Sunday, September 5, 2021

New Gay Beach at Eze-sur-Mer?!

It may be near the end of the season but here in the French Riviera, we locals milk summer for all its worth.

Of late, something curious has been happening. Gay gathering spots no matter where you travel do tend to change from time to time for whatever reason, but this summer something has been slowly taking place on the beach at Eze-sur-Mer.

For a bit of a change this season, and quite frankly, to try and find a beach without tons of people occupying it at the height of the summer months, either on my own and/or with various friends, we’ve been going to the beach in Eze-sur-Mer and over time, we began noticing, however subtly, an increase in the variety of gay men also going to this beach.

Without fail and for sure on the weekends, this new gay gathering beach spot is situated between Bono’s (of U2 fame) amber-colored villa and more so directly in front of the yellow villa to the west of his property.

Photos below taken early in the morning before the crowds...

Nothing untoward is taking place at this plage, and maybe it’s an instinctive comfort in numbers deal but it’s definitely becoming a new gay zone.

During the summer we started recognizing who we considered gay regulars to this part of the beach starting about mid-morning with the numbers increasing and then varying as the day goes on and on each visit, which was for the most part weekly for either myself or my friends.

Men of every age, body type, and nationality seem to be heading to this specific location, which also made us wonder if the more well-known St. Laurent-Eze gay nude beach has become too crowded with tourists given it is a smaller location. Or if this beach is just easier to access with the train station near the beach in the village?

Its obvious cruising is taking place - but only by knowing glances of possible interest to each other and then by an informal chat while sunbathing on the beach or swimming, or connected by Grindr or Scruff as you’ll notice men on their phones and then looking around for who’s close by, but for sure nothing sexual is taking place as the area is still very public and open.

And as with any gay gathering type spot, of course, there is no guarantee of men being around, especially during the winter months. Some days there would only be about 6 men enjoying a swim and time at the beach, some days there would easily be at least 20 men.

The nice thing too is there feels like there is no attitude, whether it’s the locals and/or visitors coming to this beach. I’ve found it easy to speak with those I’ve become familiar with and the same with friends of mine.

Next time you are in Eze-sur-Mer, check out the beach for yourself.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

13e Festival de Cinema Queer de Nice (13th Queer Film Festival of Nice)

With the Covid19 health crisis still amongst us and in our thoughts, this year, there were questions of if the Queer Film Festival would even happen.

Thanks to vaccinations slowly on the rise, restrictions still lifted and the ever-handy TousAntiCovid App making it more possible for life to return to some sense of normalcy, the cinemas are open for everyone to enjoy.

Finally, and in full force, the 13th Queer Film Festival in Nice will take place from September 9-18, 2021!

With the diverse range of films for the festival both vast and impressive! There is certainly something for everyone with many new topics and issues available to pique the interest of many.

As always, the film festival is known for bringing the passions of the world of cinema and commitment to others to explore life’s sexuality and all it encompasses.

This year’s program has a lot of surprises in store for you with a retrospective + master class of one of our most talented filmmakers, Catherine Corsini, whose new film, La Fracture, the winner of the Queer Palm 2021, will be premiered.

There will also be a dance master class and a few photo exhibitions on "Corps (im)possibles" as seen by queer artists; along with an outstanding display of new films for everyone to appreciate.

Take advantage of this creative abundance for this year’s 13e Festival de Cinema Queer de Nice and book your tickets early.

The Queer Film Festival listings and events can be found here:

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

The Bathhouse Babylon Book

It’s been almost three months since Bathhouse Babylon was first published and it’s certainly added to an already interesting summer here in the Cote d’Azur of France.
Writing the book was extremely cathartic and one of the best projects I have ever worked on. I wasn’t nervous about releasing the book since it’s my truth, except for wanting to make sure the publishing of it was done correctly with the whole process along the way being a pleasurable task.
When the book first came out, I was and still am expecting all kinds of feedback. Overall though, it’s lead to some interesting discussions in all avenues of my life and I’d say 99% of it has been positive.
Although I feel Bathhouse Babylon isn’t necessarily the type of subject matter everyone might be interested in, people of every age and sexual orientation have reached out to tell me how the book has either opened their minds to a whole new subculture they never knew existed or brought back all kinds of memories, even if the bathhouses I wrote about were not the local venue they visit.

Something that surprised me most is when my business partners found out about the book, frankly, it could have gone either way but they have all been supportive and now see where I get a lot of my strategic work ethics from, and it’s certainly made for some entertaining conversations.
One of the questions I’ve been asked is why I didn’t name the actual bathhouses in the book I worked at or even the cities?

My thoughts were, having worked in a number of bathhouses in North America, along with my fair share of visiting these establishments both there and here in Europe, the stories I wrote about from my past experiences, I felt could belong to almost any bathhouse or gay sauna in the world.

Plus, it’s actually turned into a fun guessing game of which bathhouses might have been written about for those that read any of the comments in the online articles that Bathhouse Babylon has been published in.
I also must say, one of the most amazing things that have happened since the book was published in late May 2021 has been the media attention and support from those in the LGBTQ community.

Once I pressed the “publish” button, literally within two days, besides telling a few friends and family members who have been supportive about the book. A number of remarkable journalists  have continued to reach out to write about and help promote Bathhouse Babylon, to the point, it has taken on a life of its own and continues to take me on an incredible journey.

Besides the wonderful publicity, the book has been brought to the attention of some key people in the media world enabling me to connect with and discuss future projects with not only other writers but a few productions companies too.

It seems every time an article is published about Bathhouse Babylon, besides it automatically garnering more sales for which I am grateful, best of all, that publicity has opened more doors to more people offering more opportunities for all involved.
I have also been recently informed that a number of public libraries in major cities in North America will also be carrying Bathhouse Babylon in their LGBTQI sections, which is exactly one of the things I was hoping would happen as I think our community stories, no matter how diverse, should be available for everyone to discover.

From the bottom of my heart, I’d like to thank everyone for their ongoing support of my first book. An idea about a past life work experience has come to light and has been deeply fulfilling.
Feel free to click on any of the media images listed below that will take you to the articles featuring the Bathhouse Babylon book and expect to see a few more write-ups coming out in the future as the book is still being reviewed with interviews scheduled into the next few months at least.

By the way, due to demand, there will be a Bathhouse Babylon ll coming out next summer.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Pink Parade 2021!

It’s back! After well over a year due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Pink Parade (Pride) will take place in Nice on the afternoon of July 24, 2021!

Everyone is to gather on Boulevard Jean Jaurès at Place Toja in Nice at 4 pm to start the parade. (see map)

*Update* New route change as of July 22, 2021.
Wearing a mask is recommended due to crowd size and this date is subject to governmental modifications. At the end of the march, everyone is invited to the Pink Party at the Théâtre des Verdures from 6:30 pm to 11:30 pm.

Access to the after-event is based on the presentation of your health pass, so bring everything required in order to attend the party.

This year, the parade is shorter due to the ongoing pandemic situation but as usual, instead of watching from the sidelines, everyone is welcome to join in the march to stand in strength, solidarity, and love with each other.

And as you know, summer in the French Riviera means it’s going to be hot, so come prepared with a refreshing liquid of choice to keep hydrated.

If it’s your first time at the Pink Parade in Nice, you’ll notice immediately this is very much an LGBTQI community-minded event. There are no corporate sponsors in attendance, only the individuals and local businesses that help make up the region.