Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Monogamy (My Future)

This may be my least ‘sensical’ and most ‘opinionated’ post. I don’t have facts, I don't have stats, I just have experience. I started graduate school about four months ago, a profession dominated by women and gay men. I thought I could meet some cute guys and enjoy the social experience in addition to the educational experience. That’s definitely holding true- but I realized that almost none of the men are single.

Even though a lot of them are gay, most of them are taken and in committed relationships. Similarly, I have awesome neighbors in a committed (gay) relationship. But this shouldn’t be possible! When I came out, or when I was struggling in high school, all I heard was- you don’t want that lifestyle- no one is truly happy, gay and lesbian individuals, specifically, don’t settle down- they live a life of misery, alone. Well I’m here to tell you, purely based of my experiences- that is not true. Homosexuals are just as capable of building stable lives, with friends and families, just like any heterosexual couple. For some of you this may be obvious, but for many people who grew up, like myself, hearing that homosexuals are never happy, never find stability, and definitely don’t settle down- just had to say it’s false.

I do hope to have a family one day, even a religious one. I think that a partner and I can raise children in the Orthodox world better than many of today’s parents and couples, and hopefully half as decent as my siblings do it- they’re the most incredible parents ever, all of them. As far as community- I know Yeshiva’s that will accept my children, and what more can I hope for? Will my child/children be made fun of? Perhaps, but what child isn’t? I also want to live in Israel, where I know other religious gay couples building families and lives. Everyone’s home lives are different- divorced parents, non-Kosher homes- all my friends growing up had their own story “in” the Orthodox world. My kids will have their own story.


  1. So very true, when you grow up kind of sheltered like that in the Jewish community this happens. You don't really hear about what goes on outside of that environment because its just not something we are taught to do until we are older. Now the problem is though kids are starting to come out younger so it needs to be something that is brought into their lives in an appropriate manner as non-bias as the parents can possibly be.

  2. Exactly how do u plan on consummating? Plus, I think your kids will be embarrassed to go to school especially when younger.

  3. Kinda curious, similar to the previous comment, as to the relationship of "religious gay couples building families and lives."
    Kol HaKavod to you guys if you plan on living with each other and NOT having gay sex.
    Unless we are now expanding the word 'religious' to include those who are gay and want to build families while live together that they are allowed to do whatever they need in order to have a healthy and stable home to raise kids...

  4. "I think that a partner and I can raise children in the Orthodox world better than many of today’s parents and couples"

    I agree. You will be a great dad.

  5. @McGreevey-
    I'd venture to guess that most couples who claim to be "religious" - who attend Orthodox temples and send their children to Orthodox day schools - most likely bend and break rules here and there to suit their lifestyles and what works for them and their families.
    @Anon 10:31 AND McGreevey: It's rather crass, and frankly gross, of you to shift the focus of a post like this one to sex, when there are a million examples of people living "sinfully" in other ways within the Orthodox world.

  6. Please leave all hate behind the keyboard people!

  7. All I can add is - Kol Hakavod! You sound like you would be a great father and would instill in your kids true Ahavas Hashem and Yiras Shomayim - something sorely lacking in many "straight" Frum homes nowadays. I wish you much mazel in finding your Bashert - and may you and him find the true love that Hashem bestows on all who search for it "b'emes".

  8. I want to first say that I commend you for coming out and giving a voice to Orthodox gay men. You are rather brave for what you are doing and I believe that in doing so you are setting yourself up to a happier, more fulfilled life.

    I do want to disagree with part of what you are saying though. I understand your logic when you ask: "Will my child/children be made fun of? Perhaps, but what child isn’t?" and when you explain that "Everyone’s home lives are different- divorced parents, non-Kosher homes- all my friends growing up had their own story “in” the Orthodox world. My kids will have their own story." However, I think this is a different case because you are predicting and maybe even admitting that your kids will be made fun of. Most people would agree that if a couple knew for a fact before they were married that eventually they would get divorced it would be wrong for that couple to have had kids and forced them to deal with their parents' issues. Here too I believe it is unfair to bring kids into it. To have kids and almost guarantee they will suffer because of a predetermined situation out of their control is wrong. If kids get made fun of and suffer because of circumstances that were unforeseen, that is unfortunate, but it is still part of life. This is a controlled situation in which you can predict and foresee their suffering.

    I apologize if that sounds harsh, but although your goal is to have a normal and happy life (which I have no doubt you will lead), you must keep your future kids in mind as well.

  9. That's all well and good, but it doesn't answer the question of how a gay Jewish boy is supposed to find a date!

  10. "I started graduate school about four months ago, a profession dominated by women and gay men.":

    Is this really true?

    It depends what you are studying and the university. Some universities I have been look straight. But when I go to NYU it is very gay. And it also depends on the subject you are studying. The subject I study does not seem to have much gay men (at least it would appear so), and almost no women.

    "I thought I could meet some cute guys and enjoy the social experience in addition to the educational experience.":

    You know, I live right next to YU, I am open to dating. \(^.^)/

  11. Ely,
    I agree with you that every family has "their own story." That being, I lean towards agreeing with Anon: 1:37. Every child is the subject of teasing. The "reasons" can be because of their clothes, their athletic ability, their weight etc, but that does not give a parent the right to knowing subject their child to intolerance.

    I am certain that the process of learning to accept yourself as a gay frum Jew was difficult. It was one, however, that you fought through because G-d created you in is way. It is the challenge He bestowed upon you. I think it would unfair to bring children into a society where you know with certainty that this will be an issue they face from that outset. You would be sharing your burden with those for whom it is not their own. Were you able to find a community where your future children would not only accepted be into Yeshivot, but accepted into the greater Kehilah (meaning that the teasing would an oddity rather than an anticipated norm), then and only then would it be fair and proper for you to try and have children with your future partner. I do think finding or creating such a community is feasible, but only with an immense amount of time and patience.

  12. THANKS for writing this!
    I'm in a similar situation, and my point of view is now very much the same as yours. Some time ago I had a conversation with my brother about this; he told me that it would be irresponsible of me to have children because they'd be picked on at school. Well, I don't think that gay or lesbian couples who adopt "dump their issues" on children. I understand that parents (gay or straight) want their children to be happy at school, but some kids are very mean and they could pick on almost anything. If you can't stand the idea of your child being picked on EVER, don't have children and get a rottweiler instead. All parents can do is make sure their children feel loved and confident and have the resources to cope with the unpleasant kids, as we all did.

    I only know one lesbian Jewish couple who have a child, and he's completely happy and ok at school. It seems that these days having two moms is really not so much of an issue, and I hope the day will come when the same is true at least in some frum communities.

  13. I know I have pushed you to leave Orthodoxy and even questioned whether you are contributing to the problem by not renouncing it, but I have to say you sound like an incredible person and maybe you can make at least parts of the Orthodox world less bigoted. Your hypothetical children will certainly face some bigotry in the frum world but with you as a parent, they'll probably be equipped to handle it. I wish you the best!

  14. Hey FrumGay, I'm new to your blog and love it. I admire your courage and also wish you much mazel in building a religious home with your bashert. If that includes children, wonderful! Frankly I'm a little confused about the comments on this page that would blame *you* for being harassed (and the potential effects of that), instead of blaming the people actually doing the harassing! This is a classic example of blaming the victim. Being gay (including being gay and frum) is not the problem -- being intolerant is. Anonymous #3 and Benjy, we certainly should be very upset and concerned about children who are bullied because of their parents' genders, but we should direct our frustration not at the (innocent) parents, but at the bullies.

  15. I think this was beautifully written and 100 % true, each person should have a chance to be happy and live a certain life and no matter how you do it! Children only know hate because we teach it to them, they see it on the television and in the people they are around, this is an opportunity to build a loving household which i know you would do wonderfully and give children a chance to see that all people are different but that doesnt mean they arent people and dont have feelings. Children would be more accepting and not realize that things were amiss if they didnt hear or see the anger and violence around them!

  16. "Children only know hate because we teach it to them.":

    I agree with your message in the above paragraph, and you are mostly correct in what you said. But I do disagree with this statement.

    If it is really true that children never hate unless they learn it then how did the hate originate from? You say the parents. Well from where did the parents get is from? And so forth. You cannot get repeating this regression. So you must conclude that it is in human nature to be cruel and to be tribal and to reject those that are different from us.

    Humans being (children included) are capable of cruelty and bullying. It is not something they need to learn. It is in their nature. We inherited this tribal heirachry from the way natural selection played out.

    But I certainly agree with you that if it was not for the hate that the parents taught the children the problem would be far far less than what it is now. If it was not for the hatred of the parents then the children will have a far easier time accepting those people different from them as their own people.

    "they see it on the television":

    This is another point I disagree with. I do not find anything anti-gay on television. I hardly ever watch television but if I do see it then my impression is that the TV is rather accepting of homosexuals. The TV is much more supportive of gays than you commonly find in religious communities. I remember many many years ago when MTV featured gay dating shows. This was so many years back when gays were much more hated than they are now. So to your surprise the non-sense that you find on TV can sometimes end up being very accepting of different people.

  17. Hi Ely,

    Do you think forming a religious family with two dads would be easier in Israel than here? I'd be very interested to hear your opinion about this (perhaps you can do a whole post).


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