BI, GAY & LESBIAN LIFESTYLES
An AIDS victim's impassioned refusal to go gently into that good night is the
theme of this moving and often searing novel by French writer and journalist
Guibert. In a series of diary-like chapters, the narrator, a homosexual writer
in his early 30s, records his own first response to AIDS, as well as the way
the disease insidiously begins to affect a whole community. He notes how
friendships, families, and affections are tested, and sometimes -- though
rarely -- found wanting.
As much as it's a story
of one man, this is a novel of historic
record in which not just AIDS but death
itself becomes the enemy to be fought,
denied even, but never defeated -- no
matter how strong the will or spirit. A
relentlessly honest, extraordinarily
-- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP.
by Hervé Guibert, Linda Coverdale (Translator)
Paperback - 245 pages Reprint edition
Published February 1994 by Serpents Tail
Usually ships within 2-3 days.
List Price: $11.99
Networks & Resources
Gay Travel Association, Box 4974, Key West, FL 33041
(800-448-8550, fax 305-296-6633), a consortium of more than 1,000
travel companies, can supply names of gay-friendly travel agents,
tour operators, and accomodations. A number of such agencies are also
listed in the Smart Travel Tips section of
Fodor's 99 France Gold Guide.
"Gay Paree", with
one of the world's largest homosexual populations, has many clubs,
restaurants, organizations, and services. It takes a serious
couche-tard (night owl) to keep up with the hip scene. One of the
best information sources on gay and lesbian activities is the
Centre Gay et Lesbien, 3, rue Keller, 11e (01-43-57-21-47;
Métro: Bastille). Well equipped to dispense information and
coordinate the activities and meetings of gay people from virtually
everywhere, it's open daily from 2 to 8pm. On Sunday it adopts Le
Café Positif and features music, cabaret, and
information about AIDS and the prevention of sexually transmitted
diseases. Agora, 33, bd. Picpus, 12e (01-43-42-19-02), a
federation of several gay organizations, provides information on
events, meetings, and rallies.
source is La Maison des Femmes, 8 Cité Prost, 11e
(01-43-48-24-91; Métro: Charonne), offering information about
Paris for lesbians and bisexual women. Informal dinners and
get-togethers are sponsored at irregular intervals. Call Wednesday or
Friday from 4 to 7pm for further information.
Gay magazines that
focus mainly on cultural events include Illico (free in
gay bars but around 12F/$2.40 at newsstands) and
Double-Face (available free at bars and bookstores).
Women might like to pick up a copy of Lesbia, to check
the ads if for no other reason. These publications and others
(Gai Guide, Gai Pied Hebdo, and
Paris Exit ) are available at Paris' largest and
best-stocked gay bookstore, Les Mots à la Bouche, 6 rue
Ste-Croix-la-Bretonnerie, 4e (01-42-78-88-30; Métro:
Hôtel-de-Ville). It's open Monday to Saturday from 11am to 11pm
and Sunday from 3 to 8pm. French- and English-language publications
A gay hotline,
theoretically designed as a way to creatively counsel those with
gay-related problems, is SOS Ecoute Gay (01-44-93-01-02).
Someone will respond to calls Monday to Friday from 6 to 10pm. A
separate hotline specifically intended for victims of homophobia or
gay-related discrimination is SOS Homophobie (01-48-06-42-41);
it offers a panel of French-trained lawyers and legal experts who
provide advice and counsel Monday to Friday from 8 to 10pm. The
Centre du Christ Libérateur, 5, rue Crussol, 11e
(01-48-05-24-48) provides gays and lesbians with medical care and
counseling. FAACTS (Free Anglo-American Counseling Treatment
Support) at the American Church (quai d'Orsay, 7e) has weekly
meetings for people infected or affected by HIV. Call the
Association des Médecins Gais (01-48-05-81-71) for
advice and information over the phone.
Gay & Lesbian
In Paris, gay life
is centered around Les Halles and Le Marais, with the greatest
concentration of clubs, restaurants, bars and shops between the
Hôtel-de-Ville and Ranbuteau Métro stops. However, since
trendy clubs fall in and out of favor at lightning speed, and
one-night discos and tea dances are always popping up, be sure to
check the local papers to see what's hot.
Queen, 102 av. des Champs-Elysées, 8e
(01-53-89-08-90), may be artfully blasé and disorganized, but
it's certainly the queen of the night in gay Paris. Follow the
flashing purple sign on the "main street of Paris", near the corner
of avenue George-V, to the epicenter of gay nightlife. The place is
often mobbed, mainly with gay men and, to a lesser degree, chic women
(photomannequins and the like) who work in the fashion and film
industries. Look for drag shows, muscle shows, striptease from
danseurs who gyrate atop the bars, and everything from 1970s disco
nights (Monday) to Tuesday-night foam parties in summer, when
cascades of mousse descend onto the dance floor. The cover charge is
50F ($10) on Monday and 100F ($20) on Friday and Saturday; other
nights are free.
13 rue de la Ferronnerie, 1er (01-42-33-35-31); Métro:
Châtelet-Les Halles), is one of the most popular gay bars in
the Marais. On two floors of a 19th-century building, it has walls
the color of an overripe banana, dim lighting, and a well-known happy
hour where the price of drinks is reduced daily between 7 and 10pm.
The street level features just a bar. The cellar level contains music
alternating between a live pianist and recorded disco. Thursday to
Saturday, go-go dancers of virtually any sexual persuasion perform
from spotlit platforms in the cellar. The place is open daily from
4:15pm to 6am.
Le Bar Central, 33
rue Vielle-du-Temple, 4e (01-48-87-99-33; Métro:
Hôtel-de-Ville), is one of the leading gay bars in the
Hôtel-de-Ville area. In fact, it's the most famous gay men's
bar in Paris today. The club has established a small hotel upstairs
with a few facilities and only six rooms. Both the bar and its little
hotel are in a 300-year-old building in the heart of the Marais; the
hotel caters to gay men, less frequently to lesbians. Le Bar is open
from 4pm to 1am Sunday to Thursday, to 2am Friday and Saturday.
L'Entr'acte, 25 bd.
Poissonnière, 2e (01-40-26-01-93; Métro:
Rue-Montmartre), has made a spectacular comeback and is now the
hippest lesbian dance club in Paris. Its decor is like a 19th-century
French music hall, and the venue, as the French say, is "cool", with
all types of cutting-edge music. Don't show up until after midnight.
The presence of men is discouraged. What to do if you're a gay male?
Go to the side entrance with a "separate but equal facility", "Le
Scorpion (same address and phone), where les mecs gais (gay
guys) are welcomed. Both clubs are open Tuesday to Sunday from 11:45pm
to 5am, with no cover charge.
Other listings: MEN &
WOMEN (refer to
Fodor's 99 Paris for complete descriptions)
Café, 42, rue Vieille-du-Temple, 4e
(01-42-72-16-94; Métro: Rambuteau).
Other listings: MOSTLY MEN
Fodor's 99 Paris for complete descriptions)
18, rue de Beaujolais, 1er (01-42-97-52-13; Métro: Pyramides).
L'Echelle de Jacob,
10, rue Jacob, 6e (01-43-54-53-53; Métro: Mabillon).
17, rue des Archives, 4e (01-42-72-26-18; Métro:
Le Quetzal, 10, rue
de la Verrerie, 4e (01-48-87-99-07; Métro:
Subway, 35, rue
St-Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie, 4e (01-42-77-41-10; Métro:
Other listings: MOSTLY WOMEN
Fodor's 99 Paris for complete descriptions)
Champmesle, 4, rue Chabanais, 2e (01-42-96-85-20;
Le Memorie's, 2 pl.
de la Porte-Maillot, 17e (01-40-68-22-22; Métro: Porte
3 cité Bergère, 9e (01-42-46-50-98; Métro: Rue
Le Pulp! 25, bd.
Poissonnière, 2e (01-40-26-01-93; Métro: Pyramides).
El Scandalo, 21, rue
Keller, 11e (01-47-00-24-59; Métro: Ledru-Rollin)
A Gay Hotel
Central, 33 rue Vieille-du-Temple, 7e (01-48-87-99-33 ;
Métro: Hôtel-de-Ville), is the most famous gay hotel in
France. The rooms are on the third, fourth and fifth floors of the
18th-century building that contains Le Bar Central, the Marais' most
entrenched gay bar. If you arrive between 8am and 4pm, you'll find a
registration staff one floor above street level; if you arrive at any
other time, you'll have to register at the street-level bar. The
rooms are simple, serviceable, and durable. Women are welcome but
6 rooms, none with bath. 420F ($84) single, 510F ($102) double.
Breakfast 35F ($7). MC, V.
Fodor's 99 France, Natasha Lesser, Editor, Fodor's Travel
Publications Inc., New York. Fodor's 99 Paris, Natasha Lesser, Editor, Fodor's Travel
Publications Inc., New York. Frommer's 99 Europe From $50 A Day, Ron Boudreau, Editor,
Macmillan Travel, A Simon & Schuster Macmillan Company, New York.
Are You Two...Together? A Gay and Lesbian Travel Guide to Europe,
Lindsy van Gelder & Pamela Robin Brandt, Random House, New York.
book covers courtesy of Amazon.com.
Alternate Lifestyles Links:
Calendar of lesbian and gay pride events and film festivals
in Paris and throughout France.
This site gets down to the nitty-gritty of listings and
addresses for gay and lesbian social activities.
Billing itself as the ultimate gay and lesbian guide for
France, this site offers chat, ads, and over 300 addresses
of gay businesses and organizations in Paris.
Gay Search Engines
A unique service, featuring navigation to many dozens of
exclusively gay web sites and search engines worldwide.
Health Issues Information Resource
Articles (in French) on health concerns and disease prevention,
with an emphasis on HIV and AIDS.
This online magazine for gays and lesbians (in French) offers
a schedule of events, personal ads, articles and newsclips on
pertinent issues, discussions on coming out, drag, etc.
Online version of the print magazine (in French) offers a photo
gallery, film reviews, biographies of prominent gay citizens,
social commentary, and international news on the gay front.
Gay Unions Legalized In France
Unmarried Couples Win Equal Rights
France today became the largest country in Europe, and the first nominally
Roman Catholic one, to legalize same-sex unions when the Socialist-dominated
National Assembly pushed through legislation creating "civil solidarity pacts."