Drag Is In The Air – Meet The Top 5 Drag Performers of Israel
The heels are high – but these girls are holding on. Celebrating the upcoming TLV Pride let me introduce you the “Fox Force Five” of Tel Aviv – the coolest drag queens influencing our society, making us laugh, and let us understand: in the White City you can be absolutely anyone, and do whatever you feel like, no one will raise an eyebrow – as long as you are doing it with style.
Tal Kallai is not simply a gorgeous, sassy and stylish drag queen, but also a talented young actor, performing in clubs, parties, and on the stage of the National Theatre, Habima, where her one (wo)man show runs.
Expect singing, dancing, emotional and funny monologues – and absolutely flawless make up, of course. No surprise that Talula became an „it drag” even in Japan, as a local magazine featured her as the covergirl.
Kay Long was a long-time icon of the Tel Aviv nightlife when her name made headlines all across Israel in 2015: the stylist turned drag celebrity was crowned Israel’s top queen for three years in a row, from 2011.
Kay – who was born as a boy, and identifies herself as a woman – visited the Western Wall in a humble black dress, yet being two meters tall “without heels” as she said, was not allowed to enter. “My message is to stand up for yourself, don’t change for anyone, and don’t let anyone decide who you are for you.” – she says.
Ronny Chokron – fashion photographer, and impersonator of Tel Aviv’s drag phenomenon, Nona Chalant had her own Culture Nights at the city’s iconic, by now closed down gay bar, Evita, and runs a video series where she tells it all about whatever pops into her mind.
Ronny’s inspiration – apart from watching all episodes ever made of Ru Paul’s Drag Race – was the Pesia Girls, a humorous Israeli group of men dressed as women. “Nobody called them abnormal or nasty, they were loved by everyone.” – he says.
The Suzi Boum phenomenon became unavoidable in Israel when a grand interview for a major publication introduced her, mentioning her name as some of the pioneers of LGBTQ visibility in Israel, alongside celebrated local TV host Assi Azar, and Amir Ohana, member of the ruling Likud party.
Lior Yisraelov’s transformation from a religious boy to one of Israel’s most famous drag queen hit the headlines hard. “I always say I came out three times: as secular, as gay and as a drag queen.” – he says, yet throughout all the sometimes difficult journey he never stopped feeling home – as she says: “Israel has made me famous.”
Yet another artist who’s not simply a drag queen, – he also a successful career as an opera singer. Osher is one of Israel’s most talented tenors, played parts in Strauss, Mozart, Verdi, Bellini operas, and even performed with the Mannes Orchestra in New York.
Yet when on the stage of TLV Pride he is changing the vibe: he recently covered Sia’s “Alive” produced by one of the White City’s popular gay party line, Dreck’s Dj and producer Eyal Dan. “Five years ago I couldn’t even think about dressing up like this. I had no courage. But my masculine side lives pretty well along with my feminine side, and I have no fear anymore.” – he said in a recent interview.
Follow my write-ups in Time Out Israel‘s print and online issues, and for daily eye-candy get hooked on my Insta: @whitecityboy.