Sunday, March 28, 2010


After coming out a lot of things changed for me. But i'm not even speaking personally, but professionally. I knew I was closing off my life from opportunities within the Yeshiva day schools or summer camps or NCSY, and it hurt, but I hoped somehow it would all be worth it. I came to YU b/c the opportunities of places to go from there within the Jewish Community- even out of the closet- were much greater than anywhere else.

While at YU I took a few small leadership opportunities and did a few things to keep myself content. But i knew it wasn't enough. I was just so scared that if I took more opportunities I would be rejected because of who I was. Or I wouldn't be comfortable on certain programs or people wouldn't be comfortable with me- rooming with them, hanging out with them, because while yes, the Orthodox world may need to open up a little more, it scared me to be the one to do it- and I didn't need to force them. If people wanted to open up, I was here, but if they didn't I didn't want to make trouble. But it really came at a high price as I missed out on some amazing experiences.

So recently, I took one of those experiences and applied to work within YU next year. I'm done sitting on the sidelines, and I just want to work within the Jewish community- and maybe even within the Modern Orthodox community, if they'll have me. I'm tired of running away from opportunities, and I'm tired of letting my fear of what trouble others may perceive me of causing, even though I never did anything of the sort, get in the way of where I want to go. So good luck to me on getting the job, if not, onto more endeavors.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I think I need to (sort of) reverse perspective from the last post. People who don't open up.

If I've lost you as a friend simply because I'm gay- I'm sad you don't understand my struggle nor are you willing to try to.
If I've lost you because I'm too flamboyant- take a look at your straight friends and tell me you're happy with every one of their personality traits and the way they act every day- and you're proud of everything they do.
If I've lost you because I have given in to various sins- one, show me proof, and two, prove to me that you are perfect.
If I've lost you because hanging out with me has given you a bad reputation, I ask- what is more important to you? The reputation you have with various close-minded individuals, or a friendship that you may actually get something out of?

I'm not perfect. But in the areas mentioned above, I feel that I have done nothing wrong. These are four things I'm not willing to apologize for. Am I open to change? Yes. Am I open to people challenging who I am and what I believe in? Yes. But am I open to simple criticism just for being who I am or for trying to be myself? No.
It's a great struggle, no matter what age a person is, to "find themselves". To understand or discover who they are. So it's taken me over 22 years to figure it out, but as I get closer to it- and this includes many more things than just my sexuality- I am less open to hatred and criticism when all I want to do is live.

And If I've lost you because I've done something wrong, something to hurt you, something that personally offended you, for that I apologize- and I hope you can let me know and we can work things out.

And those that are still here with me- I love you, and having you in my life. Thanks.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Open Up

So life has been pretty stressful the past few weeks, I am stage managing the YU play this coming week and also ran a Shabbaton while attending a best friend's wedding and another best friend's l'chaim. Mazal tov guys. Anyway, I wanted to say a few things that may seem pretty random, but I think this is the essence of my interactions with the world around me.

Let me explain. While I may have my opinions of your dress, behavior, actions, and approve or disapprove in my head, none of those things are important to me. Anyone who knows me in person knows that I have many friends- but also that these friends are TOTALLY random and come from all different walks of life, and currently live all different types of lifestyles. I don't care how you live or dress or act- those are all your personal choices, only if you ask for my opinion maybe I will give it. But in general, I accept you for who you are- and unless you really are not a good person, or do something to prove to me that you have little regard for others, would I rather not have you in my life. But seriously, almost everyone in the world is a good person if you just give yourself the opportunity to get to know them, and there is little to not do that, you will find that people are generally good. So give everyone a chance, it's usually worth it.
There's no reason to shut people out just because they may be different than you or have different values. If you're secure enough with who you are and how you act, then just because someone is different, doesn't mean they have to influence you or change your morals or values, so don't be scared.

(Sorry if this sounds condescending- I just am really happy with every single person that is in my life, and I wish others would also give everyone equal opportunity- or you might miss out on some great relationships!)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

When things surprise you

A few weeks ago, I was going to publish a post about how Hashem works in mysterious ways. Instead, I decided to wait, b.c what I was saying didn't have a lot of substance. Now I think it does:

I have been through a lot of confusion in my lifetime and fighting, we all have; and I'm going to be honest- with my coming out there came a few drawbacks- those in the closet and struggling were less likely to open up to me, those out of the closet couldn't understand why I wanted to be frum, and the worst part- there were many individuals who saw me as their play-thing, their opportunity to 'experiment', those who were closeted to try and get some easy action, those who just wanted action and didn't care if it came from a guy or a girl. Now, while I wasn't always the most 'wholesome' individual, I did want to fight these desires and people throwing themselves at me. Recently, it has been worse than ever. But recently it's also been the easiest to fight.

A few weeks ago Hashem sent me a gift. Someone I did not see coming, who has impacted my life more than I ever thought possible, and regardless of what happens with us, he has given me more peace with the past, more strength in the present, and more hope for the future than I ever thought possible. And yes I think it's Hashem's hand, helping me through the desires and helping me fight the struggles while finding the happiness I thought I would never get and honestly, didn't believe I deserved. But for right now, I think I finally believe that I deserve it. And I'm pretty sure I give the same back to him.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Who's giving up on who

So here is a response to some comments from the last post, claiming that once I've "given up" by violating such a "heinous crime", the community has the right to turn their backs on a sinner.
I ask- Who has given up on whom?
Personally, I have not given up on either. Giving up would be turning my back on the community, because that is the easier route for and orthodox Jew in handling sexuality, to give up, to go live their lives however they please and forget about what the Torah says. Giving up could also be giving up on sexuality, and spending my life alone, in pain and suffering, not wanting to hurt a woman who I would never truly love, but not wanting to violate such a severe prohibition in the Torah, so I would be alone. I have chosen neither of those. I have given up on nothing. I have embraced both aspects of my life the best I can.
If you tell me the community has the right to give up on me for violating a commandment by commiting such a heinous crime- I beg of you- close your doors to every Jew! because every Jew has their skeletons in their closet, and every Jew is in violation of something, somewhere. And I know, I make my sin public knowledge- but I ask, do I actually? Do I run around telling everyone if I am or am not sexually active? If I have or have not committed any avierah? No. I simply state that I am a gay Orthodox Jew. I have an attraction to men. In stating that, I am being honest with myself and the world- and if that is a sin, then excommunicate the heterosexuals too, in particular the unmarried ones who are 'announcing' that they are straight and have desires that they may or may not act upon.
So who has given up on whom?
Because if the community shuns individuals such as myself, and all sinners, there will be no one left in Orthodoxy.

It Gets Better- Gay Orthodox Jews