Izhar Cohen, Pnina Rosenblum,Moran Mazor and Ilanit will take the stage alongside more than 20 drag queens and kings in the traditional colorful and campy show Wigstock, to raise awareness for HIV and AIDS.
The internationally traditional drag Festival returns to Tel Aviv this year on June 1st, in order to raise awareness for HIV and AIDS and end the stigma against HIV-positive people, encouraging contraceptive use and HIV testing. The Tel Aviv LGBT Center, and the Israeli Aids Task Force together with the Tel Aviv municipality joined this year to produce the colorful event and pass along these important messages.
Wigstock will be marked this year with a gesture to the Eurovision Song Contest and its prominent performers. Top drag personas will participate in the festival also, including the famous Ziona Patriot and Kiara Duple from “Holy Wigs,” Miss Laila Carry and Gallina for de Bra, Drag School graduates, and more. This year’s festival was produced by Lenore Bar-gil and Daniel Mariuma and promises a large contingent of drag kings next to the drag queens.
The event that, which take place in Gan Meir, will be hosted by the first lady of Israeli blondes, Pnina Rosenblum, together with Kay Long and Holy Wigs’ star Ziona Patriot. Besides the super-colorful drag performances, Israeli Eurovision artists will also take the stage, including the first Israeli Eurovision winner Izhar Cohen (“A-ba-ni-bi,” 1978), Ilanit, who represented Israel twice (1973, 1977) and Moran Mazor (who represented Israel in 2013). In fact, host Pnina Rosenblum, also competed for the chance to represent Israel, in 1983 with the cult song ‘Tamid Isha’ (‘Always a Woman). She finished in last place at the Pre-Eurovision selection.
Adir Yanco, chair of Bella Doeget, the LGBT arm in the AIDS Task Force: “One of the major challenges of our work is to promote healthy sexual behavior aside from acceptance, and not patronizing and preaching [at people who are infected with the virus], which is exactly what we are going to do at Wigstock. Data from recent years indicates a high prevalence of HIV positive in the gay community and requires us all to think of creative solutions. The solidarity behind this unification of forces between drag queens and kings and artists who will lead Wigstock proves that at the moment of truth, we know how to be a united community and take care of each other, which is awesome. This year we are especially pleased because Wigstock comes at the height of a year in which we raised the number of subjects in our testing centers by 51%, opened a new testing center focusing on the gay community and expanded the range of our mobile inspection tests. Now we take the time to have some fun and invite everyone to enjoy one of the highlights of 2016 Tel Aviv pride week.”