Tel Aviv Pride
Tel Aviv Pride (Hebrew: גאווה תל אביבית) is an annual, week-long series of events that celebrate the LGBT community life, which is held the second week of June. The most attended event is the Pride Parade.
The Tel Aviv Pride Parade, originally known as the Tel Aviv Love Parade, started in 1997, assembles and begins at Meir Park, and travels along Bugrashov Street, Ben Yehuda Street, Ben Gurion Boulevard and culminates in a beach party on the seafront. The parade is the biggest pride event in Asia, attracting more than 100,000 people in 2011, approximately 5,000 of them tourists. Tel Aviv was the first city in Israel where gay events happened and also the first city where marched a gay parade.
As a part of Tel Aviv culture
In the early years of the Gay Pride Parade, the majority of the participants were highly political. Later on, as the Parade grew, people who took part in the Parade came to the notion that the Parade should focus on LGBT rights equality and equal chances and should not be used as a stage of radical politics, which are not accepted by most of the parade's participants. Gradually the Parade become to be less political due to large participation. In recent years the Parade has attracted more that 100,000 participants from around the world.
By 2000, the Parade became more of an event and a street celebration than a political demonstration.
The 11th Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade, which took place in 2008, was accompanied by the opening of the LGBT Centre in Tel Aviv. This is the first municipal gay center in Israel, whose purpose is to provide services only to LGBT community, such as health care, cultural events, meetings of different LGBT groups, a coffee shop, and many others. During the 2009 Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade, five same-sex couples got married in what was called "the wedding of the century" by the Israeli celebrity Gal Ochovsky. The June 10, 2011, Parade was the largest one, with 100,000 participants and official representatives of LGBT groups from companies such as Google and Microsoft participated in the Parade. In 2012 more than 150,000 people marched in the Parade, making it the largest Gay Pride Parade in Asia. The event is advertised all around the world by Tourism Ministry (Israel), marking Tel Aviv as a LGBT tourism destination.
- "Tel Aviv Festivals". Urban Travel Blog. 2012-05-21. Retrieved 2012-05-24.
- Harriet Sherwood (10-05-2011). "Tel Aviv's Gay Pride parade draws thousands to the city". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-05-17.
- "Tel Aviv declared world's best gay travel destination". Haaretz. 11-01-2012. Retrieved 2012-05-18.