It’s a sad time for the Tel Aviv LGBT community; the final bastion of lesbian glory has closed in the city centre. After 14 years, the lesbian bar Minerva has finally shut its doors. Its history had been long and varied, being over the years burnt down, reopened, sold to different owners and frequently finding itself under new management. It spent the last three years of its existence under the name of ‘Beit Hasho’eva’ run by community pillar Adi Keizerman.Minerva wasn’t just a bar, it was a community hotspot, the place to go for lesbians living in and visiting Tel Aviv. After all, Tel Aviv is known as one of the friendliest gay holiday destinations, and Israel the most progressive and LGBT-friendly country in the Middle East.
The closing of the only exclusively lesbian bar in Tel Aviv is a real blow to the community. This city is meant to be a refuge for all those who face prosecution elsewhere in the region, and Israel has the most well developed LGBT rights policies of the Asian countries.
It’s a discouraging development for the future if community strongholds are finally closing their doors, and we can only hope that another venue will pick up the slack and offer the lesbians of Tel Aviv a new space that will not only serve as a hangout, but as an inherent and important part of the LGBT community life.