The Lighter Side! Celebrating Pride and making films under lockdown

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The Lighter Side! Celebrating Pride and making films under lockdown

Brigit Grant's little bit of this, and little bit of that, this week includes Roy Youldous Rosenzweig's new book, Israeli drag queens and a Andrew Gold's work during the pandemic

We’ve all been forced to rethink attitudes since Black Lives Matter usurped Covid’s control of the headlines. I truly believe any chance we have of a fair and just future depends on how we educate our children.

Growing up in a liberal family where everyone was welcome encouraged me to raise my daughter in the same way, and as the beneficiary of positive attitudes she has no issues with faith, ethnicity or sexual identity.

Frankly my girl is completely baffled by prejudice and the tired cliché about ‘some of my best friends…’ is true for us as she is blessed with an extended family of multicultural ‘uncles’ and a gay godfather who was joining us in Israel to celebrate Pride.

Sadly, the pandemic has stopped anyone attending the world’s most popular gay festival and the 250,000 people set to party in Tel Aviv now have to wait until next  year or make the best of it online. Rather than wait for that crowd, Israeli author Roy Youldous Rosenzweig has pressed ahead
in Pride month with the launch of his book, which makes sense as it is presents a positive representation of the festival to children.

Roy Youldous Rosenzweig with his book

Controversial for some, The Day of Pride ( is a colourful story about the celebrations and has an underlying thread which  encourages kids to accept themselves and others for who they are.

“For me, it’s a thrilling and exciting journey on a day where everyone has a place,” says Roy who, together with his husband Ori, is father to six-year old twins Elya and Liri. “The book addresses equality, self-acceptance and being proud and  it is enhanced by Yossi Madar’s magical illustrations.”

Roy turned into a cartoon by Yossi

After starting the Pride channel, Roy became VP of Tamuz Surrogacy, which helps LGBTQ couples become parents, though he is acutely aware of those who oppose their rights and cites examples of kindergartens refusing to register children with same-sex parents.

Although the fight for acceptance prevails, Israel remains a beacon of tolerance in the Middle East where, even in lockdown, it is possible for two drag queens to be given a terrestrial TV show.

The men Tal Kalai and Yuvel Edelman, aka Talula Bonet and Ziona Patriot, were short of work when the virus closed theatres, clubs and bars, so decided to stream their own show, Quarantined on Facebook – and such was its popularity, Channel 24 picked it up.

Quarantined Israeli drag queens Talula and Zio

Now Israelis are taking lessons  from the duo on how to apply lipstick to a face mask, which could be useful this weekend for UK celebrants planning to attend Pride Inside (Sunday, 28 June – Sunday, 5 July) with Amnesty International, UK Black Pride, Stonewall and ParaPride as they host a digi-schedule of comedians, artists, DJs, musicians and activists.

UK-based Keshet who work for LGBTQ equality for Jews ae also waving the Pride flag by joining Broadway star Adam Kantor on Sunday for Jew York Pride, which will include a virtual parade with other inspiring talents from the stage and NYC culinary world.

As the title says, where there’s a will.. but now we need to show our children the way and teach them acceptance is what matters.



Andrew Gold

Living in Berlin and trying to work during lockdown has presented challenges for documentary maker Andrew Gold, but he has risen to them in spite of limited communication from TV executives. Rather than wait for the all-clear to sound and meetings to happen, Elstree-born Andrew, who is fluent in five languages, started his own YouTube channel and his interviews with bereft football fans standing outside the FC Union stadium while a game takes place is just one of many films drawing a crowd. This week, he talks to Emily Green who left her Chasidic family in much the same way as Esty in Unorthodox, which reflects her own life in an arranged marriage. With short films about a UFO obsessed village in Argentina, a modern-day exorcist and families who can only be together via Skype, there is something for everyone, no matter how peculiar their taste.


Push It

Remember Salt-N-Pepa, that cutesy rap duo from the 1980s? Regardless they’re back, but in the beauty bizz as the girls Cheryl James (Salt) and Sandra Denton (Pepa) have teamed up with ultra-affordable brand, Milani Cosmetics, for a capsule collection that comes with four pieces – two lip kits and two eye shadow/ highlighter palettes – named after the duo’s hit songs, Push It ( which comes with a bright red creme lipstick and a liner) and  Shoop, (the same in nude brown. With vintage photos of the rappers at their height, the cosmetics are good for experimenting teens and for turning back time for you.

Salt n Peppa


When the star of a one-man show talks about coming out to his parents while on Israel tour and drops his Hebrew name into the act, I’m with him all the way.  Ben Platt is the star and since winning  a Best Actor Tony on Broadway for Dear Evan Hansen, he’s gained a following nerdy musical-loving boys don’t expect -particularly with Jewish audiences who cheer when he uses ‘bashert’ to describe his grandmother’s death not clashing with his tour dates.

Ben Platt

His self-penned album Sing to Me Instead is the soundtrack for his Radio City Music Hall show now on Netflix along with The Politician (season 2 begins next week) in which he stars with Goopy Gwyneth Paltrow. Gwyn – who introduced him to green toner and Japanese face masks from her overpriced beauty range. He describes her as “luminous sunshine”, but that’s what I think of him.



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