Initiated officially in 2009 and now an annual parade each June, the the Tel Aviv gay parade is part of the city's day-long gay pride event, which features a final beach party at the parade's end point. Jerusalem was host to gay pride parades in the past, but plans for future parades were halted in 2011 due to violence and security issues.
In 2009, as Tel Aviv celebrated its 100th anniversary, the municipality designated June as the city's official gay pride month in an effort to increase the town's reputation as a progressive, gay-friendly city. The historic 2009 parade ended with a special appearance by gay celebrity journalist Gal Uchovsky, who married four gay couples to celebrate the landmark event. In addition to the parade and day of festivities, the city hosted various pride events throughout the month of June.
The second annual Tel Aviv gay pride festivities, which were held on June 10, began at Gan Meir Park at noon with music, food and plenty of socializing in the downtown park. The hour-long parade started at 2 p.m. and traversed Bugrashov, Ben Yehuda, Arlozerov and HaYarkon Roads, where it ended at Gordon Beach at 3 p.m. for an outdoor party that lasted until 7 p.m. The beach party featured live musical performances from artists and and DJs from all over the world. Nightclubs and bars in the area continued the party scene through the night.
Participants in Tel Aviv's gay parade include thousands of marchers and float riders, including both gay and straight representatives from local organizations, city departments, religious organizations, businesses and clubs. Rainbow flags and international flags, as well as cross-dressers, performers and dancers, lined many of the rainbow-decorated street floats. The crowd, which included locals and international visitors alike, was estimated at 70,000.
Speakers and Performers
In 2011, guest speakers and parade participants included opposition head leader for the Kadima party, MK Tzipi Livni, as well as openly-gay Meretz Party member and journalist MK Nitzan Horowitz. Both men spoke at the head of the parade about equality for gays and Tel Aviv's role as a leader for tolerance. Musical performers in the 2011 Tel Aviv gay parade and beach party included Lovegang, Erez B.I., Samuel Blacher, Israel Aharoni, Ziona Patriot, Offir Malol, Shimai and Oscar Loya.
- I Googled Israel; Gay and Proud in Tel Aviv; Ashley; June 2009
- Gay Tel Aviv Guide: Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade 2011
- ANSAmed; Mideast: Israel, Tel Aviv Celebrates Gay Parade; June 2011
- The Jerusalem Post; Thousands March in Tel Aviv's Gay Pride Parade; Yoni Cohen; June 2011
- Jerusalem Religions; Moscow Patriarchate Apeaks Out Against J'lem Gay Pride; Jonah Mandel; April 2011
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