LGBT Life & Retirement in France

  • LGBT Life & Retirement in France

    Posted by Mark Goldstein on September 2, 2020 at 3:31 PM

    France is often cited as one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world. In 2013, it became the thirteenth country to legalize gay marriage and several laws have been passed in recent years which prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

    In 2001, Paris became the first European capital to elect an openly gay mayor, Bertrand Delanoë, and the city maintains its status as the most welcoming city in France for the LGBTQ+ community. The well-to-do neighborhood of Le Marais is the center of gay and lesbian nightlife, but you’ll find LGBTQ+ friendly venues all throughout Paris. One Parisian source noted that the city was so open that the only challenge residents may have is “working out where straight Paris ends and gay Paris starts”.

    The streets of Ste-Croix de la Bretonnerie and des Archives, and eastwards to rue Vieille du Temple, have a good selection of cafés and clubs, catering to a gay clientele, while the area around rue des Écouffes is known for its lesbian scene. Gay hang-outs include Café Cox and El Hombre, while good Lesbian spots can be found at 3w Kafé and La Champmeslé.

    Paris hosts a large and well-attended Gay Pride Day in late June of every year with an annual Pride Parade (Marche des Fiertés) which winds its way through Le Marais neighborhood. The rest of the year is equally packed with events that attract a local and international crowd – including the Festival of LGBT cultures in January, the “Festival de films d’artistes sur le queer” (Queer Film festival) ( in March/April. The Chéries-Chéris film festival (, the Marais Film Festival, and the Paris International Lesbian & Feminist Film Festival ( are all held in April. The website provides a comprehensive listing of gay resources and events happening in France (in French).

    Visitors and Paris residents can also take tours in English of the capital’s “Gaybourhood” thanks to the tour company Gay Locals ( which gives participants an insider’s look at the venues and the local personalities which have shaped this vibrant neighborhood.

    The Centre LGBT Paris-Île de France ( is known as the best resource for the LGBTQ+ community in Paris. With a large library on-site and a café for meet-ups, the organization all helps with access to gay and gay-friendly medical services, activist associations, and hotlines.

    Keeping in pace with its northern neighbor, the Côte d’Azur city of Nice has proclaimed itself the Gay Capital of the French Riviera, and for good reason. A rainbow flag, or a rainbow sticker, has been placed in the windows of cafés, restaurants, and shops after these establishments have completed a training course administered by the city of Nice – in order to be recognized as LGBTQ+ friendly. Other contacts in the area include Libreria Vigna, a lesbian-owned bookstore in the Nice’s historic center, and Caram’Elles (, which provides activities and connections for lesbians living in the French Riviera area. One of the signature LGBTQ+ events in Nice is the Rencontres In & Out, a gay and lesbian film festival held in the city every June, and the Dolly Party, a street party organized by the Côte d’Azur LGBT center (

    Several other, larger cities, like Lyon and Montepellier, are known for their gay-friendly climates. Over 20 French towns, including Tours, Marseille, and Aix-en-Provence, organize annual pride events.

    Although France has a generally very welcoming environment for the LGBTQ+ community, it’s important to note that small towns and villages tend to be less open climates for different communities in general. Likewise, LGBTQ+ couples should be cautious after dark in some areas around Paris; namely the areas around metro stops Les Halles, Chatelet, Gare du Nord, Stalingrad, Jaures, Belleville, and around the city’s northern and eastern borders – which have been known to harbor criminal activity after dark.

    Mark Goldstein replied 3 years, 8 months ago 1 Member · 0 Replies
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