Tag: Israel

Pride Festival Tel Aviv Jaffa 2015

June 7, 2015toJune 14, 2015

Tel Aviv Gay Pride – Tel-Aviv is quickly making a name for itself as one of the top Gay destinations in the world. The extravagant and lavish Pride Week takes place annually at the beginning of the summer, when the sun shines brightly on the Tel Aviv shores. Tel Aviv, Israel.

Pride Festival Tel Aviv Jaffa 2015

Pride Festival Tel Aviv-Jaffa 2015 events will be held in support of gender equality with an emphasis on the transgender community.


Pride Festival Tel Aviv Jaffa 2015


Tel Aviv’s 17th Pride Parade will takes place on the 12th June 2015, under the slogan “Tel Aviv Loves all Genders.” This year the parade will be in support of transgender rights and recognition of their contribution to the LGBT community and the city of Tel Aviv-Jaffa. This year 120,000 people are expected to participate including 25,000 gay tourists who will arrive from around the world for the Pride Festival celebrations.

Today thousands of transgender people live in Israel and face the same social issues and legal struggles as the rest of the LGBT community together with the victories and moments in the spotlight. The events of Pride 2015 will highlight the contribution transgenders have made to the gay community and the city of Tel Aviv-Jaffa and call for recognition of their needs and full equal rights for all genders everywhere.

In the past year the transgender community has attained significant achievements in the legal arena, parliament, the public eye and in within the LGBT community, for example: agreements over the rights of transgender soldiers in the army, the establishment of two new organizations within the transgender community for their benefit.

Together with this the road which lies before the transgender community is paved with the most vulnerable issues facing the LGBT community and there is still a long way to go: Transgenders suffer from discrimination in the work market, housing and education, a high rate of physical and verbal abuse and from hurtful treatment and a lack of respect in everyday life.

By putting the transgender community at the forefront of Pride 2015 we hope to promote the visibility of this community, gather support for their achievements and give a helping hand to their future efforts in their fight for recognition and equal rights. Together with this the Pride parade and events continue to reflect the full spectrum of the LGBT community, and will include an activities area for children and families and other still-to-be announced happenings.

Tel Aviv-Jaffa is proud to continue supporting the LGBT community in general and the transgender community in particular. The Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality invests resources, thought and creativity in the gay community by supporting the LGBT community center which acts as the base for the “Transition” organization and by encouraging gay tourism. In addition the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality helps finance temporary housing for transgenders and a project for encouraging the integration of transgender youths and young adults into the work market.

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TLVFest 2015

June 6, 2015toJune 15, 2015

TLVFest, Tel-Aviv International LGBT Film Festival – TLVFest, Tel Aviv’s International LGBT Film Festival is a unique annual event taking place each June at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque and the Tel Aviv LGBT Community Center. The festival offers public screenings of films with no Israeli distribution, meetings with local as well as foreign filmmakers, panel discussions and special events. The impressive program includes many exciting films while aspiring to enrich and empower tolerance and pluralism in Israeli society. Tel Aviv, Isreal.

TLVFest 2015

TLVFest 2015


In addition to displaying worldwide cinema, the festival encourages Israeli original work, awarding Best Film in the competitive Israeli program and provides exposure and a public stage for local queer filmmakers. The festival runs the TLVFest Movie Club, a monthly screening and other cinema related events throughout the year. The festival purchases theatrical rights of selected LGBTQ international films, and distributes them in Israel.

TLVFest’s First Year
The first ever LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual) Film Festival in Tel Aviv was launched in 2006. The establishment of this festival originated in the desire to bring the best of worldwide LGBT cinema to local audiences. These films would otherwise never get theatrical, TV or DVD distribution and would then never be seen. The festival took place at the legendary Ha’ozen Hashlishit (Third Ear) in Tel Aviv and screened in 5 tiny theaters of 20-40 seats each.
The festival opened with Greg Araki’s “Mysterious Skin” and over 2000 attended the festival to a sold out houses. In 2007, the festival moved to a bigger venue and took place at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque. To this very day, the festival remains at the same place– the only openly gay friendly cinema institution in Israel.
Declaration of Intent
We believe that Israel should be based on freedom and justice and should ensure complete equality of social and political rights, to all its inhabitants, irrespective of religion, race, sex or sexual orientation. TLVFest opposes all occupations and forms of violence and believes that peace should be fulfilled through justice for Palestine and Israel. We hope that one day the Middle East will be a safe place for LGBT people and we wish that the countries and their leaders will be more tolerant to our community.

Over its years, the festival is very happy to have had acclaimed guests from all over the world, who supported our event, like: Bruce LaBruce, Jay Brannan (“Shortbus”), Wieland Speck, Suzy Capo, Ocean Leroy, Cheryl Dunye, Todd Verow, Jurgen Bruning, Gwen Haworth, Joey Arias, Maria Beatty, Allan Brocka, Casper Andreas, Michael Stock, João Pedro Rodrigues, Jan Krüger, Emilie Jouvet, Jake Yuzna, David Hall, The Hungry Hearts, Lazlo Pearlman, Pyuupiru, Daishi Matsunaga, Christian Petersen, Wayne Yung, Charles Lum, Monica Palazzo, Maria Cyber, Bard Yden, Florence Fradelizi, Michael Stuetz, Marcus Lindeen, Chantal, Johanna Jackie Baier, Gamma Bak, Yuvraaj Parasher, Kapil Sharma and many MORE.

TLVFest Economic Situation
After the attempt, of The Israeli Film Council, to stop the support of our 2012 festival failed, we are relieved. However, the current political climate directly affects our opportunities to gain local financial support. We have repeatedly came up against obvious cases of homophobia in our search for media partners. Fashion companies, beverage, travel, beauty and their likes are reluctant to cooperate with us in fear of a boycott by religious groups. With your support we hope to make the festival one of the most talked about cultural events of the year.

The post TLVFest 2015 appeared first on Seasons of Pride.

Tel Aviv Gay Pride 2014

June 8, 2014toJune 14, 2014

Tel Aviv Gay Pride Tel Aviv, Israel

With a gay scene that competes with all gay capitals around the globe, an amazing beach, good weather, great food and other attractions in the country like Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, Tel Aviv is definitely a place you should check out for your next trip.

Tel Aviv Gay Pride 2014

Tel Aviv Gay Pride 2014It is a well known fact that Tel Aviv has become one of the main gay metropolitans of the world. Some even say that in certain aspects (probably the craziness and loudness), Tel Aviv is even a competitor to cities like Berlin or New York.

The annual event will start at 10am with a big happening in Me’ir Park (Gan Me’ir), with music, drag shows and speeches. The parade will kick off with specially designed floats, marching groups uplifting music and countless participants and spectators. Departing from the garden – this years parade route will take you up to Charles Clore beach (In front of David Intercontinental Hotel) – where the famous beach party will be held from 3pm till sunset.

This is the 16th year that the parade has been taking place – The tradition began in 1998 with just a couple of hundred partiers, and has grown rapidly into an event with over 100,000 participants that seems to get wetter and wilder every year.

Tel Aviv gay parade

This year the parade will start from Gan Meir, where a brand new and one of a kind center for the gay community of TLV was recently open. The gathering at the center will include lots of very loud music, some activity booths and even a performance by the official youth gay band of Tlv. This has just got to be a funny sight.

The actual parade will begin with a kick off from Ron Huldai’s who is the mayor of Tlv (who I have kind of a soft spot for since he used to be my high school principal…). The parade will continue into Bugrashov St., turn e to Ben Yehuda St. from there, then turn to Ben Gurion Blvd. and straight to Gordon beach, where the insanity will then take over.

Tel Aviv gay parade

From my previous experiences, you should definitely bring your bathing suit (or any other kind of minimal wear you’re kinky mind can think of) because once the parade hits the beach you will be in the water in no time.
As I said in the beginning, we just have to admit that us straight folk don’t know how to really party and we need some help from our gay friends. The beauty of this event is that it brings together all sorts of people with only one agenda on their mind: fun!!!


The post Tel Aviv Gay Pride 2014 appeared first on Seasons of Pride.

Top Ten Things to do in Israel

By Sophie Needelman, Editorial Coordinator for www.gaytravel.com

It is not every day that one gets the opportunity to travel to a culture-rich country in a controversial part of the world with a history and significance greater than most modern travel destinations combined! I was lucky enough to spend six weeks in Israel this summer getting to know the various sites, cities, and incredible features of what this beautiful country has to offer- and have tons of insights and tips to report back! Between visiting the big cities and exploring some local neighborhoods, towns, and off-the-beaten-path finds that are too good not to share, I have officially lived the full Israeli travel experience. While planning your next visit to Israel, be sure to add these incredible hotspots to your to-do lists!

Visit the Tel Aviv LGBT center, Tel Aviv

Among an overwhelming number of homophobic neighbors, Israel is a beacon of prideful light- with Tel Aviv as the heart center of this inspiring LGBT community. No matter where you go in Israel, it is perfectly clear that Tel Aviv is not only the most gay-friendly destination in the Middle East let alone Israel, but a city that paves the way in expression and equality of the LGBT identity and rights. Tel Aviv is the gay center of the Middle East, and the Tel Aviv LGBT Center is literally at the heart of it all! This incredible organization is housed in a cozy little abode complete with a café, gardens, and comfy places to hang out with friends. This center features a variety of events, workshops, and classes at any given day so no matter when you are in town pay a visit to this inspiring organization in its adorable home!

 View from the top of the Bauhaus Gardens, Haifa

There are a number of incredible sights to see throughout Israel, but the best view in the entire country is definitely the view from the top of the Bauhaus Gardens hill in Haifa. This lookout spot offers visitors panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea, the entire city of Haifa, the miles of Bauhaus Gardens spanning from hilltop to coastline, and neighboring towns and villages in the Israeli north. After walking the grounds of the Bauhaus Gardens themselves, be sure to make your way to the top of the Haifa hill to the Louis Promenade with a fully charged camera in tow! On a clear day you can see for miles as the sun sets over this incredible port city so make sure you don’t let this photo opportunity pass you up.

Snorkel in the Red Sea, Eilat

The city of Eilat is like the Vegas of Israel, with huge resorts and spas and plenty of tourist boardwalk attractions to go around! A unique aspect of this coastal city, though, is the incredible Red Sea that it borders. The Red Sea is not only historically- and biblically- significant, but it is also home to an incredible coral reef nature reserve that can only be experienced in the water. Water temperatures are warm and water quality is crystal clear, so this is a notorious city to practice water sports including snorkeling- and for good reason too! Some of the most colorful and exotic fish call the Red Sea home, and snorkeling is a great way to experience some of the Eilat locals.

Eat lunch at the Yemenite Cheese shop, Tsfat

There are many things the northern city of Tsfat is famous for- including being the founding site of Kabbalah. These days, tourist visit Tsfat for its incredible views of the Galilee as well as its proximity to the controversial Lebanese and Syrian borders. Others love to spend their time in Tsfat shopping for candles, jewelry, or art while perusing the winding cobblestone streets of this gorgeous city. Every time I visit this town, I make sure to stop at the Yemenite Cheese shop for their whatever their daily special happens to be. This hidden gem is a great place to experience often less accessible parts of Middle Eastern culture, with a great representation of Yemenite cuisine at its finest. If you are as sensitive to spicy food as I am be sure to order your cheesy creation on the mild side!

Attend a drag show at Evita, Tel Aviv

It is no surprise that Tel Aviv is the ultimate destination for LGBT nightlife in Israel, the Middle East, and the entire world for that matter! Of all of the gay bars and clubs, Evita is by far my favorite hotspot to hit up. This incredible venue offers great dance party tunes, incredible people watching, and even better drag show events multiple times a month. On any given evening you might find a famous drag queen or LGBT figure perusing the beautiful LGBT people hitting up this hotspot. I made sure I incorporated a drag show into my Israeli itinerary and I am so glad I did- the Evita drag show was the best drag performance I have ever seen both live and on the big screen. The fabulous Israeli drag queens especially loved tourists in the audience and I even got incorporated into their evening of routines and acts! They are also darling enough to throw in plenty of English into their usually Hebrew numbers to create a diverse and inclusive environment for locals and visitors alike. When you hit up this hotspot, tell the ladies that Sophie sent you!

Go antique shopping, Jaffa

The port city of Jaffa is famous for its rich history and coastal presence, long before Tel Aviv was even on the map. Jaffa is a gorgeous and ancient town just south of the big city of Tel Aviv- and even offers the best views of Tel Aviv from the many cute boardwalk restaurants and cafes lining the coast. You will definitely want to fuel up at one of these great eateries because there is plenty of great antique shopping around the entire area of Jaffa. Whether you are shopping for your own humble abode or just window shopping, the furniture and antique stores in and around this city are absolutely not to be missed!

Visit the new Science and Technology center, Be’er Sheva

At the cusp of the Negev desert, Be’er Sheva is a city rich with academic institutions and educational organizations fit for any and every age of local and visitor alike. This city leads the way in research and technological developments, and the best way to experience the progressive work done in around this town is at its brand new Science and Technology center right in the heart of town. This interactive center features a number of exhibits that make the Israeli science and technology that leads the world forward on a daily basis accessible to locals and visitors of any age. No matter who you are visiting with, be sure to make a trip to this eye-opening new site- complete with full size functional and educational sculpture garden that will teach you more about physics than you ever learned in high school!

Walk through the Old City right before a holiday, Jerusalem

The Old City of Jerusalem is one of the most culturally and historically significant sites in the entire world. Various world religions and heritages come together all within the confines of a few square kilometers. Whether you are looking for authentic Israeli food, shopping, museums, or people watching, the Old City epitomizes the rich offerings of this incredible country. The Old City is busy all year round, but the best time to get an especially great feel for the heart of the Israeli people by visiting this heart of the country before a holiday! The streets are packed with people of all ages and cultural backgrounds, which provides the ultimate people watching and fix for the senses as any site in this bustling country. Just remember, the closer to a holiday of any religion, the more exciting the Old City will be!

Shop at hidden second-hand stores, Tel Aviv

It is no surprise that some of the world’s best shopping is in the world, with European and Middle Eastern styles coming to a head in the most inspiring and unexpected ways possible. No matter what sort of garments or tzetchkes you are looking for, Tel Aviv will surely provide! A variety of vendors, from street stands to boutiques to full on department stores, provide locals and tourists with the latest up and coming fashions. And the best place to get the most fashion-forward finds is at Tel Aviv’s plethora of second hand stores and thrift shops scattered strategically around the city! The more off the beaten path places you can find, the better- think alley ways, side streets and tucked away corners for the best finds Israel has to offer!

Attend a Women of the Wall protest, Jerusalem

The Western Wall is one of Jerusalem’s most infamous and sacred sites, with countless visitors a day from all corners of the world. Visiting this irreplaceable gem is life changing no matter how many times you go there. One of my favorite ways of experiencing the Western Wall in the Old City is with the feminist group Women of the Wall. This group of feminist men and women of all nationalities and backgrounds gather at the Wall at the beginning of every Jewish month to protest religious constraints on women during worship and other practices held at this holy site. I am lucky enough to attend one of the most radical and progressive universities in the world, and the protest conducted by Women of the Wall far exceeded any other rally or gathering I had previously witnessed. This alternative and unique way of experiencing one of the world’s most coveted religious sites is absolutely not to be missed, regardless of background or belief.

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