Thousands march in largest ever LGBT parade in the Middle East

Sat. June 10, 2017 5:15 AM by News Staff

tel aviv pride parade, 2017

photo credit // guy yechiely

Tel Aviv Mayor: 'We will continue to be a light-house city – spreading the values of freedom, tolerance and democracy to the world.'

Tel Aviv - A record 200,000 people from around the world descended on Tel Aviv June 9 to march in the largest ever pride parade in Asia and the Middle East. This year's theme, "Bisexual Visibility," highlighted the important contributions of bisexual individuals to Tel Aviv's thriving LGBT community.

Friday's parade was the first large-scale pride parade in the world to ever celebrate the theme bisexuality.

"Tel Aviv Pride Parade is not just a celebration, but also an important declaration of support," said Tel Aviv-Yafo Mayor, Ron Huldai. "Tel Aviv, which has already been acknowledged as the world's "most gay-friendly city" will continue to be a light-house city – spreading the values of freedom, tolerance and democracy to the world."

Tel Aviv Pride Parade is widely recognized as one of the leading parades in the world, with The Boston Globe dubbing Tel Aviv "the World's Gayest City," and Out magazine calling it "the Gay Capital of the Middle East."

The Tel Aviv Pride Parade has become, over recent years, one of the world's largest gay tourism events. The parade itself marks the highlight of Tel Aviv's annual pride festival, which included an LGBTQ Cultural Festival at the City's theatres, a special performance by the Israeli Opera at the NYX Tel Aviv – the official pride hotel for 2017, a "family friendly" float sponsored by the UK's "Love is Great" Campaign, pride concerts featuring the "Petshop Boys" duo and internationally acclaimed local DJ Offer Nissim and more.

"I am so excited to be the International Ambassador for Tel Aviv Pride 2017 and I'm thrilled to be in this city with my children and to show them a place that I truly love," said blogger Perez Hilton. "With all the awful things happening to Gay, Lesbian and Transgender people all over the world, I am so happy to be in a place that is so welcoming".