Touring and obscuring: how sensual, embodied and haptic gay touristic practices construct the geopolitics of pinkwashing

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8 Scopus citations


Gay tourism is commonly studied through pride events in cities. Rethinking the role gay men’s bodies and politics play in the context of tourism to Israeli heritage sites, this paper contributes to debates on geopolitics and geographies of sexualities and the embodied approach to tourism. Analyzing daytrips through the Occupied Palestinian Territories, I argue that sensual, embodied and haptic practices, which are immanent to gay men’s travel cultures, play into a pinkwashing geopolitics in this specific circumstance. Thus, this paper conceptualizes pinkwashing mechanisms operation through heritage tourist sites just as much as they are produced via the presentation of Tel Aviv as a modern space of acceptance of LGBT sexualities, albeit obviously in different ways. Moreover, tourists’ notions of place and non-place construct how (urban) space is produced as meaningful while other (heritage) space is marginalized. Methodologically, I present a reflexive embodied ethnography, which relies on my researcher’s reflexivity to produce an analysis through a story.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)836-854
Number of pages19
JournalSocial and Cultural Geography
Issue number6
Early online date15 Sep 2020
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
was received from the Israeli Science Foundation, grant number 59/16. I am grateful to the anonymous readers and to Gavin Brown, the managing editor, for their thoughtful and instructive comments. I also wish to thank Orna Sasson-Levy, Tair Karazi-Presler Yael Bar-Tzedek and Tanya Zion-Waldoks for their comments; all errors are solely mine.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Gay tourism; Geographies of sexualities; Embodied politics; Pinkwashing; Israel/Palestine; Heritage tourism


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