary, and adult films, Paris' film festival is another event that's always hotly anticipated and much-talked-about.
For the current year's screenings and special events, watch the event website for updates.
Paris Feminist and Lesbian Film Festival
Offering an exciting program of film screenings, exhibits, concerts, and conferences, the annual Paris Feminist and Lesbian Film Festival, organized by the association Cineffable, is one of the year's most important events for those interested in women's issues and/or queer women. The festival is well-known for its screenings of push-the-envelope films, as well as for its musical acts and timely debates.
For information on the current year's program, check the event website for updates.
The brand-new Gay and Lesbian Theater Festival promises to bring more exposure to GLBTQ artists and issues in Paris and offers a diverse palette of talent. While most of the performances are in French and so may limit some visitors' ability to follow, this new event is still worth checking out.
For the current year's event dates and program, check the event website for updates.
Paris' most beloved queer-themed collective dinner, Queer Food for Love brings together a set of wickedly-talented volunteer cooks who whip up delicious vegan and vegetarian meals and serve them up with flair and...well, love. This is far more Berkeley co-op than Paris, with colored picnic tables tucked around the Rotisserie, a collective kitchen that lends itself to a different association each night.
Dates and times vary: see the official site for more info on upcoming pop-up dinner nights (In French only-- use Google Translate if necessary!)
La Nouvelle Rotisserie
4 rue Jean et Marie Moinon, 75010.
Also see: QFFL San Francisco