Big in Japan: Israeli Drag Queen to Perform on the Main Stage at the Tokyo Pride Parade

Talula Bonet goes to Japan (Photo: Gil Hayun; Style: Rene Gliksman)

Israeli actor Tal Kallai, also known by his alter-ego Talula Bonet — a veteran leading Israeli drag queen — was commissioned by the Foreign Office to excite the Japanese audience on the main stage of the Gay Pride Parade in Tokyo (Tokyo Rainbow Pride), considered one of the largest in Asia.

“One morning I received an email from the Israeli Embassy in Tokyo with an invitation to represent Israel on the stage of Tokyo’s pride parade event,” Tal tells A Wider Bridge. “At first I thought I was dreaming, because I’ve never been to Japan. This country intrigues me very much and especially Tokyo which makes an impression as an amazing city.”

Tokyo’s pride event — to be held on May 7-8th — is expected to attract about 60 thousand people, while the Israeli Embassy has been taking part in the events for several years alongside selected liberal countries. This year, the embassy decided to invite Talula to be the center of the Israeli booth, in addition to performance on the main stage, and another performance in one of the largest clubs in the city.

“It’s important for me to introduce the Japanese people to the vibe of Tel Aviv and of Israel in general as I have done until today in the foreign cities and countries I performed in,” Kallai says. “People abroad are often unaware of the existence of the LGBT community in Israel and of our bustling life here and this is a good opportunity for them to learn a little and enjoy at the same time.”

“Talula is a woman of the world, an energetic and humorous bombshell who is also elegant and full of love. I have no doubt she will fall in love with the Japanese people and they will fall in love with her,” Kallai said.

“The unique spirit and energy of Talula will expose the Japanese people to the liberal and creative face of Israel, and will be a perfect combination with the culture of the Japanese Anime and Cosplay,” wrote the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the press release.

Tal Kallai starred in a variety of films, TV shows and theater and takes part in the all-drag-queen ensemble Holy Wigs. These days he also tours Israel with his own stand-up show, “Malkat Hakimat” (‘Queen of Almost’) and appears in the theater play “Gay Family” at Tel Aviv’s Habima.

About the Author
Yanir Dekel has a decade of experience in entertainment, journalism, and digital media in Israel and the U.S. He headed PR for Helicon Records - one of the top two Record Labels in Israel - for several years before moving to LA in April of 2009. Yanir now works as an "Online Outreach" and content administration freelancer, managing content and social media, as well as providing graphics for online and print.
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