Skip to main content

Gay Pride Parade in Holy Jerusalem

As Jerusalem prepares for its annual gay pride parade, members of the city’s LGBT community speak of the importance of raising the rainbow flag to call for rights and show that religion and homosexuality can coexist.
Participants hold rainbow flags during the 12th annual gay pride parade in Jerusalem August 1, 2013. Some 2500 people on Thursday took part in the annual parade in Jerusalem. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun (JERUSALEM - Tags: SOCIETY) - RTX127G3

In a sparkling, beaded black dress and stilettos, 30-year-old "Gallina Port des Bras" bid welcome from the stage of "Mikveh" — the self-proclaimed "one and only lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and straight-friendly club in Jerusalem." Smacking her strawberry red lips and flipping her long blond wig, Port des Bras — whose offstage name is Gil Naveh — told Al-Monitor that though Jerusalem has bred the country’s most famous drag queens, the city is no easy place to be a drag queen, or for that matter gay.

“Jerusalem is one of the craziest cities in the world. It’s very religious but also very free. It’s the most beautiful city in the world, but has some of the ugliest sides of humanity in it,” he said. Raised in a very secular family and coming out at the age of 13, he said he was also raised in a bubble. Naveh — among the organizers of the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade to take place on Aug. 1 — said he has never been attacked himself, but seen it happen to several of his friends. He explained that it is not so much the frequency of incidents of violence, but the constant awareness of the threat of violence.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 for annual access.