Failing Homonationalism? Gay Israeli Eurovision Geeks Negotiating Nationalism and Masculinity

Gilly Hartal, Orna Sasson-Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 2019, the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) was hosted in Tel Aviv. Like other national contests such as the Olympics or the FIFA World Cup, the ESC is a political event. For gay Israeli men who are ESC fans, this was an opportunity to become more integrated in the gay and national communities through homonormativity and homonational processes. However, as this case study shows, Israeli gay men ESC fans mostly rejected homonational masculinity in favor of a counterhegemonic identification, self-characterized as “ESC geeks.” In that, they adhered to their marginal space and adopted a subversive queer perspective. Analytically, this means that homonationalism should not be considered a political form of normalizing power that is accessible to all gay men. Rather, it is a process that produces manifold, including queer practices, and it can no longer be seen as accessible to all LGBTs, or as something into which LGBTs are duped.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1585-1608
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
Issue number8
Early online date18 Feb 2022
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • (gay) masculinities
  • Eurovision Song Contest (ESC)
  • Homonationalism
  • LGBTs in Israel
  • politics of value
  • sexual politics


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