The Parisian version of Gay Pride (or the Marche des Fiertés LGBT in French) celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transexual individuals in a big way with a festival, fabulous parade, and plenty of parties in the City of Light. Marche des Fiertés LGBT has steadily grown in popularity over the years to become one of the city's most-anticipated annual festivals, drawing tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of people into the streets of Paris every June or July for a lively, colorful street party celebrating diversity.
More than just a Carnival-like festival, Paris Gay Pride has also served as an important platform for supporting full civil rights for LGBT people in France and around the world. While the annual Pride Parade and associated events are an opportunity for LGBT organizations to draw attention to key issues affecting gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, and celebrate newly acquired rights such as the right for same-sex couples to marry, Gay Pride is never a purely solemn affair—it's colorful, festive, and over-the-top fun.
What to Expect at Paris Pride
This is a joyful, sometimes a touch rowdy, but never intimidating event that brings together Parisians of all stripes—one that's not to be missed. Local politicians and celebrities are known to join the procession, and it's a bit like Carnival or Mardi Gras—colorful and willfully outrageous, full of music, dancing, creative drag, and floats. All are welcome—come as you are, and be prepared to live it up!
Make sure you're respectful, though—allies are always welcome, but remember that this is not a spectacle and the event belongs, rightfully so, to the LGBT community. Go if you want to take an active part in celebrating and showing your solidarity and support, even if only from the sidelines. Refrain if you're not supportive of gay rights or think of it as a humorous occasion to see people dressed in elaborate drag—that's not what Pride is all about.
2019 Paris Gay Pride Parade and Party Details
Marche des Fiertés LGBT (formerly known as Gay Pride) 2020 festivities will take place on Saturday, June 27, beginning at 2:00 p.m. with the parade dedicated to the progress of equal rights.
The parade, supported by hundreds of dedicated volunteers, begins at the Place de la Concorde (with the festivities extending over to the Place de la Madeleine), leaving from the area at 2 p.m. The procession will slowly wind down Rue de Rivoli, past the Tuileries Gardens and the Louvre, before turning north at Metro Chatelet and winding up to Place de la Republique at about 5 p.m., where the traditional dance party and musical program will be held. There will be free live concerts on the square from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Partying often spills into the very queer-friendly Marais district, where cafes, bars, and clubs often offer dinner and drink specials for the "fete."
A guide to the best gay, lesbian, and LGBT-friendly bars and clubs in Paris provides a shortlist of great spots to party till the wee hours of the morning. Suggestions include Rosa Bonheur in the Buttes Chaumont Park in northeast Paris where a mixed crowd enjoys partying on the massive outdoor terrace. Open Café, in the heart of the Marais, always draws gay crowds, primarily men. Look for happy hour specials throughout the evening and a fun time on the outside terrace where they serve burgers, sandwiches, and salads.
Paris is generally a very gay-friendly place, so whether you choose one of these spots specifically catering to an LGBT clientele; or any number of other clubs that are open to all, the ambiance is likely to be welcoming and fun.
In June and early July, there are pride events in France from Paris to Monaco. Year-round LGBT events in Paris will keep you entertained in the French capital including the Paris Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in December, pop-up dinners like Queer Food for Love, and more.