Today’s Doodle celebrates Israeli actress, singer, and activist Gila Goldstein and is hand-crafted with clay by Jerusalem-based guest artist, Evgenia Kirshtein. She was the second transgender woman in Israel and one of the first members and supporters of Aguda, the country’s oldest and largest LGBTQ+ organization which was started and operated for years during a time when homosexuality was criminalized in Israel. On this day in 2003, an award ceremony was held to recognize Goldstein as a Tel Aviv LGBTQ Hall of Famer for being a prominent representative of full gender identity expression during an era of rejection and persecution.
Goldstein was born on December 18, 1947, in Turin, Italy and was designated male at birth. At a young age, she and her family immigrated to Haifa, Israel. As Goldstein came of age, she began to realize she was truly female. In the 1960s, Goldstein became one of the first Israelis to undergo officially documented gender-affirming surgery. She made a living as a sex worker throughout Europe, which she remained proud of in her later years, before returning to Israel. And in 1975, Goldstein helped found Aguda, Israel’s first organization to support LGBTQ+ rights.
After performing in nightclubs and bars as a singer and dancer, Goldstein switched her focus to developing her own music. She began a residency at the "Allenby 58" club in Tel Aviv. During the 1990s she recorded several songs there, which helped her earn a hosting role on a local radio music program.
In 2003, Goldstein was awarded the Israeli LGBTQ+ community prize for her efforts with Aguda. To further her experience in the arts, Goldstein began to explore acting, taking a role in the film Good Boys, which earned her the Miami LGBT Film Festival Award for best supporting actress in 2005. Just five short years later, a documentary was made about her life in 2010.
To this day, Goldstein remains one of the most iconic LGBTQ+ figures in Israel. Her status as one of the first openly trans women in Israel and her support to members of the trans community in Israel inspired the founding of the Gila project, which provides transgender empowerment, legal advice, and living assistance for the country’s youth. Thank you for your trailblazing spirit and bravery, Gila. You've inspired people around the world to not just feel comfortable being themselves but to advocate for others to do so, as well.
Check out the behind-the-scenes process for
today’s Doodle artwork by guest artist, Evgenia Kirshtein
Clay pieces unassembled
Clay build before final painting