Thursday, February 3, 2011

One Thing

In a recent interview that can be found HERE, I was asked two very difficult questions that I will go into this post and the next post. Shout out to the awesome YU Beacon and my interviewer for letting me share this.

I was asked if there was one thing I could tell the Orthodox community, for all to know, what would it be. Coming to the answer to this question took some time. There is so much I want the Orthodox community to know- that I want to have a “normal” life like the rest of them, that just because I’m gay doesn’t mean I’m any different from them, that I plan on living an Orthodox lifestyle to the best of my ability, that being gay was not planned, expected, or asked for- but none of these were really just one thing for me to tell the community, so here’s what I went with:

"That being gay is not a choice. It’s not something I ever wished for, and not something I strive to push on anyone who is uncomfortable with it."

I did not choose to be gay or ask for it or beg for my life to be more difficult. I wished and cried for the opposite. I simply tried to live a “normal” modern Orthodox life, like all my friends, but found myself attracted to the same sex instead of the opposite. After too much pain and struggle, I realized that just because I was gay, I was not going to allow that to stop me from living the “normal” modern Orthodox life; I just hope to do it with a man instead of a woman. Being gay, for almost all individuals struggling is not a choice- if it were, why would we choose the other path? Why would we want to go against the Torah? Why would we beg and plead for communities to accept us for who we are?

This is something the Orthodox community needs to recognize, because too often people are cast aside or hurt and not accepted. Why? Because it's viewed as something that is more or less in our control, and it's not. Just like a heterosexual's attraction towards women is not in their control, so too for the homosexual, the attraction is not in their control. For all these reasons I had to use this one thing to tell the Orthodox community- being gay is almost always not a choice. Just some food for thought.

1 comment:

  1. That was a great interview! I wish I'd read something like that ten years ago (or, ehm, five). You chose a very good point to answer the question about what to tell the community. Being gay isn't a choice, and if you leave aside the obvious difference a gay Jew can be pretty much like a straight one.
    If they'd asked me the same question, I'd probably answer: being gay is NOT "to have an urge to do one thing" - same as being straight doesn't mean that. Being gay/straight means feeling attracted by people of the same/opposite sex and wanting to build a relationship. Boringly similar, really.

    Shabbat shalom!


It Gets Better- Gay Orthodox Jews