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Israel’s LGBTQ Community Ranks the Biggest Stories of 2017

At the end of December popular Israeli LGBTQ magazine WDG asked the local community to summarize the biggest stories of 2017. Over 1,800 readers responded and over all, said that 2017 was a good year for the LGBTQ community in Israel.

62% of the respondents said that 2017 was good and 38% said it’s good that it’s over- which means that there’s room for improvement. Luckily we have 2018 to make things better.

Be’er Sheva Pride

Be’er Sheva’s first pride parade was chosen for the “First Time Event of the Year,” with 42% of the votes. The victory of the community in Beer Sheva (after the struggle in 2016), symbolized by the parade, was impressive. The first Pride Parade in the southern city was organized by the Pride Home and 4,000 people marched.

LGBTQ Conference on Aging

18.5% of you chose the gay sports tournament, which was held this year for the first time in Tel Aviv, while 13.5% chose the LGBT Conference on aging, which marked 2017 as the first of its kind.

Social Issues of the Year

Jerusalem Pride

According to the votes, 2017 was all about LGBTQ visibility in the periphery. 44.5% of the readers voted for it. Religious issues and LGBT, which was the theme of this year’s gay pride parade in Jerusalem and continued to occupy us throughout the year, was chosen by 22.6% of the readers, while the mass funding for surrogacy was chosen by about 12%.

Surprise of the Year

The Israeli readers voted for the LGBTQ army that fights against ISIS as the surprising story of the year, with 36% of the votes. A change in the policy of blood donations by MDA surprised 24% of the readers, and President Rivlin’s visit to the gay center surprised 23%.

Most Irritating Stories of the Year

Protesting the state’s opposition to same-sex adoption

The adoption controversy was voted as the most upsetting story of the year. The issue began as a result of the state’s opposition to adoption of children by LGBT couples, on the grounds that single-sex families are “abnormal” and are likely to “overload extra baggage on the child.” The state’s position led to a protest that culminated in the large demonstration of the LGBTQ community in front of the Interior Ministry offices in Tel Aviv, which eventually convinced the state to retract its statements.

23% of the readers were annoyed by the attitude of the state toward same sex mothers, and 10% were upset by orthodox rabbis’ in the community, two issues that will probably continue to upset the community in 2018 as well.

In the international arena, 31% of the readers chose the ban on transgender people to enlist in the US Army as the most outrageous story of the year. US President Donald Trump announced the ban on his personal Twitter account: “The United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgenders in the military would entail.”

19.5% of the readers were outraged by another White House behavior – the disregard of pride month, while 17.5% voted for the pride parade in Istanbul being shut down by the police as the most outrageous story.

The LGBT persecution in Chechnya was not put to a vote, because in the editors’ opinion there’s nothing worse than the loss of human life. 100% of the readers agreed.

The Happiest Stories of 2017

Marriage Equality in Australia, Slovenia, Germany, Finland, Malta and Taiwan was chosen by the Israeli readers as the happiest news story of the year with 38% of the votes. For 21.5% of the readers the best news of the year was the approval of PreP in Israel. Bisexuality as the theme of 2017 gay pride events was chosen by 17% of the readers as the best news.

Awkward Story of 2017

The 2017 crackdown undoubtedly belongs to Studio C, which published the transphobic ad and caused controversy, voted by 39% of the Israeli readers as awkward story of the year.

Alice Widel, a lesbian who rejects same-sex marriage and was placed at the head of the right-wing party in Germany, came in second with 20% of the votes, and the Pride Week’s clash of the parties, Shirazi vs. Ofer Nissim’s parties, was voted by 16% as the most awkward of the year.