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September 25, 2016 / 22 Elul, 5776
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Surviving Bullying, Silencing And Torment For Being Gay In The Frum Community


Photo Credit: © Katja Heinemann/Aurora Select, courtesy of the Southern Poverty Law Center

This is not an appeal to change halacha or anyone’s political views. This is not a push for gay marriage or any legitimizing of gay marriage within Orthodoxy. I am simply asking my community not to judge. Remember the compassion we show to the agunah, who may also desire something that is halachically prohibited through no fault of her own. Similarly, why pressure someone to participate in a program or therapy that they may have laredy tried or which causes harm. Just because someone is honest about being gay, does not mean that he engages in any sin or chillul Hashem. No one should feel silenced or asked to lie about who they are. Abuse and cruelty should never be tolerated or ignored. We should assume the best about people’s actions and intentions and ask Hashem for guidance in situations where we do not have easy answers. A little humility goes a long way. Sometimes the kindest and most thoughtful response when it comes to very difficult situations is, “I don’t know, but I’m here for you because you are part of my family and community.”

This is why I have so much hakaras hatov (gratitude) to The Jewish Press for allowing me to tell my story, so that the frum community can hear what really happens to its gay sons, brothers, and family members.

May we be zoche to live in a world free of suffering.

Chaim Levin

About the Author: The author can be reached at magazine@jewishpress.com

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