We often lament the lack of any LGBT memorial or expressions around Paris. Outward ones. Loud ones. Obvious ones. Philadelphia has its gayborhood signs. Toronto has its rainbow crosswalks. Maybe these things aren't needed as much anymore, but we argue that they still matter to the greater LGBT community. They show that Paris is still a welcoming place for those coming from, well, less welcoming places.
This year, however, we are ecstatic to see the Marais, Paris's gay district, beaming with rainbow pride. The city has inaugurated several rainbow crosswalks around rue des Archives and rue du Temple. We can't remember the last time (if ever) such a thing existed. These rainbows are painted on and, we hope, will last well beyond the Paris Pride festivities that occur in June.
We think these sorts of expressions need to be out there all year long, and not just during one month of parades and parties. We should celebrate LGBT pride in Paris and not forget that it's still an amazing, exceptional thing that gay people are so welcomed in Paris.
Once we start taking it for granted, once we get complacent, we make ourselves vulnerable, we open up the possibility of losing everything we fought for over the years. Just because marriage equality is law in France doesn't mean that acceptance has switched into full gear. Just ask the good people at SOS Homophobie.
Plus, who doesn't love rainbows???