Pride season is upon us, and this year we’re ringing it in by spotlighting the folks who make us proud to show up to work each day — the artists, activists, performers and personalities who make our community shine.
Erez Bialer is a 34-year-old writer/editor/former circuit party producing Jack-of-all-trades from Tel Aviv, Israel. These days, Erez writes about tourism for City Mouse (The Israeli Time Out for Tel Aviv) and leads gay tours to the most amazing (and the only clothing optional) beaches in Israel.
What are you working on right now that brings you pride?
One of the most beautiful beaches in Israel (and the only gay friendly naturist one), Gaash Beach, is only 30 minutes away from Tel Aviv, but up until now it was totally inaccessible for people without a vehicle, because getting there with public transportation includes walking a mile and half in the dunes in the sun. So right now I’m so proud and thrilled to present Gaash Express, the most comfortable way to get to Gaash Beach and back, in an air-conditioned luxurious minibus. There are 2 times during the day you can go: morning and noon. Tickets are very limited.
Describe your first pride.
My first pride was just a brief visit to the parade in 2005. It was very very hot and it wasn’t even close to its magnitude today because the financial potential was yet to be discovered by the municipality of Tel Aviv, and so it wasn’t funded by it yet.
What’s been your most awkward pride moment?
In 2011 I was working in the production of one of the circuit parties in Tel Aviv. During the party I got picked up and kicked out all wrinkled like piece of toilet paper, even though I had a production bracelet, and it was while I was trying to work there! For some reason the overzealous security guard mistook me for a trouble maker and threw me out speechless.
Which city’s pride is on your bucket list?
The top two are Madrid (the boys) and Amsterdam (the boats?). I still have a lot to look forward to when it comes to global pride events. I have been working in this industry for a few years but I must admit I’ve not been to many events.
Does Pride feel different this year?
I don’t know if Pride itself feels different here, but I do feel like the LGBTQ community in Israel is protesting and acting on matters that concern, not only the local but also the global community. I believe the protests against the alleged situation in Checheniya, in front of the Russian embassy, and the fundraiser afterwards, donating funds to organizations helping people reach shelter, really made a difference. For me, this unity is heart warming.
What’s the ultimate Pride song?
Offer Nissim – Everybody Need a Man
What’s your ideal Pride outfit?
Anything glittery, rhinestones, shimmering sexy and colorful.