ISRAEL: Dana International – Diva / LGBTQ community in Israel

Israel has won Eurovision a few times, but most notable was in 1998 with Dana International becoming the first trans artist to win the competition. Here’s her winning performance:

The Guardian has a great article on her career and on her role in raising trans visibility in the arts in Israel and Europe. Israel is generally positive on LGBTQ rights and representation (Tel Aviv’s Pride fest is legendary), but there are tensions with the ultra-Orthodox community and a lack of active support from right-wing governments.

As there are no civil marriages in Israel, only religious, and the decisions on marriage are decided by largely Orthodox rabbis – Israel still does not allow same sex marriage, but will recognize marriages in other countries. So while Israel does pride itself as being more supportive of its LGBTQ community than its neighbours, there’s still a fair bit to go.

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