Warning: this article contains strong language and homophobic slurs.
Using a hidden camera, there has now been released a video that gives us a glimpse into the homophobia still present in Israel’s capital city.
Two men, Shai and Ophir, walk the streets of Jerusalem as many couples do, holding hands. The response to their existence and casual demonstration of affection yields insults and slurs hurled at the pair.
”You gay sons of bitches!”
”Have you seen faggot and faggot holding hands?”
”Fuck you, you dirty gays!”
By-standers openly gaped, stared, and appeared shocked by Shai and Ophir, who ignored both the comments and the glares.
This so-called boyfriend experiment was conducted by the Israeli news organization Ynet as a social experiment.
This same format has been used prior to gauge reactions to LGBTQ couples. In Moscow, the name calling – “Bitches, holding hands” “Hey gays, there are too much of you now a days” – and sneers ramp up to physical confrontations. The pair remain passive and do their best to ignore the reactions their receiving as ChebuRussia TV films the events.
In Kiev, the experiment was even worse. Bird in Flight Magazine asked Zoryn Kis and Tymur Levchuk to gauge the reactions of Ukrainians to a gay couple showing affection. In this scenario, Kis and Levchuk cuddled on a park bench…until, they were pepper-sprayed and kicked by neo-Nazi youth who declared, during the assault, that “it looks like they’re fucking mistaking this place for America.”
While no physical violence was experienced in the Jerusalem version of the boyfriend experiment, some are now questioning the LGBTQ-friendly image that the country has portrayed.
Last week, Israel also saw an attack at Jerusalem’s Gay Pride parade where six people were stabbed and one, Shira Banki, died from her wounds.
Gwen is a writer who has an education degree, a social work background, an extensive knowledge of vegetables, and a devotion to queer revolutionary politics. She lives deep in the woods of Maine with two dogs, a magnificent partner, and an ever-growing collection of plants.