The Men of 2011: The boys of Arisa

15 12 2011

Tel Aviv “Oriental” gay club Arisa burst on to the world’s consciousness this year thanks to a stream of amusing youtube videos starring the party’s two charismatic leading men, Eliad Cohen and Uriel Yekutiel. Together, the two friends blazed a brave and very timely new trail for gay men everywhere. Eliad was over the top muscle-bound butch and Uriel looked oddly like Freddie Mercury in drag and together they were fabulous  – butch, funny, sexy, stylish, playful and political – masculine, feminine, Israeli, Arab and red-hot.


They exemplified a trend worldwide for “androgynous masculinity”. Rather than dowdy old drag queens in blond wigs lip syncing to Doris Day these men flashed stylish and fashion-forward feminine selves as well as overtly masculine personas and danced to dirty electro. They wore beards with their miniskirts – and looked great doing it. While Francois Sagat arguably kickstarted the trend, with his buff bod and unashamed penchant for artful camp, Azis represented this year in Bulgaria, Gene Kasidit swirled through Bangkok and New York’s Andre appeared on the cover of Vogue, no-one seemed to be having as much fun with the movement as the Israeli twosome.

They took their party on tour across Europe and to Brazil, and Yekutiel appeared in a series of videos for Israeli band the Young Professionals.

And along the way they reminded the world of the original spirit of the gay rights movement – not equality to be the same, but liberation – and the right to be different.




8 responses

14 04 2012
Meanwhile in the gay world… « ilbonito blog 2007

[…] Leslie Kee with the admittedly calculated title “More hot Japanese super-sex” , “The Boys of Arisa” about the Israeli art-fag party and “transexual celebrity beaten almost to […]

16 04 2012
Arisa get milked « ilbonito blog 2007

[…] slowly making its way around the world – from the bored bogan teens of Dubbo to the chicest gay clubs of Tel Aviv… Like this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

21 04 2012
Arisa go back to Brazil « ilbonito blog 2007

[…] party promoters Arisa, this blog’s Men of 2011, are following up last year’s VIP-only party in Sao Paulo with a new event coming up in Rio. […]

6 06 2012
To be in Tel Aviv this weekend… « ilbonito blog 2007

[…] Arisa does it again! Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

8 06 2012
T-girls « ilbonito blog 2007

[…] the sense of limitless freedom not only in his music, but in his life. Like Francois Sagat and Arisa (I have only just realised now that all my fashion icons are gay men), he playfully mixes the […]

20 07 2012
Melbourne Johns « ilbonito blog 2007

[…] – he played his vids of a laptop as well as those of Tel Aviv club Arisa (of course other favourites of this blog) but Eliad Cohen, sadly, was not […]

20 10 2012
Israel “pinkwashed” « ilbonito blog 2007

[…] latest issue of “Out”, featuring stud du jour Eliad Cohen and the photography of Kobi Israel,crowed about the delights of sunny, sexy Tel Aviv.  I have to […]

17 12 2012
…and the previous winners. « ilbonito blog 2007

[…] 2011 – Arisa and the Brown Eyed Girls […]

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