The Formation of an Israeli Gay ‘Counterpublic’: Challenging Heteronormative Modes of Masculinity in a ‘Nation in Arms’

  • Yoav Kanyas


This chapter argues that normative ideas about “appropriate” modes of masculinity are deeply embedded in the Israeli nation imaginary. It shows how the inclusion of gay men is particularly challenging for the militarized Israeli government whose nationalism seeks to reify hegemonic and heteronormative forms of masculinity as part of the nation building process. Through analyzing the case study of Israeli gay men struggles for obtaining recognition and legitimacy from both Israeli government and Israeli society, this chapter captures a historical moment, which demonstrates the norms, values, and dominant ideologies of nationality, gender, and sexuality in a young state. Using archival material and media coverage of a controversy, around gay men’s right to public space, specifically looking at Independence Park (from the 1970s to the first decade of the twenty-first century), the chapter shows how this historical moment and its media coverage stirred LGBT activism in Israel more broadly having a positive impact on the rights afforded to the gay men.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoav Kanyas
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Communication and JournalismHebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael

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