|Me and my flag at Gan Meir|
|Starting to March|
The parade was an amazing experience. Around 100,000 people marching, smiling and having fun. There was no hate and no counter protests. Just tens of thousands of people celebrating their pride, joined by their friends, families and supporters. Watching all the smiling faces, the drag queens, the happy couples, the eccentrically dressed people, one could not help but feel celebration and joy in the air.
|Tziona Patriot and Talula Bonet|
|Marchers on stilts|
|The view of the parade from above|
The parade ended at the beach, where there was a massive party and concert. Everywhere you looked there were people (and many of them gorgeous ;)) dancing and having a good time. On stage, DJs, dancers and drag queens took turns entertaining and energizing the crowd. One of the highlights of the day came during the concert. The wonderful drag queen Talula Bonet was on stage, dancing to the music. She called out a few times, "Everyone raise your hands. Everyone raise your hands." Than she said "Let's celebrate our freedom". With those words, an energy went through the crowd. Everywhere you looked people were dancing, cheering and waving rainbow flags in the air. My friend Long looked at me with an expression of awe on his face and said, "that was really cool". And that is why we were all there. The Middle East is a war torn area of the world and a haven for hate, radicals and fundamentalists. But not Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv is the one major city in the entire region where a parade like this could have taken place. It is the one city where LGBTQ people could come together and celebrate their freedom, and not have to demand it.
|Talula and some back up dancers on stage at the beach|
What made the day even more special for me was that I got to share it with friends that I love. This was my first pride parade and it really meant a lot to me. Most of my friends that were there with me are straight, but they came out to show their support. Even the friends that got lost in the huge crowd and that I did not get to spend much time with, seeing them for just a little bit meant a lot. So to my dear friends, I just want to say thank you. It was a day I will never forget :)
|Me and my friends Nadav, Gavy, Jessica and Long |
at the beach party