A BITE OUT OF OUR PINK WORLD http://www.pinkinourlives.com
Tel Aviv has the largest Pride Parade in Asia, which started in the city in 1997 for the first time. Thousands of bare-chested muscular men, drag queens in heavy makeup and high heels, women in colorful balloon costumes and others partied at Tel Aviv’s annual gay pride parade on Friday the 12th of June, the largest event of its kind in the region. The event drew 180.000 people from around the world: Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade is the biggest Pride.
A number of streets were closed down, and traffic redirected along the march route. Police were deployed as security, but there were no outbreaks of violent, nor other incidents. Loud music blasted along the parade’s route. Streets were packed thick with people waving rainbow flags and dancing. The theme of this year’s parade was “Tel Aviv loves all genders”, in support of transgender people. Israel is one of the most progressive of Middle East and Asian countries. There is no gay marriage in Israel officially, primarily because there is no civil marriage of any kind. All Jewish weddings must be conducted through the Jewish rabbinate, which considers homosexuality a sin and a violation of Jewish law. Though the country has not legalized gay marriage, but does recognize gay marriages if they were performed in other countries.
Among the visitors was Conchita Wurst, the bearded Austrian cross-dresser who won last year’s Eurovision song contest. “There are just beautiful people here,” says Conchita. Rafael Anibal from Madrid said it was an “amazing party.”I have been to many gay pride parades around the world and this is one of the best”. A man dressed in a big white bow tie and sleeveless vest, who gave his name as Matteo Zakari, visited from Poland. He said “the people are amazing, the weather is amazing, I love Tel Aviv. The music is some of the best in the world.”
Israel has emerged as one of the world’s most gay-friendly travel destinations in recent years, in sharp contrast to the rest of the Middle East where gay culture is not tolerated and gays are persecuted and even killed. Across the rest of the Mideast, gay and lesbian relationships are mostly taboo. Their religion in everyday life, along with strict cultural norms, plays a major factor in that. Same-sex relations are punishable by death in Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen. Gays serve openly in Israel’s military and parliament, and many popular artists and entertainers are gay. However, leaders of the gay community say Israel still has far to go in promoting equality.
That’s why it is so great that they have a Gay Pride Parade here in TEL AVIV and see all these people party together and don’t mind who you share your bed with at night!!! Let’s hope it will keep progressing in the future, but one thing you can count on for sure….TEL AVIV knows how to give a great party. ;o)