This Friday, 100,000 people from all around the world gathered in Tel-Aviv for a big, colorful celebration of Pride. Straights, Homosexuals, Transgenders, Bisexuals- all came to show their support of equality in our society.
This combination of a celebration and a protest took place in the city that was recently elected one of the most "Gay Friendly" cities in the world, with the full support of the local municipality. Our top list of politicians joined the members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community in calls for the legalization of gay marriage and of the full right to be parents, and for a day, it seemed like the future is brighter than ever.
However, between one cheerful party to another, I remembered why these Pride Week events even take place. I remembered that whilst it is called "a Gay Pride Parade," it is still a protest, and a wake-up call for all of us. Between the smiles and the rainbow-colored set, I could see the pain in their hearts of having to be out there and still show a significant presence as a struggling community.
You see, we're in the 21st century, and teenagers still fear coming out of the closet, because they would instantly be marked as "different", "strange, "ill," or even "freaks of nature." Despite the fact the year is 2013, some people still live in the Middle-Ages, and members of the LGBT community have less chance of getting ahead in life, just because of their sexual orientation Just last week, I heard someone who said he would not allow his son to have a gay teacher, because he might molest him. The same person said that he does not think that a straight female teacher might molest his son, or that a straight male teacher might molest his daughter. Those teenagers, who feel something inside but scared to act on it because of the society, are sometimes sentenced to a life of unhappiness and incompleteness.
So yes, the Gay Pride Parade was one big fun celebration, and yet we mustn't forget its true meaning. But until we reach the point where there wouldn't be any need in Pride Parades, or a Pride Week, we must keep supporting this struggle for equality. I am not a member of the LGBT community, but I am proud to be a member of a community that does not care about a person's sexual preference, because why, on earth, should we care? The support of Tel-Aviv's municipality of the Pride Week events is one step towards the world we should live in. May this example, and other examples worldwide, catch the rest of the world soon, so we can truly say the human race is enlightened.
Caught on Camera- images from Tel-Aviv's Gay Pride Parade
Taken by: Rony Kahana
Taken by: Sharon Dar
Taken by: Tom Givon