In this essay, I draw on ethnographic interviews with Israeli and Palestinian queer activists in Israel to interrogate the centrality of the politics of visibility in “mainstream” queer activism. I suggest that queer Israeli activists' reliance on visibility as a political strategy is embedded in and supportive of the racist discourses of Israeli nationalism and the violent practices of the Israeli state. I argue that the “checkpoint,” rather than the “closet,” offers a more productive metaphor against which queer activists and thinkers might organize their efforts. I conclude with a discussion of the subversive potential of queer Palestinian activism as a politics that challenges multiple oppressions and undermines, rather than naturalizes, the racist, antidemocratic logic of the nation.
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Research Article| October 01 2010
Jason Ritchie; HOW DO YOU SAY “COME OUT OF THE CLOSET” IN ARABIC?: Queer Activism and the Politics of Visibility in Israel-Palestine. GLQ 1 October 2010; 16 (4): 557–575. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10642684-2010-004
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