Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Center of the Universe (Pt. II)

So the second part of this post has a unique perspective. I have no shame admitting a problem that I have, and a problem that I've heard people associate with gay people in general- and that is- being self centered. Thinking mostly about the self, talking mostly about the self, and some may argue, caring only about ones self. This is something that I have been working on, with the help of my friends, as I contend with the world around me. But why? Why is it my persona to be self-centered? Why do gay people have a reputation of being selfish and self-serving?

I argue not to justify my own behavior but only to understand it and perhaps enlighten other to a unique situation. Everyone has struggles in life - internal and external. Everyone has things they grapple with, and very often they figure it out on their own.  But these are difficult choices or complex decisions. The struggle a gay person goes through on the inside isn't one to just "get over" or make a decision and have everything be okay. Being gay, and for some people spending years in the closet, can be extremely taxing and difficult. It requires tremendous amount of strength and courage to deal with on the inside, and even more to go through the process of coming out, if that's what one chooses.  And with all this strength, comes self-reliance.

Self-reliance is understanding that when the world won't accept you, you must accept yourself. That when it feels like no one else will support you, you must support yourself. And that self-reliance can be misconstrued. When finally coming out, all a gay person knows, or at least all I knew, was myself. I was the only one I trusted, the only one that was important and the only that needed to be important. Why? Because I was the only one who could support myself. And that is why some may call me self-centered and that is why I may be a bit egotistical.

The most difficult struggle for me at this current time, is perhaps realizing that there are others to be trusted, there are others to let in, and that there are others who will support me in my greatest times of need.  And perhaps understanding that will help me become a bit less "self-centered". 


  1. Honest, brave, and enlightening. Thank you for sharing, Ely.

  2. Beautifully said, Ely. As a gay Jew, I couldn't agree with you more. My only point of contention is that, while it may be understandable for an individual to exhibit egocentrism especially in the scenario you elegantly framed, a jarring, flamboyant, and self-centered collective voice that permeates every facet of communal being is more difficult to legitimize.

  3. My Friend...being gay by definition is a pure act of selfishness, and yes i would know first hand, as i struggle everyday with my sexuality...but consider this
    If the whole world decided to be gay for 80 years, the world or at least all sexually reproducing beings(animals and humans) would cease to exist!

    Yes I do have strong feelings for men and I would be considered gay if people knew but i repress my desires to live with and be with other men for the sake of the world.

  4. Lucky for you, science says that there will always be enough straight people. So thanks for keeping the world in mind, but it's just fine without your selfless mission to play with the female sex!

  5. Your part about self-reliance reminded me of a line from the movie 'Cool Runnings'. For those who haven't seen it, I highly recommend The context is talking about a gold medal, but I think the message extends to SOO many other things in life:
    "Derice, a gold medal is a wonderful thing. But if you're not enough without one, you'll never be enough with one."

    There are so many things we look at hoping it'll complete us. But ultimately, if we don't feel adequate as an individual and worthy of love and acceptance, then receiving it won't be enough.

  6. Hi Ely,

    I'm going to say something mean: being homosexual doesn't make anyone self-centered. Having a blog does. When you have a blog that puts your own thought and opinions out there for others to look at, you are essentially saying "Look at me, look at me, look at me!" and let's face it, that's being self-centered.

    But now I'm going to say something nice: your blog isn't only self-centered. It is also selfless because you share your struggles and difficulties in a way that inspires and helps others.

    So in conclusion: these two sides balance out and you're about average!


It Gets Better- Gay Orthodox Jews