When You’re Gay & Jewish


QUEERTY SELECTS — Far too often, gays and lesbians are put in that single box, their identities defined by their sexuality. But we’re no more “just gay” than heteros are “just straight.” We’re black and Hispanic, physically disabled and identical twins, blind, members of a royal family, athletes, and Irish. So we’re always fascinated by gay men and women whose multiple cultures so strongly define them. In the Jewish Exponent, we learn about Jewish young people who embrace both identities: being gay and a chosen person. [Jewish Exponent]

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  • Anthony in Nashville

    I’m in my 30s and I think I’ve met only one gay jewish person.

    I’m suspicious whenever someone claims to be part of a “chosen tribe.”

  • Alec

    @Anthony in Nashville: Well then you really need to get out more. There are plenty of gay men and women who are Jewish.

    As far as your “suspicion,” we call it anti-semitism these days.

  • Z reveals

    They are usualy very HOT!

  • CHIP

    Well, there are fewer Jews south of the mason/dixon line unless you go to Florida. But coming from a Jewish family who has relatives from Texas, Lousiana, and Smackover, Arkansas, you might be surprised that there are more Jewish families than you think. Not all Jews are religious, and plenty of Jewish families celebrate Christmas as a secular celebration of good tidings.

  • Michael W.

    @Alec: They call everything “anti-semitism” these days, including criticism of the Israeli apartheid practices against Palestinians.

  • Anthony in Nashville


    I had a feeling that would get thrown out there.

    Being jewish doesn’t have anything to do with it. I feel the same way about black people who claim to be part of the “talented tenth” or belong to groups claiming to have “advanced” knowledge. Or rich families who believe their wealth and special treatment are “ordained” by virtue of their bloodlines, and not them actually earning it. My issue is with individuals who state they are better than everyone else.

    I will grant you that I should get out more.

  • Chitown Kev

    @Anthony in Nashville:

    I get your point, and those “talented tenth blacks” (which I am frequently grouped with for some reason) catch hell from the blacks that “keep it real” too.

  • Julian

    Oh, Alec – stop.

  • Aaron J.

    @Chitown Kev: You’re such a funny man.

  • Chitown Kev

    @Aaron J.:

  • Mark M.

    As with any group, some gay Jews are hot, others not. My ex certainly was hot. And as my very beautiful when young ex said, he was jewish by injection (and he had high standards). It’s silly to generalize this way, but a culture and religion that reveres knowledge and learning for its own sake has definite advantages.

  • Mark M.

    that’s two exes, btw. sorry for the confusion…

  • Kevin (not that one)

    OMG! I can’t throw a stick without hitting a gay Jew. If you haven’t met more gay Jews, you just haven’t met many Jews period.

  • Alec

    @Michael W.: @Julian:

    That “chosen tribe” comment irks me a bit. Why would Jews arouse suspicion?

    I’m critical of Israel and generally on the Palestinian side of the debate, and I realize the ADL and other groups take anti-semitism charges too far, but come on! If I claimed I was suspicious of gays or blacks or women or, etc., you get the picture, I’d be called out on it.

  • scott

    @Anthony in Nashville: Where did they say they were part of a “chosen tribe?”

    I saw someone reference that they were alone and found their “tribe” when encountering other gays.

  • Anthony in Nashville


    I got the “chosen” part from the intro to this post, presumably written by Japhy. It wasn’t in the actual article, so perhaps I took it out of context.

    I think it’s interesting how one of the people in the article claims that “orthodoxy” is “evolving.” I thought the point of orthodoxy was that it does not change. I think it’s more an issue of the adherents changing their intepretation of “The Word,” as has happened with the Bible.

  • Chitown Kev


    But isn’t that a big part of the problem, that the “dominant strain” of thought in a “minority culture” tends toward xenophobia, partly due to the prejudice and racism/sexism/whatever-ism of the culture at large?

    For example, I know black people who are totally OK with me being gay, but they are not OK that I would choose to date a white guy or a Puerto Rican or Arab (as soon as that “have you ever dated (fill in the blank)” question comes, the date is effectively over).

  • John in CA

    @Alec: I don’t mind if you think your little religious group has some sort of special destiny. It only becomes a problem when you start with that Darth Vader crap:

    “Join us. Or you will surely burn in the enternal fires of Hell.”

    To their credit, I’ve never had a Jew give me that speech. Same with Hindus, Buddhists, and so-called “pagans.” I’ve heard it from plenty of Christians though. Is it really any surprise though that the largest and most successful religions are also the most aggressive ones?

  • Aaron J.

    That’s why you’re funny, Chitown.

  • Chitown Kev

    @Aaron J.:

    Say what fuck you want to say, dude!

  • TANK

    @Michael W.:

    No, a lot of that criticism is actually a mask for antisemitism. It can be based upon ignorance, but some of it genuine jew hate using the israeli palestinian conflict as a cover.

  • scott

    @Anthony in Nashville: oh ok. I thought i missed something. I actually never read or skim Queerty’s stuff and tend to go straight to the source. I mean, it’s Queerty… so, well, y’know. ;)

  • dizzyspins

    Jews are referred to as “The Chosen People” because according to Hebrew tradition and the torah, they were chosen to have a special covenant with God. Its not really meant to imply we’re BETTER than anyone, just that we have particular responsibility to follow certain rules and rites.

    I’m more concerned with Christians who claim they are the “Elect” or “saved”–they explicity say anyone who is not one of them will burn in hell. Jew don’t believe that–we dont even believe in Hell.

  • TANK

    Just what we need now…to get into the theological grounding of these bedtime stories.

  • scott

    @dizzyspins: Hey! Thanks for the chosen people explanation. I didn’t know that. I guess someone on Queerty’s staff is Jewish or knowledgeable about Judaism.

  • Chitown Kev


    yeah, I went to a black LGBT meeting recently and they were throwing all of this religious talk into the mix.

    i am not anti-religious, per se. And I do think that spirituality/religion/churches have a place somewhere in gay culture but it’s the whole confluence of religion and civil rights that is causing problems. Keep the church in the church.

  • tropos

    @Anthony in Nashville – considering where you are, it makes sense you don’t know many gay Jews. Surprising you know any gays at all, except maybe yourself.

  • tropos

    Am amazed there don’t seem to be any Jews in the comments here.
    Yes, many of them are gay and usually their families are very accepting.
    Been with one the last few happy years; and going to Seder at the in-laws this evening. :-)

  • TANK

    How would you know? Because they don’t identify as Jewish? Did you skip pesach last night? “seem to be”? WTF…

  • Anthony in Nashville


    For a southern city, I’d call Nashville a politically moderate town, which means there is a “don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t bother” attitude towards gay men and lesbians (can’t speak for the B or T) that has allowed us to live in relative anonymity. Gay bashings, at least the ones bad enough to make the news, are surprisingly infrequent for a city that prides so much of its identity and industry on religion, church, country, and gospel.

    I have spent most of my life here (7 years in FL) and there have always been multiple gay bars and newspapers here.

    While Nashville is 15-20 years behind Atlanta as far as cosmopolitanism (sp), it is a growing city. We have a gayborhood of sorts, recognized LGBT commercial area, yearly Pride and Black Pride events, and one of North America’s biggest gay softball leagues.

    All that said, I’m still missing the jewish segment of the community.

  • hardmannyc

    Jews are great in bed, periiod. They’re very uninhibited.

    As for all that “chosen” crap, jesus christ (oops). It was an offhand, cutesy-snarky semi-scholarly reference to theology. It’s like calling Christians “saved.”

  • strumpetwindsock

    @Anthony in Nashville: @hardmannyc:

    No need to dance around it; it IS in the book that as a faith they are a chosen people. It’s a bit more clear-cut than the notion of being “born again”.

    There are plenty of potentially uncomfortable things like that in ALL faiths, and it’s even more thorny when it is racial as well as religious.

    There are some people inside and outside of Judaism that use “the chosen people” in a discriminatory way, but it’s all in the interpretation. Like most religious things, if you really understand it it is more likely to inspire humility than pride, I think.

    Anyway, I know plenty of Jewish people from my old home town. Some of the nicest people I know; very family-oriented. Then again, I wouldn’t be hanging out with them if they weren’t nice.

  • Lance Rockland

    I’m Gay and Jewish.

    Jews have the best food!

  • Forrest

    Another gay Jew here. I have had guys hit on me because they only like to date “nice jewish boys”.That’s because we are all mensches and bubbes. I don’t think I am better than anyone else. . Oy Vey, look at the shmatte that shmendrik is wearing ;-)

    I love Yiddish!

    Being a double minority I have always had a deep interest in social justice and equality. Gays,Jews,and both were all in the concentration camps together.

    Generally, Jews tend to be liberal,outside of the Orthodox sect. And certainly the Reform movement that we belong to has a long history of being GLBT inclusive.

  • hardmannyc

    @Forrest: The flip side of that is that some of them are overly needy and clingy. But they’re still great in bed!! I’ve dated a lot of jewish men and don’t like uncut guys, so I speak from experience.

  • Dabq

    While I don’t see anyone as a ‘chosen’ people since everyone on earth comes from one woman and not myths and fables, more power to them for being Jewish and gay, not a big whoop that someone is proud to be gay and of whatever their background is and I’ve known mroe than a few gay Jews, men and women.

  • Alec

    I’d also like to point out that “who is a Jew” is at least as problematic as “who is gay.” I’m definitely not Jewish by any reasonable definition (i.e., I don’t practice Judaism, and my family hasn’t for a little over a hundred years), but I could be considered Jewish under the racist/racialist definitions.

    Just a thought.

  • Sarah

    I’m Jewish, although not a great one. I don’t eat kosher and haven’t been to a synagogue since I was 10 (although this is more or less because I haven’t had access to one.) My father and brothers are all Jewish and are very accepting – although only one of my brothers knows I am bisexual. My dad was actually the person who first told me what a homosexual was – and he spent a half hour making sure I knew there was nothing wrong with it (honestly it never crossed my mind.) Ironically, me and the president of the GSA at my school (we are the only serious members) are both Jewish, and the only Jews in the school.

  • strumpetwindsock

    Interesting. I’m not even a bit Jewish, but I think the question is only there if you actually have Jewish blood.
    Unless your mom is Jewish I don’t think you have a choice about whether you’re a Jew or not. If she is, then you can be one if you want to.
    I suppose goyim can convert to the religion of Judaism (or just really relate, like Walter in The Big Lebowski) but is it the same thing?

    I dunno Alec… you probably know more about it than I do, or maybe you don’t.

    But whoever mentioned great Jewish food… you got that right!

    Anyone seen that movie Hollywoodism? I posted a link to it in another thread, and if you haven’t seen it it’s well worth it.


    1- I don’t understand how a Conservative or Orthodox Jew can stay in the fold and be gay. That doesn’t work for me any more than the self-flagelating excercises conducted at Yom Kippur. Too much misoginistic (sp?) controlling philosphies at play. I realized this at the age of 12 when I started fighting the system. I’ll stick to Wicca.

    2- I am born Jewish and must be so sexy that I don’t even know how sexy I am. But I must say that my one sexual encounter with another Jewish man almost sent me into therapy. It was akin to having sex with my mother. That was uncomfortable. Gotta have my goyim to get my stiffy.

  • Jaxmaddoc

    But what I am failing to understand is where the religius aspect comes to it. do you subscribe because it has such a loose structure, more malleable to your comfort level. Thereby giving you a sense of well-being and safety. I can understand that, but at the same time why not give Judaism a chance. Regardless of moral ambiguities, you appear more as a self hating jew than as anything, which in more modern opinion is as bad or worse than than what you are describing. Why not accept what you are and choose to find a path of understanding where those around you may not have thought to look.

  • strumpetwindsock

    Actually you reminded me of another good movie – “Trembling Before G_d” – about gay orthodox Jews.
    I saw it a few years ago and really enjoyed it.

  • Chris


    Honest question: Is goy an offense term? I told a non-jewish (but married to a jewish man) friend she should use it in the title of something, and she said it was thought of a slur. Is it?

  • Chris

    Btw, i second that “jewish man are hot in bed” comment.

  • TANK

    Goyim can be offensive (cattle) if used in that context. Gentile is always kosher.

  • Forrest

    All this mishigoss is making me plotz!

    I have never dated another Jew. We would spend too much time complaining and arguing over food.

    Some gay Jews have played leading roles in the fighting for equality. Harvey Milk and Larry Kramer being some of the more well known.

  • Jared

    @Michael W.:

    oh yes another Gay criticising the only country in the middle east where you not only dont get lynched for being gay, but where gay rights are protected, where there is a gay pride parade every year, and where gay clubs flourish.

    and your comment is actually in itself anti-semitic. sorry to burst your bubble, mister “i care so much about the poor palestinians only because really i hate jews, i dont care about the palestinians”

  • Jared

    oh and I love how a paragraph about gay Jews brings up so much interest and debate, and even criticism of Israel, as if this was what the topic was about (maybe besides the fact that Israel is FULL of gay Jews, as compared to the territories, where there are no open gays, and most flee to Israel to be protected)
    I dont think that an article about gay Black people would bring up anything else than “yay how great”

    lets dwell on that for a sec, shall we?

  • Alec

    @Jared: I dont think that an article about gay Black people would bring up anything else than “yay how great”

    Is that sarcasm?

    No one has brought up the homophobia of the Orthodox, either, although it is at least reasonably related to the topic.

  • Jared

    oh yes, the “homophobia” of the Orthodox.

    as of yet, no one has been killed, castrated or lynched because of the EXTREMISM of Judaism unlike the extremism of Christianity or Islam.

    chew on that for a sec

  • Alec


    as of yet, no one has been killed, castrated or lynched because of the EXTREMISM of Judaism unlike the extremism of Christianity or Islam.

    Did Christians and Muslims write Leviticus 20:13?

    Also, if you think homophobia is limited to death, castration or lynching, well…most Muslim nations are surprisingly progressive!

    There are “ex-gay” Orthodox groups, there are Orthodox Jews who oppose gay rights on the basis of Leviticus and tradition, etc. That you feel the need to defend the Orthodox position on homosexuality is your own problem; I call it as I see it.

  • Jared

    i was certainly not defending it, just putting it in context.

  • Jared

    and the fact that the Jewish religious extremists do not dictate the laws on homosexuality in the only Jewish country, unlike in many Muslim countries, says a lot.

  • TANK


    Are you defending a minority position within Judaism? Because it seems like it. Ex gay groups even amongst orthodox judaism are almost nonexistent. Further, if you want to go toe to toe on orthodox judaism’s opposition to gay rights and islam or christianity (per capita opposition from individual orthodox jews vs. evangelical christians and sunni muslims), and argue that it’s comparable (which you’re doing), you’re going to lose yet another argument.

  • TANK

    You simply can’t compare Israel’s policy on gay rights (more progressive, in fact, than in the united states), with iran or any other muslim state, for that matter, to argue that they are similar or equivalent. Anyone who does that is delusional and probably antisemitic…I mean, there has to be a reason for the lies and deception.

  • Alec

    @TANK: Again, you’re being a troll. Individual Orthodox Jews do, on the whole, have comparatively tolerant views on homosexuality; doesn’t change the fact that gay relationships are considered abominations within Orthodox Judaism.

    Further, if you want to go toe to toe on orthodox judaism’s opposition to gay rights and islam or christianity (per capita opposition from individual orthodox jews vs. evangelical christians and sunni muslims), and argue that it’s comparable (which you’re doing), you’re going to lose yet another argument.

    No, that’s what you said I was arguing, although if you’re being honest (don’t worry, I realize hell hasn’t frozen over) you’d not read any comment from me stating that “per capita opposition from individual orthodox jews vs. evangelical christians and sunni muslims” was “comparable.”

    You’ll notice that I didn’t make any references to Reform or Conservative or Reconstructionist Judaism. That was purposeful.

    I wasn’t talking about Israel. I don’t disagree that Israel is ahead of most nations, including the US, on gay rights.

  • TANK

    Actually, there’s a dialogue now in which that dogma is being debated within the many strains of orthodox judaism (which you can’t just treat as monolithic like evangelicalism). I know many orthodox jews, in fact, who are gay friendly and tolerant and who vote for candidates who support gay marriage. My great grandfather was an orthodox rabbi, and his before him, etc., etc for several generations.

    I don’t see that dialogue occurring with radical islam.

  • TANK

    Not to say that my great grandfather was gay tolerant…lol, probably not (we never discussed that).

  • TANK


    His father before him…lol

    And jews good in bed? You’re insane.

  • Jared


    The self-hating Jew. How coy.

    You should watch “The Believer”

  • Jewdan

    It’s so hard to be Jewish and Gay and black.

  • Jewdan

    @Jewdan: yes it is

  • jewyawka

    Don’t know how I stumbled onto this , but it’s freakin shmilarious!

  • Suspiria

    @Alec: Why is it called “Anti-Semitism” to be suspicious of ethnocentricity? Please explain.

  • Robert Kunst

    From: Robert Kunst ([email protected])
    Sent: Mon 6/21/10 5:14 PM
    To: [email protected]

    Yesterday’s Gay Pride event in Wilton Manors was an interesting experience.

    John and I held up my large banner that said: “KUNST, Save America, Save Israel” and had a very light Western Wall in the middle of both the U.S. and Israeli flags on it. It was super hot and yours truely, nearly 68 yr. old, did well with many along the way offering congratulations.

    Many remembered me from the Anita Days. We also had a booth at the festival with both flags flying and a big banner: “Fight Terrorism, Support Israel” and my banner in the back of the booth. Doug, my lover for 22 1/2 yrs. was manning the booth.

    We also had tee-shirts on ‘Keeping Jerusalem United’, ‘Infidel’ and ‘Beloved Infidel’ and buttons that said: “Throw the Bums Out”, “Obamination”, “They’re All Full of Shit” besides my own buttons: “Clean Out The Schmutz-Kunst For” and bumper stickers on: “USA”, “Keep Jerusalem United” and “KUNST For Congress. com and Save America-Save Israel”.

    While it was baking out in the sun, we were ‘cool’. Those who hate Israel and Jews, passed by and we didn’t bother with them. A few did make comments: “What About the Palestinians”? I answered: “Why don’t you take them and let them live next door to you?”

    However, what was really great were all the people on our side, who came over to share their support for Israel and for myself and who hear me all the time on the Joyce Kaufman Show and also signed up to help and to be visible. It was a steady stream of support for the whole time we were there.

    While ‘gay’ flags were flying everywhere, we seemed to be the only ones with an American and Israeli flags flying.

    After 8 hrs. we left feeling great on how we had penetrated these issues together with a community that needs to also be involved with these issues.

    If Iran is hanging gays and Saudi Arabia is chopping off the heads of gays and women are subjected to so many dehumanizing experiences from the Arabs/Muslims, then how can any gay person be pro-Hamas, Hezbollah ad nauseum? The Jew-haters haven’t changed and were against me when we fought and beat Anita Bryant.

    After all these years, I’m still pioneering a new direction, still highly visible and still pushing all of these issues and as before, ‘light years’ ahead of our time.

    After the parade, there is still reality and the dangers we all face with Obama selling out Israel and America.

    Too many gays still don’t get it. Too many homophiles still hate themselves but want the world to accept them, when they don’t accept themselves.


    Still, many thousands did get our messages and campaign yesterday. I’m committed to weekly rallies at the White House once I’m elected to Congess on all of the issues being presented here. That’s a bigger committment than anyone else. I didn’t see anything for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz at the parade, she dismisses as she does most everything.
    Will the gays still enslave themselves by voting the party line or finally vote for themselves and escalate the debate by using KUNST FOR CONGRESS?

    Yours in Shalom,
    Bob Kunst,

    Please go to for a photo.


    I am the ONLY openly Gay Candidate for Congess.

    Did you know that June 7, 1977, was the biggest media event in the Gay movement’s history, when Bob Kunst, and Dr. Alan Rockway ( Transperience Center) led the opposition to Anita Bryant and Jerry Falwell?

    We made ‘gay’ a household word, got millions out of their closets, had the most open and non-violent debate on human sexuality in the world, took a local issue and turned it into a global event, led the world famous Orange Juice Boycott and told the emotionally and sexually hungup that we were here to stay and that we are their children.

    One year later, Kunst and Rockway would come back, with Melanie Moorehead and collect 18,000 signatures to force Round II and this time get 142,000 votes (42%) from the previous 92,000 votes (31%).

    Then after the number of signatures was trippled and we collected over 42,000 signatures to force Round III, Dade County manipulated a ‘voter purge’ to sabotage us and to knock us off the ballot. Instead, we led passage of a statewide “Privacy Rights Constitutional Amendment” in Nov. 1980 and with the same issues from the opposition, but passed it statewide, 1, 172,000 (60%) to 1,120,000 for Anita and Gang. In Dade County we went up to 242,000 votes or (62%). We then took our Oral Majority campaign to 23 states and 1000 more interviews to explain our Miami Victory Campaign.

    Now 33 yrs. later, Robert Kunst is running as an ‘independent’ for Congress as the only openly Gay, Jewish, American Activist on the ballot for Nov. 2. Kunst is President of Shalom International,( which has done 294 rallies/events from Oct. 2007 to June 20, 2010 and nearly 1200 news interviews to Keep Jerusalem and Israel United and to War on the Jihadists, who are anti-gay as well as anti-Jewish and anti-Christian. Kunst is not a fan of Obama’s or Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who told the Jewish community we could ‘trust’ Obama on Israel, who attacks Israel instead while appeasing the very Islamic Jihadists who want Israel and America dead. In Iran they hang gays. In Saudi Arabia they cut off their heads. Obama has betrayed us by bowing to Saudi Arabia responsible for 9/11 and is allowing Iran to get its nuke it will use against us.

    Kunst has done over 33,000 news interviews in a lifetime of activism.

    Kunst: “The Issue isn’t ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ regarding gays serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The issue is for America to say ‘thanks’ for the many millions of gays, bis, and heterosexuals leading alternative lovestyles who have given life and limb for freedom since the founding of this nation.”

    Kunst: “The issue isn’t ‘gay marriage’ ,but ‘taxation with representation’ and all taxpayers constitutionally protected and equal under the law.” Robert Kunst and his lover Doug Logan have been together for nearly 23 happy years and don’t need the emotionally and sexually insecure to endorse our love-making, which is none of their business.’

    If you’d like to make history again, “USE” Kunst to vote for yourselves and your support for America and Israel. Please donate via paypal at
    or by mail to: Kunst For Congress, P.O.Box 402263, Miami Beach, Fla. 33140, or to volunteer at 305-864-5110

    Political advertisement paid for and approved by…Robert Kunst…Independent, for Congress, District 20.


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