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

“I love your hair (painted like that of a football fan, editor’s note)! Is it for the match?” asks a transsexual person to a mother who has fun with the question and answers with pedagogy on the reason for his coming 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 do not necessarily feel represented”, confides Nina Kardoussi, from Montreuil.

For the young woman, “the watchword is access to housing in Seine-Saint-Denis” for people rejected for their sexual identity.

For other activists, “it is access to care” which is the priority claim, explains Yanis Khames, organizer of the march with his association “Saint-Denis city in the heart”.

“Ile-de-France and Seine-Saint-Denis are the territories with the highest risk of HIV contamination. LGBTQI people in working-class neighborhoods are therefore particularly concerned. However, prevention and screening offers remain insufficient”, assures the young man.

To the rhythm of the brass band, the parade takes on the air of an open-air show. Drag queens sing and dance on dizzying heels to the delight of neighborhood residents who immortalize the moment.

A young man interrupts the moment with an arm of honor but, very quickly, the organizers exfiltrate him from the march.

At the head of the procession, the association for the recognition of the rights of homosexual and trans people to immigration and residence (Ardhis), calls for “papers for all”.

“In Cameroon, I didn’t have the right to be gay,” says Hilaire, who lives in the suburbs of Paris. Cameroonian law prohibits sexual relations between people of the same sex, punishable by five years in prison.

Proudly displaying a rainbow flag, he asks “to be respected, in the suburbs and elsewhere”.

Discreet in walking, Kay, 13, lives in Saint-Denis. She took her “courage in both hands” to parade. “It’s true that it’s hard to be a lesbian when you live in the neighborhood, but you have to show solidarity with the community,” said the teenager who came with a friend.

The parade ended shortly after 5:00 p.m. on the town hall square where the stands of the associations remained open for the evening.