1. Switzerland is becoming more open...
In recent years, European countries such as France, Germany, Spain, and Belgium have each made way for the institution of laws and systems supporting same-sex civil unions and marriages. When speaking of liberal Europe, Paris or Amsterdam may immediately come to mind - but there is so much more.
Switzerland too enacted its own same-sex partnership system in 2007 and definitively took its place among queer-friendly nations. Over the last several years, as progressive changes in Switzerland's political attitudes and ideas picked up speed, a delightful transformation became visible within cafes, clubs, and the Swiss queer scene in general.
Compared to just ten or fifteen years ago, when lesbian bars were nearly non-existent and the atmosphere of queer establishments in general tended to feel at times isolated, oppressed or dark, it is a revelation to see so many establishments opening AND popularly frequented by both straight and queer folks alike. Also, edgy, squat-based artistic collectives have taken a multitude of social scenes by storm with hetero-friendly eye-opening events. One such group, Les Filles Affranchies, has rocked the foundation of the party scene of Lausanne with events that both embrace and go beyond sexuality, bringing enthusiastic devotees together and inspiring the local media to cover their ventures.
TW has compiled an assortment of cafes, bars, and events in the French speaking regions of Switzerland, as frequented by queer and straight fun-seekers alike. Also, the article's latter half includes an interview with the young founder of the University of Geneva's newest - and only - LGBT organization.
(*Switzerland has three official languages. In each of three regions, people speak German, French, and Italian.)
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translated by rayna rusenko