As gay as it gets: The complexity of Gay Life in Israel/ Tamir Hod

Published Date Author: , September 4th, 2012

In the past decade or so, Gay Tel Aviv has managed to establish itself as one of the major capitals in the international gay scene, and not without the desirable credentials; In the 24/7 sizzling city of Tel Aviv you can hardly go a few steps without stumbling upon a Gay bar, local Gay or business, Tel Aviv gay hotels, potential partners for whatever purpose or any kind of gay-oriented activity. The almost all-year-long summer, the abundance in beaches- including Tel Aviv gay beach, swarming with beautiful guys looking to have some good fun, the Israeli non-formal manners (aka “Hutzpah”) and maybe also the unconscious feeling that this might all be temporary- all those things make this city a perfect venue for a rich and exciting gay scene. It is probably for these reasons and more that every year thousands of tourists choose Israel and Tel Aviv specifically, as their preferred holiday destination (not only during Gay Pride Tel Aviv).
A day trip outside Tel Aviv will reveal to you different sides of this country, which are sometimes in contrast with what you have by then come to know of Tel Aviv. Many people living in the north or south of Israel will often describe Tel Aviv as “a separate country”, and its inhabitants “foreigners”. Maybe because it’s so much fun here (these words are written from within Gay Tel Aviv), we don’t have the time to worry ourselves with things too mundane and earthly, or is it that if we had kept busy having babies, practicing the Torah and making ends meet- Tel Aviv would be just as any other Israeli city? We think it’s good that things are as they are. We like our guests to find us free, and gay and sexy. But really, one visit to Jerusalem- Israel’s holy and not always open-minded capital, or the southern city of Beer Sheva, for example, will teach you a thing or two about the complexity of the acceptance of gays in Israel, of what a young gay or Lesbian have to go through before they migrate to Gay Heaven which is Tel Aviv.
Although Gay Pride Tel Aviv has become somewhat an establishment in Israel (Don’t forget to make an early booking for your hotels in Tel Aviv!), and although there are similar happenings in other cities across the country during Pride Week in Israel, the smaller Prides do not always go smoothly and there are many that criticize their very existence. In a country that is made of so many nationalities, religions, social backgrounds and countries of origins, crammed together on such a small piece of (inflammable) land, it is not a matter of fact that such a gay scene had successfully emerged. We are proud to be living in this nation within a nation, Israel’s Gay Belly Button. But we encourage you- If you don’t mind stepping out of Gay Tel Aviv for a day or two, to get a taste of the Other Israel where, unfortunately for them- fun is not a must. Make sure you come back before midnight though- we’re going out tonight!


Gayway TLV– Israel’s gay travel agency

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