In Saint-Denis, more than a thousand people of suburban pride

Rainbow flags and emblems spread across the streets of downtown Saint-Denis on Saturday, as more than a thousand people marched with glee to participate in the second edition of the “Suburban Pride Parade.”

“Suburban and proud,” the participants of this rally organized to defend gay rights + people living in working-class neighborhoods chanted, under the eyes of several surprised and curious residents.

A transgender person asks a mother who enjoys Q&A with pedagogy about why he came to Saint Denis.

“It was important for us to parade in Saint-Denis and to stand out from what can happen in Paris where we don’t necessarily feel represented,” said Nina Cardosi, from Montreux.

For a young woman, “the motto of access to a residence in Seine-Saint-Denis” for people rejected because of their gender identity.

For other activists, “access to care” is the first requirement, explains Yannis Khamis, organizer of the march with his association “Saint-Denis at Heart”.

“Ile-de-France and Seine-Saint-Denis are the two regions most vulnerable to HIV infection. Therefore, LGBT people in working-class neighborhoods are especially concerned. However, offers of prevention and screening are still insufficient,” stresses the young man.

To the beat of a brass band, the show takes on an outdoor show. Drag queens sing and dance on stunning heels to delight neighborhood residents who memorialize the moment.

A young man interrupts the moment with an arm of honor, but the organizers quickly remove him from the rally.

At the head of the procession, the Association for the Recognition of Gay and Transgender Rights in Immigration and Residence (Ardhis), calls for “Papers for All”.

“In Cameroon, I didn’t have the right to be gay,” says Heller, who lives on the outskirts of Paris. Sexual relations between people of the same sex are prohibited by Cameroonian law, punishable by five years in prison.

He proudly displays the rainbow flag, and demands “respect in the suburbs and elsewhere.”

13-year-old Kai lives in Saint-Denis, on her secret walk. She took her “courage in both hands” for the parade parade. “It’s true that it’s hard to be a lesbian when you live in the neighbourhood, but you have to show solidarity with the community,” said the teenager who came with a friend.

The show ended shortly after 5 pm in the town hall square where the association booths remained open in the evening.

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