Hardship of Israeli teens takes starring role in special conference
From an early age Dotan Brom had an image of the ideal man: the macho guy who drives ATVs on the beach, serves in the commandos and sleeps with as many women as possible. That’s how it is, he explains, when you grow up in the sticks. Brom, 25, was raised in the Jezreel Valley where, he says, the model for masculinity is very clear. "If you’re gay, you’re not a real man," he says.
He was in middle school when he realized he was attracted to boys. "At first I wanted to fix myself," he says. Before entering high school he shared his secret with his closest friends. "My best friend told me [being gay] didn’t make sense according to evolution," Brom says. Such reactions kept him in the closet. Brom’s parents eventually learned of his sexual orientation from other people. He enlisted in a Nahal unit, and pretended to be straight.
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