EUROpride - Last of PARIS!
Loads of info was available on the huge EUROpride celebration set for June
19-29 this year in Paris. Upon our return home, we decided to launch
www.gayeuro.com, the European sister site to AMBUSHonLINE's highly successful www.gayamerica.com. This new travel site gives the latest info and links to the best in GLBT Europe.
Following is the official info on EUROpride.
For quite a while now, every year has had its Gay Pride. Last year, 150,000 people were in Paris. More are expected this year.
The Paris 97-Europride will not be a mere street demonstration, but a series of events in the spheres of culture, sport, associations and entertainment - by which Paris will be " The Pink City," from June 19-29, 1997. Following is a list of activities during the 11 day convocation.
The EuroGames June 19-23
Paris welcomes the 5th European Gay and Lesbian Sports Tournament. For the first time, the Tournament takes place in the same city as EuroPride.
3,500 competitors, beginners and confirmed athletes, will be in the French Capital between June 19 and 28 for a three-day very special competition.
They will compete in 13 different sports-Basketball, Volleyball, Tennis, Martial Arts, Swimming, "Petanque," Football, Hand Ball, Table tennis, Mountain Bike Cycling, Running, Bowling, Badminton-not to mention sport shows in Rugby, Rowing, Wrestling, Squash, Chess and Cheer Leading. No elitism, no unfair selection, no segregation. Everybody is welcome. Events always take place in a "spirit esprit" of conviviality and friendship, seldom observed in professional sport.
The EuroGames are directly in line with the Gay Games, created by American Decathlete Tom Wadell. The Games are meant to assemble gays and lesbians from all over the world, in an area from which they have often felt excluded: Sport. The first kick-off was in San Francisco in 1982. The first EuroGames took place in The Hague in 1992. The Games will be punctuated by a few outstanding events: Opening Ceremony, Special Parties and Giant Closing Brunch. Sport celebrities have agreed to patronize the event, and have formed a EuroGames Patronage Committee.
The EuroSalon June 25-28
The 97 EuroSalon (formerly called "Salon de l'homosocialite"-The Fair of Homo-sociality- and organized by the "Gai Pied group") is an exhibition of gay and lesbian lifestyles. It is held from Wed., June 25 to Sun., June 29 at Pelouse de Reuilly, under the PARIS 97 label.
The EuroSalon is a place for meeting, exchanging ideas and festivity. It is a place where people meet, where one delights in strolling about, but also learns, explores, argues, and speaks of gay topical subjects. In this enormous hall, organized in theme areas, one can find the most essential of gay and lesbian lifestyles.
The 97 EuroSalon will gather 150 exhibitors, associations and businesses from all over the world, in different theme areas such as "health," "leisure," "travel" and "services." Many activities are programmed for the exhibition such as debates, specific exhibitions, shows, artist promotion, video screenings, to be held in the central forum and in the different agoras. A cafe will be in the hall, with drinks and light food.
The salon opens on Wed., June 25 at 2 pm, and closes on Sun., June 29 at 5 pm.
The Parade June 28-1 pm
In the last decade, Gay-Pride participants doubled each year. Their number grew from 5,000 to 10,000, and the following years to 20,000, 40,000 and eventually 150,000 last year. This year again, record numbers are expected.
The Parade allows gays and lesbians to show they are like any other citizen and claim legal recognition of equal rights regarding - among other things - couples and children. They also remind State Authorities of the urge for greater involvement in the war against AIDS. It is not the Gays' purpose to create a separate community. They demonstrate as responsible citizens who demand to be considered equally in respect of their specificity, so that living one's homosexuality is no longer a taboo, nor synonymous with rejection, humiliation, or even aggression.
This year the event is European and Paris will be the Gay and Lesbian Capital for a few days. The central messages will be equal rights for homosexuals and heterosexuals in each European country, and no discrimination against gays on the whole continent.
Highly colored with its processions and floats, the Parade will take place on Sat., June 28, in the afternoon. There will be preliminary meetings in the first weeks of June in 11 French cities, and in 29 cities in 15 European countries. The Parade leaves Place de la Republique at 1 pm, goes through la Bastille, and Place Daumesnil, and ends about 6 pm at Pelouse de Reuilly. There, people are welcomed with giant screens where musical video-clips and speeches alternate, before the party begins.
The EuroPride Night
June 28, 9 pm
Unlike in the preceding Prides, the Parade ends where the party begins.
This year, the "Pink City" week ("la Ville en rose" in French) will end on a very special night. For the first time in Europe, a 40-meter opening stage with world-famous stars like Jimmy Sommerville, Hazel Dean, Gloria Gaynor, Dead or Alive, Sister Queen, Jackie Quartz, ABBAcadabra etc. will perform during the a 24-hour party. Each of them will perform their four best tracks.
The best world DJ's, Roger Sanchez, David Morales, Frankie Knuckles, Funky Green Dogs, Lord G, and Claude Monnet will follow.
Two Diamond Visions and six video screens will ensure full visibility to the public. The party will go on all night and the concert ends on a surprise. On June 29, the last day, breakfast will be available in the morning, so that everyone gets enough calories until brunch, and enough energy for the Tea-dance Party.
It is an exceptional party that we want to offer Europe and the world, with artists, musicians, singers, dancers on stage together for the first time, to show that at the dawn of the third millennium, everyone has equal rights, whatever their private options are as regards sex.
A double compilation on CD will come out in May, including all the title tracks with which the gays identified, and which they have been active in making famous, the whole being supported by an important radio and TV promotion campaign, and a live video recording.
Outside France: +33 1 40 50 63 00 in English, +33 1 40 50 69 69 Francais
In France: 08 36 68 11 31 or 01 40 50 69 69 Francias, 01 40 50 63 00 in English
Internet: www.paris97.com or www.europride.com
The Last of Paris
This was indeed another trip of a life time. Of course, we will certainly remember the first night at the Louvre when we went to the Men's Room. The attendant shoved Marsha out and showed him to the Ladies Room. We tried to assure him Marsha was monsieur but he did not understand and insisted that mademoiselle go to the Ladies Room.
After this same situation happened at Notre Dame, Marsha just went to the Ladies Room whenever they pointed him that way. It was quite humorous to us - with no rings, no drag and dressed in jeans with a polo, he was still addressed mademoiselle or madame.
And we got an even bigger kick out of one exclusive shop we found near La Madeleine. We immediately thought of our friends David and Frank at & Toto, Too, the famous French Quarter pet emporium. The photo says it all!
However, Toto in Paris was not into pets but more into Pier 1 merchandising at about 4 times the price at home.
We hope to return to the City of Lights soon. There's about another 39 museums and sites we missed.
$26,000 in Scholarships
The 7th Annual Champagne Celebration of Parents Families & Friends of Lesbian & Gays [PFLAG] awarded 26 $1,000 scholarships this year. For the second year, the event was staged at the Carousel in City Park. This avenue has proven to be quite successful as hundreds attend this most important event.
Mistress of Ceremonies was Marilyn McConnell kicking off the awards ceremony.
A marvelous "personal life" message from Keynote Speaker Michael Atwater, a former award recipient, was received enthusiastically from the audience.
As always, PFLAG President Sandra Pailet's exuberance reflected her continued dedication and work for PFLAG, the Champagne Reception as well as PFLAG's many other endeavors.
The awards and recipients included Volleyball New Orleans [VNO] Award - Forrest H. Bennett, Wood Enterprises Scholarship - Troy A. Brennan, Tony Martin Guerrero Memorial Scholarship - Kevin J. Brignac, Lupin Foundation Award - Franklin Kuo Cheng, In Honor of Ellen Fingerman - Gwendolyn Dunnigan, Lupin Foundation Award - Elizabeth L. Echols, Keller Family Foundation Award - Tina M. Ferrara, In Honor of LAGPAC - Jason Forman, Sandra Pailet President's Scholarship - Bernard J. Gordillo, In Memory of Lucian D'ller - Sheryl A. Hernandez, In Honor of Mollie Wallick, PhD - Angelica Hutchinson,
In Memory of Ernest N. "Dutch" Morial - Kendrick M. Johnson, In Honor of Julie Best - Valerie Leclerq, Michel Kaiser, MD Scholarship - Taryn Lindhorst, In Honor of L. Wayne Christenberry - Brian P. Lushia, Lupin Foundation Award - Charles Paul Metoyer, In Honor of Parents and Families - Jennifer Minogue, In Memory of James D. Washington - Kerry Monier, In Honor of Mollie Wallick, PhD - Kenneth Paris, Keller Family Foundation Award - Michael Perrone, In Memory of Charlie Tomeny - Carlos Picornell, In Memory of Steve Marchese - Jose F. Rodriguez, VNO Award - Carla A. Vincent, In Honor of Rich Sacher and Bill Dailey - Sheila Wilkinson, Keller Family Foundation Award - George "Trey" Woodside, The Mamou Award - Dana L. Worley and Honorary Scholar Award - Todd Joseph Day.
Black Tie V Huge Success
Louisiana's Human Rights Campaign hosted its annual awards dinner as "Black Tie V takes you to The Rainbow Room." Record numbers turned out to salute Award Recipients Regina O. Matthews and Alan Robinson for their outstanding efforts in political activism.
Tommy Elias and his band kept the dance floor full most of the evening and Mistress of Ceremonies Georgia Ragsdale kept the audience in laughter.
This year's auction led by Toni Pizanie tantalized dinner patrons with some 110 items raising an additional $20,000, doubling last years efforts. Kudos to the auction committee! Great job!
It will be interesting to see how successful next year's event will be. HRC's stand on not including transgenders in its legislative efforts has some members of the GLBT community stunned.
There is even talk of a boycott in some circles. The New Orleans HRC Dinner has grown steadily the past 5 years with no opposition. Let's hope HRC will take another look at the transgender issue. It could cost them big bucks! Many at this year's dinner donned "Transgenders are Human Too!" buttons and signed a petition urging inclusion of transgenders.