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.