Monday, February 29, 2016

"Coming Out as a Gay Orthodox Talmud Teacher"- by Pesia Soloveichik

Click here for the full article in the Forward: "Coming Out as a Gay Orthodox Talmud Teacher"- by Pesia Soloveichik 2/28/16 The Forward
The following are excerpts from the article:  
“What is it like to be a Soloveichik?” This question about my well-known rabbinic family name has accompanied me for much of my life. My grandfather was Ahron Soloveichik and my great-uncle was Joseph B. Soloveitchik. The questions about my identity became even more complex when, three years ago, I came out as gay in the Orthodox community — while I was a Talmud teacher at an Orthodox high school."
"Growing up in my learned Orthodox family, I viewed life through the lens of Halacha. I loved Judaism and could not imagine what it meant to live life not as an Orthodox Jew." 
"When, as a teenager, I became aware of my attraction to women, I did not know of anyone in my community who was Orthodox and gay. So I convinced myself that I wasn’t gay. I was afraid, and my fear kept me closeted and cut off from myself for a long time. I was scared of losing my beliefs, my family, my friends and my community."
"The following year was the most difficult one in my coming-out process. I was devastated, both from my experiences at SAR and from my other coming-out experiences in the Orthodox community. I suffered from depression. I did not know what to do with the broken pieces that had once comprised the framework of my life." 
"Lack of support around queer issues, whether in schools, synagogues or elsewhere in a Jewish environment, communicates that LGBT people’s suffering and unhappiness do not matter. It communicates to everyone in that environment that it’s okay for a community to decide that some people just don’t matter. The Orthodox world can be better than that, and it must be, both for the sake of its queer members and for the sake of its own humanity." 

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