Over the past decade, LGBT figures have become increasingly visible on Israeli television in its various channels and genres, especially cis-gendered gay men. In recent years, however, the representation of gay people on Israeli television has undergone a considerable shift, whereby many television texts feature gay men as fathers. These texts usually present gay parenthood as a positive phenomenon and sometimes even as more successful than heteronormative parenthood. The recasting of gay parenthood as positive is achieved through various devices, some of which are familiar from other places around the world, while others touch on unique features of Jewish-Israeli reality. In this article, I lay out the various strategies through which gay fatherhood is recast as positive on Israeli television and present the possible costs of this positive (and normative) representation of gay fatherhood. I focus on the television serial drama Ima VeAbbaz (Mom and Dads), whose protagonists are two gay men who have a child with a straight woman. I argue that the show manages to deviate from the usual representation of the gay father, thereby offering an ideological alternative to conventional and conservative (even if accepting) perspectives on gay parenting.
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Itay Harlap; The New Normative: Gay Fatherhood on Israeli Television. GLQ 1 October 2017; 23 (4): 559–587. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10642684-4157523
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