When Tel Aviv city councilman Itai Pinkas was in Amsterdam last year, he stared for a long time at the monument honoring homosexuals killed in the Holocaust, sensing its impact was going to stay with him for a long time.
When he got back to Tel Aviv, he took that powerful feeling and raced straight to Mayor Ron Huldai’s office to talk.
Now, Pinkas and Huldai have revealed the outcome of the meeting: Tel Aviv is going to be home to the country’s first memorial to gay victims of Nazi persecution. The public sculpture is slated to go up in the centrally located Gan Meir by midwinter.
According to the article, Tel Aviv will soon open what is thought to be the first LGBT community center in the world to be financed and run by the local government. The mayor’s comments touched me:
The gay community in Tel Aviv is very significant in numbers and contributions to the city’s cultural life and economy, and there is no reason why the local government should not give necessary services crucial to these citizens. Also, some people have bad experience sharing their being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, and others are understandably afraid to do so, so this place will be an open and safe haven for them.