Becoming Periphery - Israeli LGBT “Peripheralization”
Over the past decade, the Israeli LGBT community has undergone processes of mainstreaming, institutionalization and assimilation, most of which took place in Tel Aviv, the Israeli center. Simultaneously, the Israeli peripheries were perceived as “empty”, as spaces that have limited or no LGBT visibility and presence. This article focuses on LGBT activists’ experiences in LGBT activist spaces in the peripheries. I argue that rather than reproducing the center-periphery power structure, LGBT activists are subverting the paradigm, while creating practices and imaginaries that engender a mode of becoming periphery. This mode is comprised of three major processes of becoming: the first belies the notion of the peripheries as spaces LGBT individuals can only depart from; the second subverts the discourse of LGBT peripheries as empty spaces; and the third offers a dual consideration of the center-periphery power relationship, both accepting the structure and the peripheries’ place within it but also deviating from the passiveness, static stances, emptiness and restrictive forms of sexuality. LGBT in the peripheries have begun creating a distinct kind of peripheral notion that diverges both from being an LGBT individual in the center and from the framing of Israeli peripheries.
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