TEL AVIV SHUTS DOWN ENTIRE CITY FOR ANNUAL GAY PRIDE PARADE IN ISRAEL

TEL AVIV EXPECTS SOME 180,000 PEOPLE TO MARCH IN FRIDAY’S ANNUAL GAY PRIDE PARADE, THE NATION’S LARGEST AND OLDEST GAY PRIDE EVENT. The parade, now in its 17th year, began at 11 a.m. local time as participants gathered at the city’s Meir Park. At noon, marchers are slated to begin walking down some of the city’s busiest thoroughfares, ending at Charles Clore Park on the Mediterranean beach. The event is scheduled to end at 4 p.m. The event has become one of Tel Aviv’s most popular annual festivals. Streets and stores have been decorated with rainbow flags for days. Thousands of Israelis flocked to the city center Friday to observe the parade, filling cafes and restaurants along the route to capacity. The theme of this year’s parade is focused on transgender rights. Events like the parade are key to advancing recognition for the transgendered, Tel Aviv activist Elisha Alexander said earlier this week.

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