Tens of thousands of Israelis and tourists crammed into central Tel Aviv Friday, as the city held its 14th annual Gay Pride Parade under blazing skies.
Israel’s homosexual community celebrated the parade as colorful floats with scantily dressed revelers drove through the streets. Cheering spectators waved rainbow flags and gyrated to the loud music.
The slogan of this year’s parade was “Flags across the nation” and organizers wished to stress the link between the Tel Aviv parade and the LGBT community across the country.
Drag queens, dancers and shirtless men partied in Meir Garden (King George Street), home to Tel Aviv's thriving LGBT community.
Tel Aviv, with around 400,000 inhabitants, has a large gay community and is seen in the tourist sector as a Mediterranean "gay capital."
Tel Aviv is one of the few places in the Middle East where gay people feel free to walk hand-in-hand and kiss in public. They are also able to serve openly in Israel's military.
In January, an American Airlines competition declared Tel Aviv the world's number one gay travel destination ahead of Amsterdam and San Francisco.