I’m From Tel Aviv, Israel – Video Story

by Yoav Schlezinger

I’m Yoav Schlezinger and originally I’m from Israel, grew up in Tel Aviv.

Most Israelis, when they finish the Army at 21, they go and travel and experiment with a lot of drugs and for months they just go with a backpack and travel South America or Asia. And I just moved to the U.S. and started school but in the U.S. for me that was the first point I actually realized and came to conclusion and agreement with myself that I’m gay. And for me, that was my exploration, that was my ‘getting crazy’ time because up until then I got used to giving attention to females.

I remember my first night when I went out to a gay bar, it was in Chicago, it was while this show, Real World Chicago was on MTV at the time. And there was a gay guy there on the show, Chris I think was his name. And they showed him going to this area called ‘Boys Town’ in Chicago which is the gay area. And I was watching this show every week and I got very curious and one night I got really drunk and was hanging out with some friends at a straight bar, I got really bored too, and I knew exactly what trains to take, I knew exactly what stop to get off, and I said hey guys, I told them I’m gonna go home, I’m done, I’m tired, and then I went to the train. I went to Boys Town. And I went to my first bar which was ‘Spin’.

It was January or February because I had this big sweater on and all the gays were in tank tops, even when it was like 10 degrees out and I had this big sweater on. And I’m sitting in the bar and I have a beer and I look around and I’m like, “Wait, so everyone here is gay? Really?” I was so oblivious. And then people started talking to me a little bit, drinking more beer and stuff, and they were like “Come dance with us!” and I said okay. I was a little tipsy. So I went back and I had a tank top on underneath my big sweater, so they took off my sweater and I was dancing with a tank top and everybody was touching and grabbing and I was just living in the dream. I was like, “What the hell?” I was missing this whole time.

And I went home, I didn’t hook up with anyone, I just danced with those people and went home and I remember getting into my bed and laying on my back and just having the biggest smile on my face and I was like, “Wow… This is me.” This is the moment that you really feel like you belong and it’s like, wow. It was amazing.

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