Howdy all! I’m away on holidays, so I have invited my favorite guest blogger, my very own M, a teen who has something to say to the world, to share with you…
Several weeks ago, upon exiting our house I got caught in the middle of a demonstration opposing gay marriage. Being forced to walk side by side with people fighting against gay rights made me sick. To make up for that terrible experience, today Sunday, December 16th, I joined some of my best friends and what felt like a million other French people to do what they do best: manifest!
This was for something I strongly believe in; the right for same sex couples to marry and adopt. Because if you love someone, you should be allowed to marry them. Nothing else matters. Although it was scheduled to start at 2pm, my friends and I showed up at the meeting place, the Bastille, at 3pm and there was still an insane amount of people. The plan was to march through Paris, cross the Seine and make it all the way to the Luxembourg gardens.
When I was at the rue de Rivoli, not even halfway through, I learned that the people at the head of the protest had already arrived; we were about 60,000 strong! Everyone there had the most creative, personalized signs and the funnest part of the afternoon was reading them all. At one point I spotted an extra sign and asked if I could hold it up. They were happy to say yes; everyone was sharing. What warmed my heart the most was seeing young kids and toddlers, walking with their parents, proudly waving flags.
Reading the abundance of hand-made posters really showed you what kind of people were there, uniting forces. There were the obvious “Yes Yes Yes to gay marriage” but some got more original. For example one said “I’d rather have a pair of moms than a père de merde (crappy father). My favorite were a couple of older looking women proudly brandishing a sign saying that they were here to fight for their daughter’s rights. The way thousands of strangers could mix together, laughing and shouting, marching for what they believe in was a fabulous way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I am genuinely happy to have been able to participate. For the first time in a couple weeks there was sunshine all afternoon and it was a truly bright day.