This inquiry explores questions of movement and tourism in relation to sexuality within the context of Lebanon’s nascent gay travel industry. The first section examines how imagery of Arab men is mediatized and circulated, with (un)intended effects. Many of the images take form through hypermasculinized men and within the subculture of the “bear.” The second section explores this specific sexual subculture in the context of two demographics of men (both bearded and able to pass through heteronormative spaces), the ethnographic encounters of male tourists who have traveled on tours with LebTour from 2007 to 2011, and those men in the region who are increasingly identifying as bears. This research hopes to complicate the oft cited local/global bifurcation of sexuality. What becomes most interesting are the changing affinities, conceptions of rights, and aesthetics of desirability in the negotiations of the Middle East.
Research Article|November 01 2011
Jared McCormick; Hairy Chest, Will Travel: Tourism, Identity, and Sexuality in the Levant. Journal of Middle East Women's Studies 1 November 2011; 7 (3): 71–97. doi: https://doi.org/10.2979/jmiddeastwomstud.7.3.71
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