In Toulouse, more than 10,000 participants – according to the prefecture – danced and applauded speakers on the Place du Capitole inviting them to “enjoy without hindrance” and to fight against “shame, ignorance, anti-LGBT violence”.

“It is with the pedals that we advance”, “Bravo lesbians!” or “Jesus said to love everyone. I took him at his word,” read signs amid rainbow flags.

Loan El-Haïna, 23, comes “to support transgender people” because “many of them do not dare to say so, so as not to lose their loved ones”. “It’s not our fault that we weren’t born in the body that was originally intended for us,” she continues.

In recent years, in addition to the usual demonstrations, alternative marches have appeared, displaying other slogans and demands, often more protesting.

On June 4, a thousand people marched in Saint-Denis, near Paris, for the second “pride of the suburbs”.

And on June 19 they were, according to the associations, some 50,000 in Paris at the anti-capitalist and anti-racist “Radical Pride”.

In Marseille, the second city of France, the march also served to claim the right to abortion, questioned in the United States. Louane Tendero, a 17-year-old student, paraded with a hanger stained with red paint “to represent the violence of a clandestine abortion”. Heterosexual, the young woman has participated in Pride “since she was very young, with (her) parents”.

In the rainbow procession of 12,000 people according to the police headquarters, associations of transsexual people, lesbians, were joined by feminist activists and human rights defenders.

Among them, Jean-Louis Rougeron, LGBTI relay for Amnesty International, highlighted the particular threat to rights in Ukraine: “While homophobia has waned in Ukraine, the Russian invasion risks threatening this progress” , he worried to AFP.

For Philippe Murcia, 47, “what is currently happening in various countries around the world shows that the notion of acquired rights is being called into question”.

Elected officials from the left-wing and environmentalist municipality joined the procession, such as Mayor Benoît Payan and the brand new rebellious deputy, Manuel Bompard.

The first Pride March organized in Saint-Etienne brought together nearly a thousand people, according to an AFP correspondent.

The facade of the town hall displayed a rainbow flag.

Among the many grimaced demonstrators, some had written on their clothes or held up a sign bearing the inscription “My body, my choices, your faces”, also in reaction to the questioning of abortion in the United States by the Court supreme.

According to Sébastien Charrier, head of the association Le Refuge sur la Loire, “the population of this city, which last December hosted the LGBT film festival Face à Face for the 18th time, is sensitive to these societal issues”.

The two organizers, however, deplored that politicized activists had “damaged the festive aspect”, by uttering slogans hostile to the police.