You don’t have to be a party animal, under 29, or single to sink your teeth into the lesser-known gems that Tel Aviv Pride has to offer.
Israel’s attitude to the Pride spirit has changed a lot over the years. What started off as a private party and a small protest, is today a trending topic for thousands on social media. We’ve gone down rainbow memory lane with a few pro Tel Avivian veterans and gleaned the goods for what to do aside from the raucous Pride activities (that for some, can be too hot to handle).
“In 1993, a group of young and excited people came together in Sheinkin Garden. I was only 28, and I was worried for my future. I took a part in the parade, although I hadn’t yet experienced how it is to be in a gay relationship, or to love another man,” says Rafi Niv, Chief Director of Beer Sheva Theater and Goodman Acting School. Today, in love for the last 15 years, with two children – Yotam, 8 and Noam, 17 – Pride offers a way deeper sense of understanding for him and his partner, Nir. Party like the 90’s – join the Sheinkin Street Party even before Pride Week opens. Live shows and talks will take place in honor of the first Pride event that took place on Sheinkin Street, celebrating 25 years of Israeli pride. And, it’s always gay picnic time at Gan Meir. On May 31, Gan Meir’s Gay Center welcomes rainbow families for a morning gathering celebrating Pride 2018.
Show your True Colors
“Even when I don’t go out to Pride parties, the colorful flags around, seeing the crowds and how they stand together – lesbians, gays, transsexuals, bisexuals – gives me fuzzy feelings in my heart, and the true understanding that we are living in a free, open-minded country,” says Niv. Tip for celebrating? Focus on fun, but also find your own way to express yourself, because getting the LGBTQ subject out there contributes a lot to the acceptance of LGBTQ people. All the noise going on in the city makes way for the perfect opportunity to sneak away to Ga’ash’s nude beach (a nature reserve reminiscent of The Blue Lagoon meets planet Mars). And for those who feel like partying the alternative way, hit up the dance floor at Anna LouLou, an Arab-Jewish bar in Jaffa that welcomes visitors from all over.
Igal Sade, an Israeli actor at HaBima, the National Theatre of Israel, says “every year Pride Week feels like it is becoming one with the spirit of freedom. The rainbow decorations and the cheerful people on the streets always get me excited, year after year,” he says. “You don’t have to be in the middle of the march to get carried away by the festive feeling.” Go to the movies – out there. Watch Meryl Streep croon to Abba songs over the hills of Tel Aviv, The (not so) secret Mamma Mia screening is at Gan HaPisga, overlooking the most beautiful view of the White City. June 5 at 19:30