Every year on May 17 we celebrate the International Day against Homophobia. The day was established in 2005 and since 2006 we began celebrating it in Israel.
The date was set according to the day when homosexuality was removed from the World Medical Association’s mental disorders list. Every year, gay pride parades take place on this day in many cities around the world, including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Many celebrities participate in the activities of this day, including the former Minister Yuli Tamir, and the Parliament Members Yossi Beilin, Zehava Gal-On and Dov Hanin. Former Minister Tamir declared in the Knesset: “I will add the fight against homophobia to the curriculum in the education system.”
Last year, Parliament Members Nino Avsdsh and Nitzan Horvitz created “the Gay Lobby” – an official organization in the Parliament which fights for gay rights.
In many academic institutions in Israel, the International Day against Homophobia is mentioned and brought to the students’ attention. In a few of them, discussions take place about gay rights and the need for equitable legislation. In the gay center in Israel, the main events include theater shows, concerts, music and movies. Within the educational system there were also discussions about this day in classes.
Many people praise this progress, and I’m among them, but I still think that there are more changes to be made, for example – same-sex marriage is a subject that is still controversial in Israel. In spite of that, I do believe we’re on the right path.
Tel Aviv – best gay city (video from oshalev on youtube.com)