homosexuality · Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism · rabbi

Gay and Orthodox

My first boyfriend was gay and when he came out, it caused me permanent damage. He had used me in his attempt to live out a lie, to survive in our cruel high school world. My world went upside down suddenly when I realized my best friend, my boyfriend, was not really either of these things.

It sickens me when I hear jokes about gays in the Orthodox community. (On Shabbos, it was jokes about same sex marriages). It also sickens me when I hear stereotypes being trumpeted like facts. (On Purim, it was a joke about how gays men are all about being part-Martha Stewart, part-man. I’ve also had someone tell me they were glad their friend went through “brainwashing” workshops to make him straight. (Right, so he could then marry some poor woman and make her life miserable like my ex-boyfriend had made mine?)

No one ever thinks there might be someone gay in the room, just like they don’t worry someone might be offended by their racist joke. To me, they all fall under the same disgusting hate crime category. Perhaps this is why Heshy Fried is worried about his gay friend coming out in the Orthodox community.

If you’re interested in more on this subject, check out Rabbi Steven Greenberg‘s book, “Wrestling with G-d and Man: Homosexuality in the Jewish Tradition.” Rabbi Greenberg is the first person with Orthodox Rabbinic ordination to announce his homosexuality while claiming adherence to Orthodox Judaism. I had the pleasure of hearing him speak last year at LimmudLA.

3 thoughts on “Gay and Orthodox

  1. Rabanit Hausman-I think in general there’s a problem in our Orthodox community in that some individuals feel that bashing folks whether they are gay, visible minorities, in some cases Religious Zionists, liberals, Reform and Conservative Jews, or non-Jews altogether, is all fair game. My younger brother is gay and I will take him and his partner any day over these sorts of “frum crackers” that mushroom in our communities!

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  2. I’m an emerging frum woman who has no problem whatsoever with gays or lesbians. I suppose having gay grandparents helped. Lol. The frum community needs to face its own bigotry.

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