Headquarters 63 rue Beaubourg, 2018 – photo: Celette

Located in the heart of the gay district, the Marais LGBTQ+ center is a refuge for all people belonging to the rainbow community. Located at 63 rue Beaubourg, the association has been fighting for more than 20 years for equal rights and against discrimination linked to sexual orientation or gender identity.

It was on March 22, 1993 that the “Paris Gay and Lesbian Center” was created, at 3 rue Keller in the eleventh arrondissement of Paris. At the time, HIV epidemics were very deadly among the population, poorly treated and those affected were stigmatized and marginalized. It is therefore in light of these reasons that the Center was created by homosexual activists.

Today standing out as a real safe place in the heart of Paris, the Center offers a convivial space to gay, lesbian, bi, trans and more generally queer people. Several volunteers are there every day to welcome them, inform them and support them. These hours take place every Wednesday and without rendez-vous, from 17:30 p.m. to 19:30 p.m. Sunday is always reserved for welcoming migrants, most often having fled their country because of their sexual orientation.

The center is the headquarters of more than 80 LGBTQ+ associations. Several of them regularly organize consultations and discussion groups there.

In 2002, the center integrated the “trans” and bisexual component, forming the acronym LGBT after the general assembly in April. The association is also a relay for medical prevention against STDs-STIs thanks to public funding, in particular from GRSP or Sidaction.

The center offers a very rich cultural offering. Its library, named Jean Le Bitoux in honor of the founder of Gai Pied, is very extensive. It is open two hours a day and offers a selection of nearly 10 documents on queer themes, including 000 books, 2000 films and 800 periodical titles. On the shelves, we find the quarterly magazine Têtu, the very moving film 5000 beats per minute by Robin Campillo and the essay History of Art and Struggles of the Sexes by Françoise d'Eaubonne. The library also offers a clearance service, and puts several of its duplicates on sale on Fridays.

The Center is very active on social media, where a summary of activities is posted every week on Instagram and Twitter. These are very diverse, ranging from yoga to a theatrical improvisation workshop, film screenings or even a writing workshop. And that's not all ! The place also offers a community bar at very affordable prices.

We meet Loïc, a volunteer at the Paris LGBTQI+ Center for almost 8 years.

 How would you define the atmosphere of the center?

In two words: friendly and friendly!

How did you find out about the center? And how long have you been volunteering?

I met him through a writing workshop at the time, which a friend had told me about and which took place within the center. I then joined at the start of my retirement because I had more time to devote to the center.

How many volunteers are there? What are their profiles?

There are currently around a hundred volunteers at the center. Most are either quite young or retired because working people generally do not have enough time to devote to the center.

How can we help the center?

By providing financial support of course, but also and above all by giving your time! We are always looking for volunteers. To register, simply go to the dedicated page of the site (HERE).

 LGBTQI+ Center of Paris and Île-de-France
63 Rue Beaubourg, 75003 Paris
Open Monday to Friday from 15 p.m. to 20 p.m. and Saturday from 13 p.m. to 19 p.m.
Sunday is reserved for welcoming migrants.
Tel: +01 43 57 21 47

Text: Morgane Joulin



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