A transgender wedding, for the first time in Israel

Arizona — born Erez — thought she’d never find love or walk down the aisle, until one man gave up everything to be with her

Arizona weds her husband in Ramat Gan this week (photo credit: screen capture/Channel 2)
Arizona weds her husband in Ramat Gan this week (photo credit: screen capture/Channel 2)

For the first time, a man and a transgender woman were married under a huppa in Israel this week. The couple, a blonde-bombshell and her husband, whose identity was not revealed, walked down the aisle to the cheers and tears of their friends and family, and with a Channel 2 television crew in tow.

Bride Arizona wore a white dress, or, rather, a light pink one. “It’s the same one Jennifer Lopez wore to the Oscars… This is a special wedding, there are no rules here!” she said, showing off in front of the camera crew, hours before the big moment.

Arizona was born as Erez, one of four siblings, into a traditional Jewish family. The process of becoming Arizona included hormone treatments, breast implants, and numerous surgeries, all to get that glam feminine look. “I want to be Hollywood,” she said at the salon she runs near Tel Aviv.

Arizona on her wedding day (photo credit: screen capture/Channel 2)
Arizona on her wedding day (photo credit: screen capture/Channel 2)

“Every man that likes transgenders would have loved to stand in his [her husband’s] shoes, but not everyone has the courage to do it,” she said.

Her previous boyfriend, whom she was with for eight happy years, ultimately couldn’t deal with her desire to become a woman, and left her. That was when despair hit, Arizona said, when she felt she’d never find love again.

She had men chasing her, men who told her they were crazy about her, but who wouldn’t even meet her in public for a cup of coffee. One of her friends talked to Channel 2 about the illicit world of transgender individuals, and the high numbers of men who prostitute them for sex.

But the man under the huppa, her husband, was different; married with three children prior to their relationship, he came through for her, she said.

At the ceremony, TV personality Avri Gilad officiated and called Arizona’s wedding a breakthrough. “Each woman deserves to smile at her wedding, and deserves to wear white,” he said, chuckling, “or pink.”

During the couple’s vows, Gilad asked Arizona, “Will you always make him feel like a man, during the day and at night?”

Yes, she answered.

“And will you stand by his side if his power, heaven forbid, weakens?” — to which she quickly giggled and responded, “I don’t know,” and turned away, causing the hall to erupt with laughter.

Although Arizona’s father wouldn’t attend the ceremony, her mother, as well as her Orthodox sisters, did. Meanwhile, the husband’s family said they still didn’t understand his decision.

Arizona said she was happy to go public with her relationship in front of the whole country. “It’s not like it’s only permissible for gays and lesbians to marry,” she said.

As for the couple’s future plans? She said she’s “a million percent certain” they’ll have kids.

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