LGBT, Right-wing and Orthodox: What It’s Like Coming Out in a West Bank Settlement

Two gay men, a lesbian and a transgender woman tell of hardship and acceptance over the Green Line


Na’ama Arnon, 34: ‘Religion is very important to us, in every regard’ (photo:Emil Salman)

Six years after she fell in love with a woman for the first time, Na’ama Arnon was married to a man.

“My mother was always afraid,” recalled Arnon, who was born in the settlement of Efrat, educated in the settlement of Kiryat Arba and married at age 22. “She even asked me before the wedding if I was sure, if I had different feelings toward women. I said of course not, even though it wasn’t true. But it was completely because I’d convinced myself.

“Efrat has a fairly wide spectrum of people; compared to other settlements, it’s considered ‘different,’” Arnon continued. “It has many people who are less religious, religious-lite and left-wing.” But her own parents were “very religious, very right-wing.” So perhaps it’s understandable that she did “the right thing.”

Yet a year after her marriage, Arnon got divorced. Three months later she came out of the closet, and she’s never looked back.

Continue reading in Haaretz