LGBT Life in Tel Aviv and TLV Pride 2015: PHOTOS
There really is no major international city like Tel Aviv for the LGBT community, which is saying a lot from someone who’s been to several different gay metropolises. Just getting back from an amazing trip to Israel for Tel Aviv Gay Pride 2015, I got to see LGBT life in the “city that never stops” during the largest Pride celebration in Asia.
The Israeli city was (and probably still is) covered with rainbow flags and banners in support for the community for the 17th edition of TLV Pride. You’d think any place can easily just put up these signs of being an ally in order to attract travelers, but the city municipality (which fully hosts and sponsors TLV Pride) makes sure the establishments that do so during Pride are year-long supporters of the community. That’s just one example of how Tel Avivians are supportive of the community, which has no need for a gayborhood as the whole city is like a big one.
More details and photos below:
In a city where bars close when patrons pretty much decide when the party’s over, Pride week had full range of parties throughout the city from staple dance bars like Evita (below) to party hopping to all of them with the TLV Scene app and its #PridePass.
Along with Evita, two other hotspots to know include SHPAGAT (a cozy lounge bar with a cool, stylish design), and Ha’oman 17 (the largest gay club in Tel Aviv that attracts international DJS – pictured below).
The beach life in Tel Aviv is quite superb. With a long promenade running alongside the shore, there’s an 8.7 mile stretch of sand, parks and ocean along the beach areas. Among the 15 different beach areas in the city, there’s the Hilton Beach – the unofficial gay beach of the city was packed each day during Pride with locals and international visitors sunbathing and mingling.
More photos of Hilton Beach coming soon!
TLV Pride 2015
On Friday (June 12th) of Pride week, the Pride Parade took place and drew 180,000 locals and visitors who participated, marched, danced and celebrated the community in support of all LGBT people with the theme of “Tel Aviv Loves All Genders.” Among the visitors during Tel Aviv Pride included Austrian pop singer and drag queen Conchita Wurst. The Parade day kicked off in Meir Park near the city’s LGBT center, and you could feel all the joy and pride the people were feeling. From shirtless travelers and drag queens to local families and athletes all joined together to celebrate.
The march – where anyone and everyone could march in, which was a nice change from U.S. prides – went from the park over to Bograshov Street for several blocks before hitting the beachside main drag of Retsif Herbert Samuel Street where it was joined by several floats. The parade went on for several streets until it reached with everyone happily marching and dancing along over to Charles Clore Park, where the route ended at the Pride festival which was filled with several different stands, bars and a giant stage for a number of Israeli and visiting musicians – including Conchita Wurst. See some photos from Pride below, with more coming!
Along with the Pride parade and festival, other major events during the week included the annual Tel Aviv LGBT International Film Festival, a new After-Pride day-to-evening rave at Bloomfield Stadium, and the Water Park party takeover (pictured below) at Kibbutz Shfayim (a popular water park that people from all over Israel travel to).
All photos by Andrew Villagomez
More Tel Aviv moments coming soon, with more photos from the Pride parade here.