Gay Palestinians Find Artistic Outlets

Art and activism come together in Israel, where Palestinian gays are airing their repression-induced grievances through politically-minded performances.

In an effort to carve out a space for themselves, Palestinian drag queens gather every few months at a club in the heart of Tel Aviv to take part in underground shows. These parties offer a rare forum for them to explore complicated and convoluted ideas about sexuality, politics, nationalism, militancy and religion.

They’re forging their identities at the center of what some consider an occupying power. The Palestinian nationalists among them recognize the irony in the fact that Israel has become their sanctuary.

Above you see one such performer, a 26-year old who calls himself “The Bride of Palestine,” who sings liberation songs while dressed in a bloody wedding dress. How edgy!

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  • Charley

    Bravo. The power of Art, rising above politics and religion to find reason.

  • hells kitchen guy

    Yes, Israel is extremely tolerant of LGBTs. In Palestinian Territory, they’d be murdered. Something all these gung-ho pro-Palestinian U.S. gays should keep in mind.

  • Scott Berwitz

    Hells Kitchen Guy –


  • Paul Raposo

    I have to agree with hkg’s post, (although “extremely” tolerant is a bit overboard considering some members of their paliament). I appreciate our LGBTQ brothers and sisters wanting to help those who feel disenfranchised, but someone needs to ship the folks from Queers For Palestine and Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism off to Palestine to get a taste of what it’s like there.

  • hells kitchen guy

    Paul, I stick with “extremely.” In every society, no matter how tolerant (Canada, Netherlands, Denmark …) there are a few intolerant assholes, often members of Parliament. That’s what makes them a democracy. The religious a-holes deserve representation, too.

    But the larger point is that Israel:
    1) first industrial Western nation to have openly gay serving in Armed Forces (admittedly, probably as much because they want EVERYONE in armed force, but still)
    2) openly gay adoptions
    3) open society & active gay social scene
    4) (some) legal recognition of gay relationships

    Just gets me that lgbt people could defend countries (or semi-countries) like Palestinian Territories that wage lgbt war of attrition. Which we agree on.

    I remember reading some lesbian prefacing her pro-Palestinian stance by saying, “I do know that if I lived there, I’d be stoned, but …” and I’m thinking, um, no buts!

  • Scott Berwitz

    Paul –

    If the leadership of the PA was more interested in building some infrastructure, creating some semblance of a decent atmosphere for its people, rather than propagating hatred of gays, and, most predominantly, Jews, than its minorities wouldn’t have to cross the border to Israel to live openly and decently.

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