Saturday, July 16, 2022

Pink Parade - Pride 2022

It’s Pride time again in the Cote d’Azur and this year it all takes place on Saturday, July 23, 2022 with the parade route starting at Theatre de Verdure at 16H (4pm).

In Nice, affectionately known as the center of everything LGBTQ in the region, the Pink Parade is open for anyone to join in the extensive route through the center of the city where it then leads along the seaside on the Promenade des Anglais as it winds back into the core of Nice.

Instead of watching a variety of floats go by from a standing point, people are encouraged to follow along the route, while everyone is cheering, Pride flags are waving and a variety of music is played for everyone to enjoy.

In the French Riviera, Pride is always about community spirit and love for one another.

The after-parade party will of course take place at any number of outdoor terraces until the nightclubs open up but in the meanwhile, be sure to support the Centre LGBT Cote d’Azur at 123 Rue de Roquebiliere where a beautiful "Soirée des Fiertés" will be held outside, in front of the premises, on Saturday, July 23rd from 7 pm to 11 pm!

Open to everyone, this will be a celebration filled with music, aperitif, exhibitions, slogans, and flags from the LGBTQIA+ community with speeches, photocalls, etc., in a safe and inclusive area. 

Friday, July 8, 2022

A Monaco First! Marital Status Changed For Transgender Person

It’s a first and essential move forward in Monaco.

On July 4, a decision was rendered with the court of the first instance of Monaco authorizing one of its nationals to modify his gender and his first name in the civil status.

It was mentioned that “female sex” must replace “male sex” on his birth certificate.

“We approached the Monegasque court on the basis of the case law of the European Court of Human Rights”, explains Me Patrice Spinosi, one of the applicant’s lawyers, with Thomas Giacardi. While France and most European countries have implemented legislation allowing a transgender person to change marital status, the Principality of Monaco had no provision of this nature yet.

“It is a happy decision, all the more remarkable in a traditionally conservative country where Catholicism is the state religion,” supports the council.

The individual, who wishes to remain anonymous stated, “My country does not turn its back on me.”

This historic and unprecedented request had been made by a person born a woman in 2000 but who, at the age of 4, realized, he was a male with the process of physical transformation having started in 2020.

The individual, who also has French nationality, was able to modify his marital status with the French courts.

There have been many firsts in the past few years with Monaco also having celebrated its first Pride event on June 1, 2022.

Photo credit: Jean-François Ottonello

The Prince’s Private Car Collection in Monaco


The Prince’s private car collection has found a new home in Monaco!

On Thursday, July 7, 2022, Prince Albert ll and members of the Princely family were on hand to inaugurate the new Collection of the Prince of Monaco’s Automobiles.

Originally located in Fontvielle, the amazing array of cars can now be found at the new home at Port Hercules where it will open to the public on Friday, July 8, 2022.

At the inauguration, Valérie Closier, director of the Collection said, “This Collection should be open to all and interest a large public. We have to make it more lively so that even the locals come back regularly to discover new things.”

With Monaco known for having an extensive racing history, this new location for the Collection places it on the edge of the famous “piscine” section of the iconic Formula 1 circuit, where the new 3,500m2 facility will be home to 70 vehicles.

Even if you only have a slight interest in cars, the Collection does offer something for everyone.

There are Formula 1 cars that are mounted on the walls of the Collection, to more personal pieces including those in which Princely family weddings took place.

The goal of the Collection is for the experience to be more immersive so here you will see historic films broadcast on giant screens along with touchscreens that allow visitors to actively engage with the cars.

Not only is it possible to discover the characteristics of the cars, but it is also possible to digitally visit the interiors of some of these historic vehicles. “In this way, we in some way enter into the intimacy of the Princely family,” said Closier.

This new opportunity for the Prince’s Collection allows everyone to come and enjoy the myriad of cars both historic and new in a prime location.

Photos by Michael Alesi, Government Communication Department

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Camping La Paoute Drag Queen Show in Grasse


Here’s a new one in the region. A drag queen show at a camping site.

The super sexy owner of Camping de la Paoute in Grasse, with the help of an amazing array of local drag queens, is putting together a full-on drag show to take place at his campground later this month on July 28th.

This should be quite the extraordinary event and one that will be most memorable given its
location, other than a nightclub or cabaret-style bar.

You’ll need to plan ahead for this one and get your tickets as soon as possible as it will most certainly sell out.

Promoted as the drag show of the summer. There will be nine drag queens performing a variety
of songs next to the edge of the expansive swimming pool along with a DJ in attendance providing the dance beats for the evening. 

Word is getting out fast so it’s advised one purchase tickets in advance that include a meal
(excluding drinks) at 25 EUR per ticket and a possibility of only attending the show and having drinks in the restricted areas. 

Given the location, it's best any time not to drink and drive so if you don't have a designated driver and have a desire to camp at the site, there are a number of options available besides pitching a tent, like an apartment rental and mobile homes on site but again, inquire and book early. 

Monday, July 4, 2022

Prison Life in Monaco

No, it’s not a title for gay porn but in actual fact a real place in Monaco.

The Remand Prison is not a big topic of conversation or really well known by those visiting the Principality on holiday but there have been plenty of urban myths about the place.

After all, those who come to Monaco are surrounded by excessive wealth whether it be by the ultra-expensive sports cars whizzing by, the abundance of luxury boutiques, breathtaking 5-star hotels, and of course the Prince’s Palace, along with royal history, just to name a few things.

All this and the fact that Monaco is known around the world as being one of the safest places to reside in with more police per capita than anywhere else in the world makes it feel untouchable by crime.

The Remand Prison in Monaco is remarkably well hidden yet also out in the open with a fortress-type wall that runs towards the sea along a cliff with a view of the Mediterranean next to the Oceanography Museum and in front of the open-air cinema.

Hanging out with locals, if the subject of the prison in Monaco comes up, people tend to roll their eyes and even laugh about the place because of the supposed reputation for it being like staying in a 5-star hotel. But those that have been placed there or have visited people there tend to say it’s the real deal.

The Remand Prison was founded at the end of the nineteenth century. In 1986, the Government of the Principality carried out renovations to expand the Remand Prison to three cell blocks. The rumored seaside views are very few and small and all but a myth. Only three cells in the prison have a seaside view and those are located in the women’s section and reserved for those serving long sentences. The views can only be seen through a small window with bars.

Just a short walk from the Prince’s Palace, the discreet property is located mostly underground, with small passageways, very little natural light, plenty of humidity, and minimal recreational spaces for inmates, and is far from anything fancy you’d have in mind being in Monaco.

A friend of mine originally from the UK was once drunk at the port with friends and told me how he made the stupid decision to try and drive out of the Principality after a night out drinking while trying to outrun the police in his car when he was arrested at the border.

He was processed and ended up staying in the prison for a few days. The friend mentioned it wasn’t luxurious in the least but did give him time to think about his actions in what he felt was a safe environment. He was given three-course meals and an older prisoner taught him how to play chess. He mentioned he wouldn’t want to go through all that again but the experience did make him reflect on his life more. 

The prison director has recently expressed that the detainees’ only deprivation inside is their freedom.

Prisoners are protected from all forms of violence and fights are avoided by keeping certain inmates separated. The health of inmates is monitored with doctor’s exams 24 hours after their arrival. The medical office is made up of three nurses, a doctor comes three times a week, a dentist every two weeks, plus a psychologist visits twice a week, and a psychiatrist once a week.

There are five visiting rooms and no separation barriers between detainees and visitors. Most jail cells are equipped with a TV, fridge, and air conditioning. And inmates have the opportunity to be paid for odd jobs around the prison, including painting or small repairs.

So overall the Remand prison is known for being comfortable, but with a court system that favors maximum sentences for even the smallest of crimes, it’s probably better to behave oneself.

Plus, reputation is everything. Not only in Monaco but the surrounding region in France.