Did you know that nearly two weeks ago Germany passed through the first stages of legalizing gay marriage? Up until now, they’ve had gay partnerships, but these partnerships lacked certain rights granted to married couples (e.g. adoption rights).
Germany is lead by a coalition dominated by the CDU, the Christian Democratic Union, yet despite this conservative-leaning leadership, the vast majority of Germans support gay marriage (83%, according to wiki). And, although Angela Merkel voted against the proposition (which we are all hoping was more of a political play than a personal opinion- we want to like you Angie, we really do), the vote passed with a nearly 2:1 yay to nay ratio (393 vs 226).
All of this is great news. But I do, once again, I find my self wondering, what the hell is going on down there Australia!*
*I just saw that Malta also passed it this week. And this is a country that only got on board with divorce in 2011!
Anyway, the timing of this bill-passing seems completely un-coincidental. We’re bang in the middle of Pride season here: World Pride in Madrid two weekends ago saw hundred of thousands, possibly millions turn out, the people of NYC marched the weekend before that, and last weekend was London Pride.
To be honest, when we booked our trip to Israel at the start of June, we planned with budget and friends in mind, rather than Pride.
Sometimes, Fate just treats you kindly, and surprises you with a huge, beautiful, peaceful, love-filled party…
So here’s my feelings on Tel Aviv Pride.
It was hot. Not the ‘fires of hell’ kind of hot, but hot.
And there were lots, and lots and lots of people.
And usually my friends, these are two things that I do not like. People think that Australians should like the heat. My response is ‘there is a reason I left our hot sticky little landmass’. Add people to that and you just have big swarms of sweat-producing smelly meat sacks rubbing up against eachother and getting angry.
But people at Tel Aviv pride? They just seemed happy.
^With Asdru, Mercedes, and about 2 zillion people behind us.
^Do you remember I mentioned the man who boldly walked through the anti-gay hatred? This is him. Is he not spectacular?!
I recently talked with a friend about the concept of ‘pride’, and whether you can really be proud of something you are born as/with (we were talking about nationalism). I think for me, this problem is mostly semantic: English lacks a word that’s better than ‘pride’ in this kind of context… or, at least, the word ‘pride’ in other contexts has too many negative connotations.
Here, I think the ‘Pride’ displayed was not so much about a peacock-esque, seven-deadly-sins, douchey kind of uppityness (although don’t get me wrong, the crowd was filled with some of the most beautifully peacocking people), but could rather be defined as freedom, and happiness, and a general lack of apology.
One of the loveliest things to see was that, although the general theme was ‘LGBTQI Pride’, with a more specific message this year aimed at Bisexuality and inclusion of Bisexuals into the community, there seemed to be a kind of ‘Pride leakiness’.
And due to this ‘Pride leakiness’, people seemed to be showing happiness and freedom not only in the context of their sexuality, but also in their own diverse ways.
From my personal agenda, I loved how many women of all different shapes and types seemed to have their bodies, not so much ‘displayed’, as just… ‘there’.
^you see the balloon, but do you also see the dove it’s chasing?
^we think this is a mistranslation of a word-play, because the woman holding it didn’t seem to be anti-. So…points for anyone who can explain it to me.
Back to the parade, and we spent most of our time following this truck with these lovely ladies, mostly because they had the best music.
But at some point I thought it would be better to walk up ahead to check out all the floats that had already passed us. (In reality, this was very few, and we were already quite near to the front, so my judgement sucked. But que sera will be and all that). Still, it gave us a chance to check out some of the beautiful people.
^Blurry but beautiful. And bellow, the only people whose outfit I didn’t agree with- only for the fact that they were wearing leather on a 35 degree day:
This man is the Glitter Fairy.
The pride march ends at a public park, which then acts as locale for the massive after party…
… we spent a bit of time at the party, dancing and jostling for shade, before it all became too hot.
So we took a walk, all of ten metres, and arrived at the beach…
… and then, as the sun began to set, we walked down to Jaffa, to feast on seafood, photograph cats, and gaze back at the capital from the old city.