Tens of Thousands Celebrate Tel Aviv Gay Pride

Tel Avivs pride parade is a stark contrast to the decidedly political Jerusalem event.

Published: June 10th 2011
in News » Israel

Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade

Joyful hedonism abounded throughout the streets of Tel Aviv, as tens of thousands reveled in the city’s annual gay pride parade. The event commenced in Meir Park, meandered through city streets, then finally culminated in a boisterous party on Gordon Beach.


Event organizers estimated that perhaps 100,000 Israelis, and an additional 5000 tourists writhed in the searing sun, however authorities gave a smaller number.


"There are just over 30,000 people but there have been no security incidents so far," said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.


Tel Aviv’s pride parade is a stark contrast to the decidedly political Jerusalem event, which has seen violence in recent years. Tel Aviv is regarded as secular, and more open-minded.


"It's a very strong community here, a comfortable arena for the gay community. Two men walking hand in hand is a very normal thing," said Tel Aviv’s deputy mayor, Asaf Zamir.


We really are a gay city. There are no special gay areas – if you are gay or lesbian, you are welcome everywhere," explained Shai Doitsch, spokesman for Israel’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Association.


"We're not in paradise yet. Jerusalem is a very sensitive place. We don't expect to have gay pride parades in Mea Sharim [an ultra-orthodox area of that city],” he continued.


Israel is widely regarded as having liberal gay rights, despite vehement opposition by both ultra-orthodox Jews and Muslims, who deem homosexuality unacceptable.

Related articles: (Tel Aviv, Gay, Pride, Parade, )

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