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    Posted June 9, 2013 by

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    Pride Parade - Tel-Aviv


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     ygphoto photographed the annual Pride Parade in Tel Aviv, Israel, on June 7. He says the parade was energetic and people seemed really happy. He says the attitude towards gays and lesbians in Tel Aviv is mainly positive. 'I must say that Tel Aviv is the most liberal city in Israel and has always been very positive and welcoming to the gay community from both politicians to residents,' he said. 'People do accept them as part of their city residents. That's why most Israeli gay people move to Tel Aviv from all parts of the country. So they can live openly and know that they will not be harm due to their sexual views.'
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    As always, each year Tel-Aviv holds its annual pride parade, that as it seems attracts more people with each year… this year as I was told was around a 150,000 people at the parade… mind you, the count is for everyone… locals and people who came from other countries to celebrate the Gay Pride together with their Israeli friends, lovers, brothers and sisters.

    As I walked through the crowd, I met people from Germany, Denmark, England, Ireland, US, Canada, Norway and Belgium, I’m sure there were more people from other countries, but I didn’t had a chance to talk to them, so I can’t say which other “countries” participated.

    The structure of the parade is basically every year the same and follows the same path… around 10 AM everybody comes to the Meir Gardens in the heart of Tel-Aviv, around 11 AM so called concert starts, different performing artists from the gay community performs, and of course famous drag queens sing and perform.

    Then, you can’t avoid the political speakers, who like pretty much every stage and every event that has a large crowd that they can address and say something supportive for people to remember them in the next Election Day…

    So this time around, came to the stage 2 important figures, which people reacted extremely differently to each one of them…

    Last year, every politician and public persona who came up to the stage and supported the gay community, were applauded and supported as well, people screamed, liked the warm words of support and the large smile of the speaker, however, this year, the crowd acted very differently towards each of the known person…

    After some songs, dancing and other performance on the stage, public figures started to come up, Ron Huldai (Mayor of Tel-Aviv), as always greeted the crowd, expressed his support for the gay community in his city and expressed his pride in the fact that Tel-Aviv became the central city for freedom of rights of gay people and the safest city for Gay Community to openly live their lives.

    At some point I spotted that the newly elected Finance Minister Yair Lapid got the event, and got on the stage, now if some of you my readers remember my last article about the demonstrations against Yair Lapid’s policies and budget cuts, well, the gay crowd decided to remind him that they don’t really like him, as he got on the stage and greeted the crowd, all he got was boo’s, people screamed “Get off the stage! You have no place being here! We don’t support you! Where is the money?!, ” etc.

    He got a lost there for a minute and went quiet… but then got his thoughts together and started his speech that he had in front of him, yet, people made everything possible to disturb, over-scream him and simply did not let him speak… 10 or 15 minutes later, he thank everyone, fished a great day and happy parade and got off the stage, hugged Ron Huldai (Tel-Aviv Mayor), shacked some hands, and disappeared among behind the stage.

    This was a truly embarrassing moment for Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid Leader & Finance Minister), once a very loved celebrity TV person and adored politician before the elections, got a slap in the face from those same people who elected him into parliament… but, I must say, and that only my personal opinion, he got a heavy briefcase to carry as he was appointed as Finance Minister, and people simply are too impatient to give him a chance to actually do change and make something better for the country… after all, you can’t change the entire country in just few months…

    Anyhow, back to the parade, after the celebration and politicians, the crowd took a root of walking through some main streets of Tel-Aviv showcasing their pride to all!

    What was a new thing and different this year, is the fact that I found Religious Gay Organizations, who are deeply religious people, yet, are guy and proud of being gay and religious… the organizations are IGY (Israeli Gay Youth Org.), Bat Kol (Religious Lesbians Org.), The Pride Menyan (Orthodox Gay Pride Org.) and Havruta (Religious Gay Org.) and all these new organizations are a breath of fresh air among all other gay and lesbian organizations, the strongly believe that god made us all as we are gay, lesbian or straight!

    Well, the parade marched through the streets, made many people happy even those who are not part of the community, people danced on the streets, music came from every direction, and the parade ended at night time on the Gordon Beach at Tel-Aviv with a huge stage and famous Israeli performing artists, big party, sun, pride and thousands of loving and happy people!
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