(8 Jun 2012) Drag queens, dancers and shirtless men partied through Tel Aviv in Israel on Friday as tens of thousands packed the streets for the 14th annual gay pride parade.
Colourful floats with scantily dressed revellers drove through the city streets as thousands cheered, waved flags and gyrated to loud music.
Even the usual black and white street crossings were painted in the rainbow colours of the gay pride movement for the event.
“We hope it will be just, just exciting and absolutely hilarious,” said tourist Sergey Laskov.
Tel Aviv is one of the few places in the Middle East where gays feel free to walk hand-in-hand and kiss in public.
“Everybody can be themselves here, without anybody judging them, it’s beautiful” said local resident Lilach Ariel.
Gays serve openly in Israel’s military and parliament and the Supreme Court has granted gays a variety of family rights such as inheritance and survivor’s benefits.
Earlier this year Tel Aviv was nominated by readers of the travel website “Gaycities” as the top gay destination ahead of Amsterdam and San Francisco.
You can license this story through AP Archive:
Find out more about AP Archive: