Outernet in Tottenham Court Road will be the place to be next Thursday as internationally-acclaimed DJ Eliad Cohen returns to London to host 75, a celebration of the queer community of Israel, as well as the being the 75th anniversary of the country.
Speaking exclusively to HELLO! ahead of the event, Eliad explained how he came to terms with his sexuality while serving in the army. "I didn't accept myself as a gay guy," he revealed until his final year of service. "We each have our own journey and then the last year of the army, I had my first experience with a guy and it was a great one. Right after I left the army I told my mum, my friends and they were so supportive and so loving and good."
And acceptance of queerness is something that appears to radiate throughout Israel with the country being hailed as a "diamond" within the Middle East for its progressive attitudes towards sexuality. Tel Aviv has also been referred to as one of the best cities to be LGBTQ+ in.
When probed as to why this might be, Eliad mused: "I will say Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and the only place you can be gay where you're safe and everything is just fine. Tel Aviv is one of the most open minded in the world. They're very accepting there, you can walk in the street and hold hands with your partner and you're safe."
The 35-year-old has been a DJ and events organiser for the past 14 years and has collected some major talent for the 75 event including Spanish DJ Suri, fellow Israeli Tomo Woodland and even British icon Fat Tony.
Speaking about the event, he explained: "This specific event is very special for me because I'm Israeli ad this is a celebration for 75 years of Israel. It's more than just a party, it's a very special event, we want to celebrate all the achievements and what Israel is about. It's a huge production in the best club in London with the best music."
Outside of his DJ work, Eliad has been a proud advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, serving as a co-founder of Gay-ville, in 2011 which helps find LGBTQ-inclusive accomodation when out travelling and last year he co-launched Pride Icons, an NFT project which donated $1 million to queer organisations in the United States.
The star also helps front Vote Proud with Sharon Stone to urge LGBTQ+ people to go out and vote when their rights are attacked by politicians, something he described as "sad". He added: "We have the rights that we vote for and now people are trying to reverse it," continuing: "There are some countries where being gay means that your life is in danger, being gay means that you have to make sure to stay safe. It's very important to keep fighting for our rights."
Outernet will not be Eliad's only Pride plans, with the DJ playing back in Israel for Tel Aviv Pride, while also making special appearances later in the year at Valencia Pride and New York Pride.
To find out more about the event and to purchase tickets, you can visit here.
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