In Paris, half a million of some of the most desirable men – and women – in the world took to the streets of their elegant city to show tout le monde just how fabulous they are.

In Berlin, tens of thousands refused to let the rain falling stop them from waving their rainbow flags, their parade starting for the first time in the east of this formerly divided city.

As gays and lesbians were facing attacks with petrol bombs and tear gas a matter of a few hundred miles away in the Czech Republic and Bulgaria, both EU nations, the German and French gay communities celebrated, but they had serious messages too.

In Paris, gays were demanding schools without any discrimination and protesting against sexism and racism in their society.

The city’s gay Mayor, who would be something of a national treasure in the Stephen Fry mode were it not for the fact that he is a serious contender to snatch the Presidency from Nicolas Sarkozy in 2012, was in attendance.

In Berlin, among some effectively nude participants and exotic drag queens, the community was highlighting the daily violence gay people face on the streets of the city.

A rose was placed at the newly-unveiled monument to gay victims of the Nazis.

earthtimes.org reports that a 95-year-old gay survivor of the concentration camps was in attendance.

Rudolf Brazda spent four years in Buchenwald.

“I must say that I feel as though I were in paradise in this democratic society,” he said, recalling the darkest times in Germany’s history.

The Paris LGBT community shows its Pride in 2006. Photo by El Mostrito at flickr.com

Paris Pride 2006 by El Mostrito at flickr.com