December 18, 2019

It was October of 2015, and Jerusalem was pulsating with a dangerous tension. There were near daily stabbing attacks of Hasidic Jews and members of the I.D.F. Members of the far right held numerous rallies in my neighborhood. The Pride Parade had been scheduled to go through Jerusalem and the far right was constantly badgering, demeaning, and dehumanizing the LGBTQ community. To say that Jerusalem was divided, dangerous, and confusing would be an understatement.

I landed at Ben Gurion airport on September 28th, 2015. I stepped off the plane, cleared customs, somehow finagled a sim card, and ended up in a Sheirut (a shared discount taxi that runs between major Israeli cities) on the way to Jerusalem, my new home for the next eight months. At this point I was living a dream. At 21, I had moved to a foreign country, and was blissfully ignorant., and I was happy with this ignorance. I fell asleep excited by the thoughts of a party fueled eight months in my future. I dreamed of dancing in th...

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