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“Thousands of people marched down Fifth Avenue on Sunday with their synagogues and Jewish youth groups. The Celebrate Israel Parade, billed as the largest pro-Israel gathering in the world, was a sea of blue and white flags. Interspersed in that sea were a few dozen rainbow flags with stars of David on them, representing a contingent of LGBTQ Zionists. One of them was mine.
Marching in the parade is a public display of Jewish pride. But for me, that feeling took on a deeper meaning. Like a Jewish pride flag, the march fused my two identities — proudly gay, and proudly Jewish — into something new, something bigger than the sum of its parts.
Marching and dancing with rainbow flags among the Israeli flags gave me a unique feeling, that of being among thousands of people just like myself, while also feeling completely different. Ours was without question the most visible group at the parade — a strange phenomenon for a community that has historically been invisible. On the rare occasion that LGBTQ people are visible, like at a gay pride parade, everyone blends together; but at the Celebrate Israel parade, the rainbow cluster is the one group that stands out; our very presence sent a powerful message.”
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