Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade 2011 311.
(photo credit: Yoni Cohen)
Tel Aviv kicked off its annual Gay Pride Parade Friday afternoon. Police closed streets along the parade
route and near the beach in central Tel Aviv as the procession and street party got under way with tens of thousands of participants.
At the Parade's opening in Gan Meir, opposition
head MK Tzipi Livni (Kadima) told the crowd that all people have the
right to be who they want to be, and the issue does not need to be a
political issue dominated by the Left.
Out and proud in the Holy Land
Religious homosexuals join the march for Gay Pride
It's not just TA residents who support Gay Pride 2011
Declaration of Independence, Livni said it is the responsibility of the
government and of all politicians to protect the rights of all people.
Also speaking, was MK
Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz), who told the crowd that as a gay man, he could
have only dreamed to be in a place like this when he was a teenager. "We
will expand the struggle so that anybody who wants to live his or her
life on their own path, can do that without fear of being cursed or hit
in the street, without fearing of being thrown out of their home, and with
the fear of being harassed at work."
Thousands of people had already gathered in Gan Meir before the parade
began, which culminated with a beach party that lasted until the evening. The parade began in Gan
Meir at around 1:30 p.m., passed through Bograshov and Ben
Yehuda Streets and ended at Gordon Beach.
Some of the best DJs in town and international guests kept the
beach party going until 6:30 p.m. Performers included Lovegang (Hamburg),
Erez B.I., Samuel Blacher, Israel Aharoni, Ziona Patriot, Offir Malol,
Shimai (Barcelona), Oscar Loya (Berlin) and many more.
Over 5,000 tourists were expected to arrive from overseas to join
in the celebrations, said Shai Doitsh, "Tel Aviv Gay Vibe" Brand Manager
and national board member of the LGBT Aguda.