Israel has a reputation for its openness. Tel Aviv is the dream destination of all LGBT.
The annual Gay Pride Parade is an annual colorful event. Who cares about, if one is homosexual, lesbian, transgender, intersexual, bi-sexual or heterosexual? Is she or he outed or just trying by trying within the relative anonymity of the events how it feels to be “different”? Tel Avis is carrying every one away.
Ta’alin Abu Hanna, 21 is from Nazereth and a professional ballet dancer „ I am proud to be an Israeli Arab. As a Palestinian living in any Arab country, I would be in prison or murdered by male relatives. “
The event took place end last week in the HaBima, the Israeli national theater,
After three qualifying rounds with more than 100 young women, including Bedouin and Muslim women.
For the winner it is a historical event, a clear step into the direction of equal rights for every gender in the society. In August the Israeli winner, will represent Israel in an international contest in Barcelona. The first price of US$ 15000 to be used for pending surgery in Thailand, plus the costs for the flight and for the stay.
The participants are a mirror image of the Israeli society, present was a Muslima and a young woman from an ultra-orthodox family. The participants are from all Israel.
Not all the families were pleased with the participation of family members. Caroline Khouri, 24, from the Arab city Tamra had bad experiences. Male family members abused her, cut her hair and left her tied to a bed for three days without food and water. The police freed her but her family expulsed her.
Aylin Ben-Zaken, 27, run away from her ultra-orthodox family when she was 15. “I looked like a Rabbi” For three years she did not communicate with her family. Now the dust settled and she is pleased to be in contact again and to participate with Friday evening dinners.
Yisraela Stephani Lev, the event manager believes that it laughable to accuse Israel of “Pink washing” reverting to Palestinians. “We live in Tel Aviv, here everyone may live as he or she likes. No one is expulsed because of sexual orientation. We are the only sane country in the region. This is our reality. Here, there is neither brain- nor pink washing”.
The phenomena of the transgender is seen calmly in the IDF. Brigadier General Rachel Tevet-Weisel, responsible for women and LGBT matters is not interested if somebody is heterosexual or not. These times are over with IDF. “But when a women or a man joins the army and says I am in the process of a gender reassignment then I am pleased to know about it as soon as possible. Finally, after a defined time, I must do some administrative changes.”
©esther scheiner, israel