HRC Blog

Photos: First LGBT Pride Celebration in the Israeli Desert

This post and photographs are from former HRC intern Zachary A. Bennett, currently a freelance photographer living in Israel.  More on Zak at

One week before the mammoth Pride festival in Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel, the metropolitan desert city of Be’er Sheva celebrated it’s first ever city-recognized and funded Gay Pride Festival. This is a breakthrough point for the Be’er Sheva community and the Negev Desert region. Even though Israel, which is the only state in the Middle East where one can live a gay life legally, it is still not an easy life for the LGBT community outside of Tel Aviv-Yafo. Many orthodox Jews were upset because city funds were used in order to make the event happen. Musical artists Korina Alal and Alona Daniel and DJ Daniel Mariuma entertained the crowd throughout the day and into the early evening. Today a step forward has been taken regarding the Human Rights movement toward total equality and a more acceptable future for the LGBT community in the Middle East.

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