mercredi 8 avril 2009

One of the lucky ones

Yesterday evening, I sneaked out of work early and met up with le Parisien before he went off to his evening class.

It being such a lovely evening, and with two hours to kill before class, we decided to go for a stroll. The sun was shining, the temperature was balmy and it would have been a pity to have sat inside some café looking out at it, or squeezing onto a hot and smoky terrasse.

Anyway, we'd met at place Sainte Opportune, and so decided that we'd take a stroll around the nearby Marais. The Marais is traditionally the Jewish part of town, and now it's also the heartland of gay Paris.

We walked for the best part of two hours, chatting and laughing as we went.

I felt incredibly lucky.

Lucky to be walking with le Parisien? Not really. He's lovely and all that, but he's not why I felt so lucky, so blessed.

I felt lucky to be able to walk down the street with another man and not have to worry about his arm around me, or whether we could hold hands, or whether a stolen peck on the cheek would lead to us getting arrested, beaten up, killed.

For many other gay people around the world, life really isn't this easy. I appreciate how lucky I am to live in a reasonably enlightened society. Amazingly, homosexuality has been legal in France since 1791, so they've kind of had time to come to terms with the idea.

I'm not saying that France is perfect. It isn't. It's really not.

Equally, I appreciate that the Marais isn't representative of Paris, nor is Paris representative of France.

I understand that, instead of writing about how much this little bit of freedom makes me happy, I should be fighting for much more freedom.

But you know what? On a sunny April afternoon, with a handsome man at my side and the promise of the summer to come, I felt lucky to have this square mile of liberty.

Truly, I'm one of the lucky ones.

30 commentaires:

Henry North London a dit…

C'est Chouette ca Bonne Chance avec le mec parisien

Magdalena a dit…

I'm happy for you :)

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Henry, c'est vraiment chouette. En faite c'est trop top, supercool, formidable et inquiétant en même temps...héhé

Magdalena, thanks. Nice to see you here, btw...

laurie a dit…

but you are also lucky to be strolling paris with a handsome man.

here in the U.S. we are making progress, bit by bit. the state of iowa has legalized gay marriage. two days later, the state of vermont.

it's always two steps forward one step back, but the steps do keep going forward.

(i'm here from conor's blog, which i love. and i have long enjoyed your comments there, so i had to stop over and say hello.)

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Hi Laurie, I know, for that I'm lucky too. Although I like to think that he's the luckier of the two of us, he he.

And welcome to the blog, please feel free to come back again soon!

wontletlifedefineme a dit…

It's good to be in an accepting environment like that. I used to think the Netherlands was really tolerant, but with increasing violence against gays, specifically in Amsterdam, I'm not so sure anymore. But love is love, and who cares about gender?

conortje a dit…

and may I also add that he was also extremely lucky!

Pure Poser a dit…

aww.it's good to read blogs like this. makes me happy too!

you know where a better place would be? Brighton thats where!

or San Francisco come to think of it.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Marjolein, Netherlands is still better than many other countries, even within the EU it's up there.

Conortje, thanks. He sure IS a lucky boy, he he.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Poser, Brighton is good fun, but I'm not sure about the nude beach - I always worry that they're going to catch their death of cold...he he

Daryl a dit…

And now so are those who love in Iowa and as of yesterday Vermont ... how amazing is it that Iowa and Vermont are cooler than California?

travelling, but not in love a dit…

D, secretly they always have been cooler. But California is better at marketing.

2 down 48 to go, eh?

aims a dit…

Yes you are.

Even though gay marriage is legal in Alberta - you still don't see many (men) walking about holding hands or arm in arm. Women yes - men no.

So sad. I think everyone should be able to show their love for each other.

The Pixy Princess a dit…

Its a fight for us all I think, not just for one group or another. But part of the fight is to also appreciate the little victories - like your stroll in the park. I hope you had a great day! :)

PS: Found you though a comment on Laurie's blog!

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Aims, at least Alberta is pretty advanced on the marriage thing - in itself that's pretty major.

Pixy, hi. It's something that we all need to get behind, accepting people different to ourselves. It's a human thing, no?

cb a dit…

I'm so jealous!! And I can't wait to walk around le marais!!

travelling, but not in love a dit…

CB, hopefully the weather will be even better by then - today is grey and cold... :-(

Pure Poser a dit…

haha good point!

i reckon blackpool is worse- full of drunks, it's cold and it's just crap in general. no offence to anyone who lives there but i go every year and its just old now.

i'd rather be in brighton and nude than in blackpool fully clothed.

amy a dit…

I love that you met up in Sainte Opportune - so appropriate, somehow.

Your post made me happy! the guy was probably falling in love with you if he hadn't already...

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Poser, Blackpool sucks, you are not wrong dear.

Amy, I'm not sure anyone is falling in love just yet. The plot just seems to thicken a little every time is all. My options are firmly open....!

Rob Inukshuk a dit…

Hooray for the little places where gay people can walk hand-in-hand, like here in the Gaybourhood of Toronto, or Davie Village in Vancouver - still, I feel very self concious when Fab OH and I do hold hands...isn't that sad. Must remember that I'm lucky to be able to do so.

12ontheinside a dit…

Aww that sounds so sweet.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Rob, yup, remember how lucky that is, and then do it!

12oti - sweet yes. love? not sure...he he

Valleys Mam a dit…

nice to see your a happy Easter bunny
are you seeing you're squeeze over Easter.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

VM, he's got plans with friends, so I'm not seeing the squeeze. But I will be getting a squeeze, don't worry! It's all part of my 'keeping my options open' policy, he he

Margaret's Ramblings a dit…

Ye I'm thankful for my son that he lives in a country he can walk down the street in safety. Yes there is still a fair amount of prejudice but in the main British society is live and let live.

Margaret

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Margaret there's a lot of prejudice everywhere, but some of us have got a good deal - despite our complaining. An ideal world doesn't exist, but give me Paris or London over Tehran or Kabul anyday!

Your son sounds like he's lucky to have a Mom like you....x

Margaret's Ramblings a dit…

So I keep telling him, LOL

Margaret

Anthony a dit…

Holding hands with a man in public? Disgusting .....

travelling, but not in love a dit…

LaTanya, this is how we do it. You know?