Tel Aviv Gay Pride has become one of the biggest events of the year in Tel Aviv with the city’s gay community coming out in force to ensure that they, and the many visitors who come from overseas have a great time and firm up the city’s reputation as the Gay Capital of the Middle East, and perhaps, one of the Gay Capitals of the World. The “Holy Lands” Gay Pride Week takes place every June, with a surge of gay-friendly events taking place across the city, culminating on the Friday with the famed pride parade. The 2020 Gay Pride Parade in the “Holy Land” will take place on June 12.
Rvelers take part in the Gay Pride Parade in Tel Aviv, on June 08, 2018
The parade will go down Bograshov Street to Herbert Samuel, and then down the beach for a large party in Charles Clore Park. All of this takes place in the Holy Land every year.
Of course, Gay Pride Week is not the only week where gay life is big in Tel Aviv – the city has a sizable gay population and is popular with visitors throughout the year. The Tel Aviv Municipality said over 250,000 people celebrated at the city’s 20th Gay Pride Parade in 2018, an event that draws people from around the world to party at the Israeli beach city that has built an image of an oasis of tolerance for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.
Tel Aviv’s annual parade stands in sharp contrast to most other cities in the region. Across the rest of the Middle East, gay and lesbian relationships are mostly taboo. Pervasiveness of religion in everyday life, along with strict cultural norms, plays a major factor.
During the Gay Pride parades in the “Holy Land”, cafes, stores, and lamp posts are decked with rainbow flags across Tel Aviv, with tens of thousands of tourists visiting Israel specifically for the event.
“With all these flags, I already feel at home,” said Jimmy Chan, 39, who arrived from China to attend the event. “Seeing this parade in such a religious country makes you feel more connected as a community.”
Israel’s foreign ministry highlights Tel Aviv’s status as one of the world’s most gay-friendly cities in its promotional material.
Tel Aviv places a large emphasis on Pride Week, since it’s a huge draw for international tourists. Tens of thousands of tourists visit Israel for Tel Aviv’s pride week each year.
In a statement the municipality hailed its status as the world’s “most gay-friendly city”.
Huldai praised his city for being “a beacon for liberty, pluralism, and tolerance,” and vowed Tel Aviv would continue to “support and celebrate our local LGBT culture and act as a welcoming destination for the international gay community.”