National Coming Out Day
Today marks National Coming Out Day. In honor of the 25th anniversary of this day of celebration and action, we are sharing a few of our favorite stories of identity, activism, and heroism in the LGBTQ community from our blog.
There’s More To This Story: Josh Lutch shares his coming out story. “Somehow, I managed to gain the chutzpah that I had been missing all my life. I said it again, this time to everyone: “I am gay.” And again, everyone was accepting and affirming. Two weeks later, my friends and I actually did go to the Pride Parade in Boston. I was a bit nervous for my first time in an LGBT space. I worried about who would see me and who I would run into. But I went. I stood on the side of the parade and watched so many different aspects of LGBT life march down the streets.”
Queer Identity: More Questions than Answers Explore the challenges and questions that often accompany a bi-sexual identity with Mimi Arbeit. “I didn’t realize it would be so hard to be queer after I got married. Seems like it should have been obvious to me, right? Marry a heterosexual cis-man, turn in queer club card, do not pass go, still collect hundreds of dollars of apparently-straight privilege. Is that how it has to be?”
Is the shul a place for political activism? Kate Bigam shares her story of finding activism at a place of worship. “One of the greatest things about Judaism, I think, is that its adherents practice in a variety of ways and find value in different aspects of its traditions and texts. With this in mind, I’m curious as to your experiences at the intersection of social action and Judaism. Would you be pleasantly surprised, like me, or perhaps distinctly uncomfortable to be presented with such a flier at Friday night services? Is social action a way in which you meaningfully connect with your faith? If so, do you prefer direct service, advocacy, or some combination of the two?”
Being Visible as a Queer Jew: In this piece by Vinny Prell, the idea of community heroes is explored. “My LGBTQ Jewish heroes are less well known. They're couples who I've watched argue over parshiot, joke about the treyf zone in their otherwise kosher home, and plot to have the gayest purim costumes (I believe they decided on a Roman and a his slave!) They are the people who showed me there was more to Judaism and same sex relationships than a few verses in Leviticus, and introduced me to the five genders within Jewish tradition. I could keep adding to this list, but the truth of it is that the people on it are my friends and mentors, members of my congregation and chosen family.”
It Gets Better: Where are the Jews? Kate Bigam rounds up a few of the Jewish leaders who have participated in the It Gets Better Project. “By now, the It Gets Better Project has made headlines around the world, with everyone from Lady Gaga to president Obama posting a video to support and encourage LGBT youth. A number of Jewish leaders have joined the conversation by making videos of their own. Here are a few of my favorites. Let me know if I’ve missed any good ones!”