As France’s Gay Games go for gold in Paris this week, French youths still struggle to combat homophobia in France.
In this heartbreaking France24 video, a student named Lyes, from one of Paris’s suburbs, or banlieues, explains how negative attitudes towards non-traditional sexuality are still an extreme problem for gay French men and women. Some of the biggest culprits of homophobia in the banlieues are French Muslims who, Lyes says, “systematically hide behind Islam to justify their homophobia.” Not a good look for a population already facing poor perception in the mainstream (read: white) French community.
But there is hope, thanks to groups like French anti-homophobia organization SOS Homophobie and shelters like Le Refuge in Montpellier, which takes in thousands of displaced youths per year, many of whom have been kicked out of their homes simply for coming out to their parents.
Interested in fighting homophobia in France? You can donate to Le Refuge here, or get involved with SOS Homophobie here.