Saturday, June 7, 2008

Tel Aviv Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Gay Pride Parade

Tel Aviv adorned it’s main boulevards this past week with rainbow colored flags as revelers of all persuasions streamed along the main route of the city’s 10th annual gay pride parade that converged at Gordon Beach, one of the city’s central beach fronts, for a free outdoor concert. As usual for this annual parade, gays and lesbians weren’t the only ones out celebrating. Tel Avivans of all ages and statuses were out embracing the event, the community, and the festivities. All of which made for a colorful love fest of freedom of expression in a city that enjoys celebrating its unbridled spirit, diversity and a good beach party.

It should be duly noted that in stark contrast, homosexuality is a crime under the Palestinian Authority, where Gay’s are persecuted and sent to jail. Similarly in Egypt gay men can be sentenced anywhere from 3 and up to 25 years for homosexuality. And in general, the status of gays and lesbians in the Arab and Muslim world is for the most part a dire one.

Some photos I snapped at the event:

Click on any photo for a larger view. The entire album can be viewed here

Some more photos from other people can be found on Flickr by clicking here and here -- don't miss the Israeli soldier girl with a rainbow flag in her shirt pocket

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