Pride Stories – Gender Blending Fashionista
In our six-part series, we’re covering every color of the Pride flag and touching on as many varied and diverse perspectives as we can squeeze into the collection. In part one, we spoke to Mr. Leather Ireland and in the upcoming editions we travel to Israel, India, America, The Netherlands and Australia.
RELATED: Pride: From Protest to Celebration
Today’s story comes from Asis D’Orange, a gender blending fashionista, drag performer from Tel Aviv.
Asis D’Orange – Israel
Asis describes themselves as a genderqueer, Arab-Jew, raised in a religious household. Asis finds themselves in many intersections of society. By combining the conceptual and the glamorous with the various aspects of their identity, Asis pushes boundaries and gives stage to their beliefs (from feminism to veganism). Asis encourages the world to let go of their hang-ups, find beauty in the banal, explore themselves, and embrace their inner Queen.
Tel Aviv Pride
Pride was always this thing that happened in Tel Aviv on trucks; very flamboyant, very outrageous. I can’t really remember the first time I heard about it, or when I first found out it was happening, but I can tell you about my first experiences of going to Pride in Tel Aviv.
Pride Story – Asis D’Orange Podcast
You can listen to the audio of this interview or read the highlights below. The choice is yours.
My First Pride
“About my first Pride: I remember that I went, and I was dancing, and I was thinking to myself, “Oh my God,” there’s a lot of cameras here, and my father doesn’t know I am gay. And it was a bit stressful for me, and he was the only one who didn’t know I’m gay. I thought, “OK, never mind. If it will come out then it will just have to come out.” And that year it didn’t, so in the end, I had nothing to worry about. But the following year, things were very different.”
My Gay Birthday – Homo-Ledet
“The following year I decided that it was my gay birthday. I don’t know if you say it the same way in Europe, as we do in Israel. Yom hu’ledet is Hebrew for a birthday, and homo-ledet is a gay birthday. This is how we call it, it’s the time that you first go out to gay events and tell all your family. So, my gay birthday was at Pride. I woke up in the morning, and I thought, OK, I’m going to the parade, and I want my father to know, so I just called him.”
“And me and my father, we are not in a good relationship (now), and we were not in a good relationship then, but we were like, in an OK relationship. So, I called him. And I said, “Hey. What’s up?” I was aiming for him to ask, what am I doing? How’s my day? What am I planning? It was a Friday.”
So, he asked, “What are you up to today?”
And I said, “Yes, I’m going to the parade,” and he said, “What parade?” And I said, “The gay parade,” and he said,
“What? You are going to the gay parade? What are you gay?”
“And then I told him, “Yeah, I like men too because I am bisexual, or pansexual if you want.” And I told him that, “Yeah, I’m gay too, I’m bi too, I like men too.” Actually, I told him, “I like to have sex with guys too.” Very explicit, I think I was about to pop because I wanted it to be out. And then he was a bit choking and didn’t know what to do and how to react and how to respond to that. I said, “(You) asked, so I answered.” He could also not have asked.”
A Year of Silence
“He did not speak to me for a year. He told all of my family that I’m dead to him and that he has only one son. It took him one year to get his shit together and understand that I’m his son (too) and love is love and all that. He is still not a gay-rights activist, and we don’t talk about these issues, but he has some friends, and they told him to come on, he is your son you should love him regardless, and all this. So at the end, I think it infiltrated to his system, I guess.”
“I was very nervous telling him, my heart was beating fast, but then I went to the parade, and I felt so free. I thought everyone knows, everyone who is relevant, and I don’t give a fuck, and I can do whatever the fuck I want. I don’t need to hide, so it was an amazing sense of celebration and freedom.”
Pride Playlist – Asis D’Orange
Asis only knows how to walk on the wild side. Whether it’s in their day-to-day or on stage performing, Asis is constantly breaking rules, changing the game and challenging norms. Their aesthetic, their relations, their way of life would be considered by most as subversion and transgression of the “acceptable.” Asis runs workshops on femme empowerment and will be making a rare visit to Europe this July. For bookings, or to find out more, you can visit their website, or follow Asis on Instagram.
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PRIDE Stories – Faraz Ansari
The next color of the Pride flag is yellow, and we’ll be featuring Film Director, Faraz Ansari from India in Pride Stories.
What does Pride mean to you?
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