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We Can Do It! – The Most Inspiring Lesbian Women of Israel

A recent movie, “Shunned”, directed by Igal Hecht is showing the shocking reality on how many lesbians seek refuge in Israel, from all across the Middle East where they simply cannot be themselves.

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I listed some of the most inspiring Israeli freedom fighters and artists who make it possible for these superwomen to create a new reality where being lesbian is just as natural in Israel as eating meatless shawarma in Tel Aviv.

Ray Harel

Ray has been admittedly “addicted to music” since early age. By now she is an established DJ, but Ray grew up in the south of Israel, having to create a world of tolerance around her. After becoming a popular radio host she moved to Tel Aviv to work for a cool record label, and to rock the clubs as a DJ by nights.

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She hosted many well known International DJ’s in her radio show and she had introduced the local public House, techno, breakbeat and Drum&bass. Ray has also produced entertainment news for Time Out Tel Aviv & Israeli web portal Walla!. These days, Ray is the A&R Of Helicon Music, Dj’ing at the best clubs & venues in Tel-Aviv and she is promoting übercool parties.

Yael Deckelbaum

Jerusalem born singer Yael Deckelbaum sings in English and Hebrew and many of her songs were used as soundtracks for the legendary lesbian TV le show “The L Word”.  Her father David Deckelbaum was part of a folk band, so she has been performing with her dad she was 3.

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At only 16 she won first prize in a national contest as best young singer-songwriter, yet she is best known as a founding member of “Habanot Nehama”, a girl trio with Karolina Avratz , and Dana Adini. Their album has sold over 50 000 copies in Israel alone. Yael’s first solo album, Ground Zero had been released in Germany, Austria, and France. Her third studio album, “Enosh” was released last year – and is still a hit.

Ilana Zeffren

Not just an Israeli cartoonists and a lesbian icon, but a legendary cat-lover as well – and she’s not ashamed of any of the above. Zeffren was born to a religious family in Ashkelon. In 2005 she published the graphic novel called Pink Story, and comic strip series named Lesbix in the LGBT magazine Hazman Hachadash.

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Her ars poetica? “I present myself titled a lesbian as something normative. Clearly there is something insidious about this because a lesbian couple is not normative yet. On the other hand, it gives a touch of the mainstream and it’s not militant.  This explains why the column is loved by both adults and children.” Ilana lives in Tel Aviv with her partner Caroline.

Anat Nir

Anat is a social entrepreneur and publicist in the scene for the past one and a half decade. Co-founder of the women-only party Dana & Anat‘s, co-organizer of the Tel Aviv lesbian film festival Lethal Lesbian, and board member of the Aguda, the Israeli National LGBT Task Force.

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Along with her business partner, Dana Ziv she has organised many lesbian events, becoming characters of Tel Aviv’s LGBTQ scene. She was chief marketing officer of the “Feminanci”, a unique academy financially empowering women to fight for equality between genders, and producer of Pride Parade in Tel Aviv for years. She also partnered up with in “MOTHER Festival”, hosting Peaches and Ms. Kittin in Israel.

Lizzy the Lezzy

From YouTube to stardom, Lizzy is an animated comedian who is all about lesbian issues. She was created in October 2006 by Ruth Selwyn, and the first videos have garnered over 4 million views online.  Spotted by Arlan Hamilton who writes one of the most popular lesbian blogs on the internet the video ended up on Ellen.com.

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Soon Selwyn decided to put up a video dedicated to the Coming Out Day, which was featured on Lovegirls.co.uk along with Lizzy’s “Coming Out Guide”, and was famed by the Human Rights Campaign and the organization asked Ruth to create a special video for the L Word Season Premier Parties. Lizzy is sometimes joined by her best friend, who’s called – no surprise here – Gary the Gay.

This article was written for my LGBTQ column of Time out Israel. That’s all for this week gals and bois, keep in touch on Insta – find me as @whitecityboy. 

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