Gay ole time

This year's Parade is just one of the myriad festivities celebrating both Tel Aviv's centennial and Gay Pride Month.

Gay pride colorful 248.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Gay pride colorful 248.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
You don't even have to be a lesbian to ride with Dykes on Bykes. For the third year in a row, they lead the Gay Pride parade. This year's, which also celebrates Tel Aviv's centennial, will be "the best parade ever" promises filmmaker Anat Salomon who brings her NY cool to producing this year's parade and GLBT film festival. The Hagay Driving School has donated 10 motorcycles and organizers Inbar Meiroviz and Sivan Gendelman have printed 5,000 printed stickers to hand out, stating, "When I get involved in something, I go full force." Following the bikers will be some familiar faces in antique vehicles, such as Gay Center Chairman Itai Pinkas and Michal Eden, Israel's first openly Lesbian elected official and founder of the Beit Dror shelter for GLBT youth. Her partner and child will join her for the outing. Brazilian rhythms and amazing costumes will turn on the heat, followed by iPRiDe representatives from a slew of countries, carrying their nation's flags. "The community is not just about partying," says Anat. Representatives from thirty different organizations within the GLBT community will participate, reflecting the diversity and inclusive spirit of the parade. There's a flavor to suit everyone's taste. Among the many marchers will be: Raduga - the Russian group, Dubim (Bears) - those cuddly, chubby, slightly hairy gay men, "Transgenders for Change," Asawat (Voices) - Israeli Arab lesbians, Bat Kol - religious Jewish lesbians and Femmes - self-explanatory. Shirazi, Evita Bar, Pop Ring and the Tel Aviv University Students Union will lead the way to Gordon beach where DJs will then proceed to get everyone dancing. ROMANTICS AND activists alike will enjoy the wedding of the century, officiated by Gal Uchovsky. "I love families," says Uchovsky, who has been marrying couples for the past ten years. "This time will be a little different because I am marrying four or five couples at once. It usually takes place among family and close friends, not cameras. It will be the opposite of what I usually say. I usually say that it is not a protest and not a political act. On Friday it will be different because we are making a statement by making public what we have been doing privately: getting married, saying that we are homosexuals and lesbians living in Israel the same as everyone else, creating families, even though the law does not recognize our right to do so. I want that image to become part of the collective memory, these people getting married…too." The pre-show outside the Gan Meir GLBT Center promises to be almost as much fun as the parade. Things get started at 10:00 a.m. with music and the first TLV Gay and Lesbian Tourism Expo. At 1 p.m. the parade moves out, taking Rehov Bograshov to Ben Yehuda to Ben Gurion, ending at Gordon Beach with a DJ party from 3 p.m. till Shabbat. The fun does not end there. City council member Yaniv Weizman notes that "Tel Aviv is the only city to have a gay pride month." So get rid of any post-parade blues by coming out to the Pink Elephant at the Tel Aviv Port on Saturday night for a lesbian extravaganza with DJs Keren Dotan and Tami Bibring. Anat Nir, who organized the event with Dana Ziv, is excited, "There aren't that many large-scale parties for women. Lesbian activity is usually more underground." As for organizer Inbar, she'll be zooming along with Dykes on Bykes on a scooter. It's not a political statement, just lack of cash. She is saving up for a motorcycle to ride in next year's parade. The Pride Parade takes place Friday, June 12. For more information about it and other Tel Aviv centennial events, visit For more information about Gay Pride Events, visit (Hebrew). The mass wedding is at 6:30 p.m. on the Gordon Beach. And, for info about the Pink Elephant party, Saturday, June 13 at 6 p.m. at the Tel Aviv Port opposite Montana Ice Cream, email or visit The writer blogs at