Fed Up With Tel Aviv's 'Liberal Homophobia,' a Queer Scene Thrives in an Unlikely Israeli Town

What happens when LGBTQ communes take up residence in a city with large traditionalist and ultra-Orthodox communities? A visit to Israel's unlikely new queer mecca

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Commune members Maya Lahav, Nitay Nadivi and Danny Pearlman.
Commune members Maya Lahav, Nitay Nadivi and Danny Pearlman. Credit: Gil Eliahu
Hilo Glazer
Hilo Glazer
Hilo Glazer
Hilo Glazer

Danny Pearlman knew right off why the cluster of local teenagers was so eager to have their photograph taken with him and his friends.

“The whole encounter had the feel of ‘Look at the new animals in the zoo,’” Pearlman relates. “They obviously wanted pictures taken that showed us as ridiculous, so they could laugh at the new weirdos in town. There was some pushing over who would be first to have their photo taken, but I didn’t experience it as a frightening or humiliating situation. I saw that they were curious, that they didn’t understand what they were seeing and they were expressing it through embarrassment.”

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