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Exclusive: DJ Eliad Cohen on why his Outernet show will be so special for him

Eliad Cohen will be one of the main DJs at Outernet on 15 June

Eliad Cohen in front of green banner
Matthew Moore
Matthew MooreOnline News Editor
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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.

Eliad has put together the 75 show

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.

Eliad Cohen sat in front of a series of balloons in rainbow colours© Instagram
Eliad's event will celebrate the queer comunity of Israel

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."

READ: 7 Chic ways to celebrate Pride 2023 in London

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.

Eliad Cohen in full military uniform© Instagram
Eliad discovered his sexuality while he was serving in the military

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."

EXCLUSIVE: Heartstopper's Alice Oseman on asexuality, young fame and surviving social media

RELATED: What to do in Tel Aviv in 3 days: The best things to see and do in Israel's second city

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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