Author Topic: Even in France *sigh*  (Read 1024 times)

Offline delalluvia

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Even in France *sigh*
« on: June 24, 2006, 12:07:08 pm »
This should go more in the 'Gay Haven' forum, but since I'm not gay, I decided to respect their privacy and post it here. (sorry I couldn't post the story, my highlight option on my mouse isn't working so good this morning).

Just sad.

Offline Kelda

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Re: Even in France *sigh*
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2006, 09:11:29 am »
Della.. c&p'd for you.

It is indeed very sad...

BOBIGNY, France (AFP) - When thousands march proudly through the streets of Paris on Saturday, young gays from the gritty housing estates where homosexuality is still taboo will be absent from the crowds.

"You won't see the gays from the suburbs at Gay Pride. They are too afraid that they'll be spotted on the evening news," said Boris, raised in the tough, sprawling tower blocks of northern Saint-Denis.

"In the suburbs you have to hide," said the 29-year-old, who fled to Paris as soon as he could to escape from a life of oppression and fear.

Verbal and physical violence coupled with daily harassment have forced many gays into living a double life, hiding their true sexuality from family and even friends.

The organisation SOS Homophobia revealed a disturbing picture of life for gays and lesbians in the housing projects in its annual 2006 report, saying homosexuality was misconstrued and often associated with paedophilia and        AIDS.

"I was never considered to be a homosexual in my town," said Boris, the son of Russian immigrants, who admitted that at times he too was given to displays of homophobic behaviour out of frustration.

"It's a terrible suffering to know that you are completely rejected by your environment," he said.

"When I began to accept myself at 17 or 18, I realized how important it was for me to leave my hometown."

Boris was lucky as his parents stood by him. For 24-year-old Najib it was a different story.

Three years ago he was beaten up and thrown out of the house when his father caught him with his boyfriend.

Today Najib doesn't have to hide any more as he's gained his independence, but he wouldn't dare bring his boyfriend back to meet his parents.

Gay nightlife in the suburbs is also lacking, with young people having to travel into clubs in Paris where they can enjoy a relative anonymity.

But "it's not easy from a guy from the estates with his running pants and trainers to be accepted in gay circles" in the French capital, said Sofiane, 23.

Cultural and economic differences make it hard for the two worlds to meet, agreed Stephane Schibikh, who has launched a magazine "Wesh City", to try to give the "estate gays" greater exposure.

"The gays from the (Paris upscale) Marais area are fighting for civil liberties, for marriage and adoption. The gays from the suburbs are above all fighting to be able to tell their parents and friends that they are gay," he said.

In some ways this weekend's Gay Pride, a kind of huge carnival which often spotlights a vast array of sexual practices, can be counter-productive.

"We want to achieve indifference by highlighting the differences. But how can you be accepted by showing off your sexual exploits," said Boris, who said he was shocked by some of the images he saw on marches.

Najib too has problems with the often lurid nature of the marches.

"The first problem is that people don't know what it means to be gay. Instead of militating, and demanding laws, we need to inform, and set up more community exchanges to fill in the gaps," he argued.

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