Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Struggle

[Reposted from FB for those that read it there]

I love my life. I'll tell you what bothers me. When others try and tell me how to live, how to act and how to behave. The Torah and Rabbis I have a relatonship with, maybe, but until you live my life, do not tell me what I can and cannot do. Or that who I am is simply society leaking into our "perfect" Jewish culture.

Are those who are "judging" me celibate individuals? No, they are married- or will be married- and they have sex. Are they gay? Maybe, but probably not.

So until they are in my shoes, don't tell me my Nisayon, my test, is just like everyone else's; that I can overcome it with enough effort. It might be true, but only in very specific situations, and until you are in my specific situation, don't tell me what challenges I can or cannot overcome.

Our society is not a "pure Torah society", so don't yell at me for turning it impure. It's not my fault that I have a struggle and regardless of that struggle, I simply want for the Orthodox community to accept me. The more you denounce my challenge and tell me my struggle is not okay, the more you push me away from Orthodoxy. If that is the goal, congratulations, you are succeeding. If it is not, then stop. Just stop. Just let me try and make a life for myself and stay frum.


  1. Unfortunately, the likelihood is that the message those people are trying to send is "Go straight or get out". I had a discussion on this topic with a friend, regarding her gay friend, a few years ago.

    Someone who's gay and says they want to be accepted as Orthodox by the Orthodox community is in for a tough, if not impossible fight. You're essentially going up against one of the things that makes Orthodoxy, Orthodoxy. The weird thing about this is that it sounds like you're fighting for a label. If it's a label you're looking for, I'm sure they'd be happy calling you Conservative or Reform (though I understand there are considerable difference between what they mean in Canada and the States).

    Will they ever accept you as Orthodox and gay? Probably not. Will they accept you as gay? I don't know. If it's an issue of the label, and them essentially telling you that you don't fit into it because of XYZ (in this case, being gay), then that's kind of a fact. That's the same thing I told my friend about her friend's position in the fight for that label.

    My question is, is the label really that important? If there's some underlying reason why it is that I'm not quite getting, ok. But if you're Jewish, and you are as frum as you choose to be, shouldn't you be comfortable with what you've chosen? For you and not for someone else?

  2. Ely represents a "sea change" in attitudes both here and abroad.

    He's reflective of a trend. Why can't people just accept differences and tolerate others who are different?

  3. It seems that for many in the Orthodox community, it's just like in the American military at present: don't ask, don't tell.
    Will the military change? They say they are going to review the situation...
    Will there be change in the Orthodox community?
    Who knows?
    In today's society as in other times, people put labels to things. For most, we need labels, guideposts, direction. Otherwise we'd have no compass.
    Can our young, frum gay remain frum if no one labels him frum?
    That is for him to decide. I hope he can.
    I hope he doesn't decide to dump the baby (his beliefs) with the bath water (the comments of those who would deny him)
    I say focus on those who support you. I say know and listen to your heart. I will pray for you to have the strength to remain true to *your* beliefs.
    Anonymous Old Lady


It Gets Better- Gay Orthodox Jews