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July 5, 2009

Ivri Lider: On the Verge

The Forward interviews Ivri Lider before his 2009 North American tour:

In 2002, you were already a big rock star in Israel. What prompted your decision to come out?

On a personal level, I felt complete and happy with my life and who I am, and I didn’t see any reason to not talk about it. It seemed strange to have an interview and not to talk about it, about my boyfriend, about my life. … On a less personal level, I felt it’s kind of my obligation. When you’re an artist and you’re doing well and you’re successful, you get a lot of love and appreciation and energy and good things from people, and I think you need to give it back. Maybe I can influence people and help younger people that struggle — help them to be able to change their views, and stuff like that.

Were you surprised by how your religious fans reacted positively to your coming out?

You know, what I really like to see at my concerts is the diversity of people — a gay or lesbian couple next to a straight couple next to a religious couple, and they’re all singing the song and experiencing the same emotion, each one with his own thoughts and personal experiences. That’s real openness. That’s the real deal: You believe what you want to believe in and whatever’s good for you, and you respect me for what I believe in. That’s the way things should be. I don’t see any reason why someone is religious, but he won’t accept other people. True religion is all about love, or should be, and respect.


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