Friday, November 28, 2008

is it ok to like the gays?

There's a gay Jewish blogger out there (www.almostkosher.blogspot.com) that I discovered the other day. He's married (to a boy) and recently converted, Conserva/Reform style, to Judaism. In a comment on FrumSatire's recent post (based on one of our late night chats), Brian Judd asked about the halachas involved with gay men being able to go to a mikvah with other men.

Interesting question. My friends have actually wondered about that. Where do "the gays" fit in in an Orthodox setting? Do they have to be shomer negiah around men too? And do shomer rules not apply around women? (same q goes for the "lady gays" too)

I know doing the gay thing isn't exactly kosher. Ok, it's downright treif. And kinda gross when you think about the logistics of it (from a hetero standpoint at least! to quote Ben Affleck's character in Chasing Amy, "there are in holes and there are out holes" lol ok, too graffic huh? Babysitter - keep your eyes closed!)

But I remember taking a sociology class taught by an openly gay professor. He wasn't your 'typical' gay guy - he was pretty old, gray hair, big glasses, really overweight and had a horrible sense of style. He once talked about how hard it was for him when he was in his teens and twenties - growing up during a time when the perfect Pleasantville family was considered the ideal norm and when no one, not even celebrities, came out of the closet. His family pretty much shunned him. He spoke about how he would wish he wasn't gay, how it wasn't an option for him not to be. It was who he was.

I'm not going to debate the whole nature vs. nurture issue right now. Whether or not people are born gay is something that I can never really figure out. But the Torah says that acting on 'gay urges' is wrong. So could the Torah truly ban something that people are not able to control?

Despite what the tefillin daters may say, I do think that sexuality is something you can control. Just like you can control the urge to eat an entire bag of Miss Vickie's Jalapeno Chips (oooh so good). It may be harder to stop once you've had one chip (they say you can never each just one!), but you can always stop. And if you leave the bag closed, you (and your hips) are much better off.

There is this gay Jewish boy that I know. One day he told me how depressed he was that he was single (his ex had moved on - to a sheigitz!). It occurred to me that he would reallly get along with this other gay Jewish boy I knew. I was all excited to make the shidduch! (lol i'm a future yenta!) But then I wondered - was I being an accomplice to a potential sin? It turned out that gay boy #2 didn't think gay boy #1 was so attractive, so it didn't work (potential sin avoided!).
But was I in the wrong?

Despite knowing that being gay goes against my Ortho beliefs, I can't help but love being the Grace to my gay friends' Will. (Lesbians, Im not too into.... maybe Ive been hit on one time too many and it freaked me out) But gay guys are like girl friends that can give you a boy's perspective. So is it ok to like the gays?

9 comments:

frumpunk said...

I've no problem with the gays, I work with a few, but the really bitchy and effeminate ones creep me out.
As for the Torahs perspective, I think its recognised that gayness is something your born with, but they say its just that persons nisayon in life, thats what they have to overcome.

The Babysitter said...

"Babysitter - keep your eyes closed!

Your too cute! I think I actually get that line thanks to a Jewish Professor of mine.

o, you just reminded me of something. There was a gay guy in one of my classes. I totally forgot about him, the only way I knew was because it was a political science class so he was always speaking up about gay rights and stuff. He was actually friends with a Jewish girl, and I thought that was weird at that time.

"So could the Torah truly ban something that people are not able to control?"

Who says they can't control it, if Hashem banned it then it shows it's something that does exist, that people have urges for, and something that can be overcome. (ahh now I see you already said that you can control it)

I hadn't thought about if it's assur to set a gay couple up. That's a good question.

Jessica said...

My theory is that you hate the deed not the person. You can love the gays all you want, but when it comes to the Torah, you don't love the act of being gay.

Pinny said...

"Whether or not people are born gay is something that I can never really figure out. But the Torah says that acting on 'gay urges' is wrong. So could the Torah truly ban something that people are not able to control?"

I agree. If we really could not be expected to control innate urges, than none of us would be toilet trained.

Anonymous said...

It's not against halacha to be gay, which is probably something you are born with. However, it is against halacha to have male gay relations. I don't think there is any actual halacha for women, is there?

Anonymous said...

Is it better to set up a gay guy with some innocent BY girl thinking she'll magically cure him?

Miri said...

"Despite what the tefillin daters may say, I do think that sexuality is something you can control. Just like you can control the urge to eat an entire bag of Miss Vickie's Jalapeno Chips (oooh so good)..."

Sexual urges are hard to NOT act upon, but it's easier to "control sexuality" when there is an end in site. Once you get married, not only is sex allowed, it actually becomes a holy act. However, if someone were to tell a straight, shomer negiah person that they would have to be celibate for the rest of their lives, this halacha would be (even more ) widely ignored. So, imagine how it is for a gay, frum person when there is NO end in site? I really dont think any of us are in a position to judge what they are going through.

frumsatire said...

Well said Miri

Miri said...

thanks frum!