Experiences of gay men living in a kibbutz

Amit Kama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Metronormativity has been an overarching theme in LGBTQ studies for decades, but in recent years rural settlements seem to attract growing numbers of LGBTQ individuals and consequently the academic focus has also shifted somewhat towards ruralification. Life in a rural, remote kibbutz was deemed since its inception as incompatible with a gay identity. What does it mean to be a gay member of a kibbutz nowadays, while dramatic shifts are taking place in various aspects of contemporary kibbutzim? Interviews conducted with twenty-six gay kibbutzniks unfold their lived experiences. Interviewees talk about the hardships versus the benefits of living in a kibbutz. Four themes are common among the interviewees and discussed in this paper: the ease of coming out and the phenomenon of “everyone knows” and its benefits; feelings of loneliness and isolation since gay kibbutzniks have no direct contacts with the LGBTQ community in their neighborhood; the allure of the proximity to Nature; and the (mostly negative) perceptions of Tel Aviv as the Big City.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103110
JournalJournal of Rural Studies
StatePublished - Oct 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd


  • Gay men
  • Israel
  • Kibbutz
  • Metronormativity
  • Ruralification


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