Many, many, gay men and women in town. More, even, than usual. Rainbow flags everywhere; hanging from balconies, flying from lampposts, in café windows. If this isn’t the gayest city in the world it is, at least, trying to be.
After breakfast at the Nahat I walked to Meir Park, off King George, where it all starts. There were a few thousand people there. How men run in eight inch heels will remain a mystery, as will how their makeup doesn’t run in the heat. It was 28C by midday.
I started to walk home along Bograshov, which had been cleared of traffic for the event. It runs from King George to the sea, and along its length were placed large loudspeakers, loudly playing the sort of music that has kept me out of gay bars and clubs around the world for over twenty years.
Tel Avivians, I think, are quite proud of Pride. They smile and ask if you are here for it. Café owners on Bograshov set up drinks and snack stands and make a killing. They could retire to the Seychelles after today.
I stopped close to home and watched the marchers. In half an hour they filled Bograshov, top to bottom. There were two-hundred thousand, I later learn. This is a small city of not many more than half a million. I don’t know where they came from or where they stayed. Fewer cross-dressers than in London, but no one likes putting on a wig and heels as much as an Englishman. Someone on their roof turned on a hose and showered the marchers with water. It was received happily. There was whooping, and there were whistles. I cannot imagine how everyone will fit on the beach.
I began to feel a bit crowded, they began to feel like gayliens, and I was tired from following the insane UK election on Twitter all night, so I went home for a nap.
Two hours later I left my building to find the street almost as normal. There were men sweeping up glitter from the gutter, barriers were being put away, traffic was back, cafés had empty tables again, but where had everyone gone?
I walked to the beach, which was no busier than usual. There were men with barrel chests walking, but where were the two-hundred thousand? Where had they gone?
Today’s word:lehitchupesh – to dress (in costume) – להתחפש