Skip to main content

Dear Oprah

Dear Oprah,

Tonight you aired your second segment of interviews with people in the hasidic community, and you asked four mothers what they would do if they had a gay child. It's clear that you didn't get a serious response from them but I want you to know that I grew up in this community (Crown Heights) as a hasidic Jew and I am openly gay today.
http://www.oprah.com/own-oprahs-next-chapter/Homosexuality-in-the-Hasidic-Community-Video

My journey since being thrown out of yeshiva for being gay and attempting reaparative "change" therapy to become straight and then coming out proudly about who I am is quite an interesting one, and it would be a shame if the world wouldn't get to see the real answer to this question, my answer, and the answer about the hundreds of other gay jews that come from these communities.

My stories are already documented in multiple news publication and throughout my blog, but here is the article that was published in the Jewish Press recently chronicling my experience while growing up frum (religious orthodox) and gay.

http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/surviving-bullying-silencing-and-torment-for-being-gay-in-the-frum-community/2012/01/25/


Comments

  1. From what I hear you have only for yourself to speak for, you were never bullies as a child, you were treated like everyone in your class, I highly doubt they kicked you out when you were much older for being gay, rather for the gay tendencies or affection for others in the class, it only makes sense for the school to ask you to not be around the other boys for everyone else in the class.

    And as for our "Opinion" go have a read on the Lubavitcher Rebbe's talks, he explains very well the origin of the problem, how far it dates back and its remedy.

    Go have a read! or speak with your local orthodox Rabbi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you for real? Get some facts before you start jumping to conclusions about what has happened to him in his life. Go pick on someone else and leave this poor kid alone.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, fuck off, cyberbully.

      Delete
  2. beautiful video. thank you <3

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, this is awesome. Thanks for posting :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long as I
    provide credit and sources back to your site? My blog is in the very same
    niche as yours and my visitors would certainly benefit
    from a lot of the information you present here. Please let me know
    if this alright with you. Thanks!
    Feel free to visit my web blog ... yachtzubehor

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think it shows tremendous regard for the Gay & Lesbian Community for Oprah to ask those Mothers what they would do if their child told them they were Gay. I also don`t understand what you wanted these Mothers to say to her. They were tactful at best in their answering. What would your Mother say to the question? I think it important to appreciate at times what IS being done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They were tactful in their answer at avoiding giving a proper answer. As I'm sure you know this isn't the first time Oprah has talked about such issues but this was the first time people represnting our communities had a chance to say something about it and they completely sidestepped it and avoided giving an answer. That might be tremendous regard on Oprah's part but not on these women's part, in fact so many people told they viewed as an embarrassment and a chilul hashem.

      Delete
    2. Some think it's important to appreciate at all times what is being done. I believe Mr Levin wrote on this issue today: http://gottagivemhope.blogspot.com/2013/01/out-in-lubavitch.html

      Sometimes what is being done is impressive progress. Sometimes what is being done is oppressive stagnation. Sometimes what is being done is not enough. Sometimes what IS being done is nothing and people are harmed as a result.

      Delete
  6. Proper by whose standards? They answered the question as they saw fit. Everyone is self serving as you apparently are.
    I see you already posted on Facebook that (according to you) "someone is posting rude comments".
    A response in of itself isn`t rude. You get to give your opinion. People have the right to respond. If that bothers you because your so thin skinned then maybe you should try another venue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seriously? 'Proper' as in genuine or befitting the situation -- here an answer to the actual question, rather than lying, denying, equivocating, or as, Anonymous wrote, being "tactful at best".

      Delete

Post a Comment

Feel free to post any comment or questions. Negative commentary that does not serve a useful purpose will be deleted.

Popular posts from this blog

Sharing Stories With Deborah Feldman

Discussing plans for our futures, finding the humor in our similar and traumatic pasts and enjoying uncommon empathy, Deborah Feldman and I had coffee on the Upper East Side on a bright Friday morning. My time with her was a refreshing pleasure and an honor. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of my Hasidic Roots. Deborah helped me with something that I’ve been trying to navigate lately. Deborah reminded that I’m not an ex gay survivor, an ex Chabad, a gay man, a Jew, an activist, etc.; she told me that who I am is just Chaim Levin — who just also happens to have an interesting story to share and an opportunity to inspire change. She insisted that we all have our own lives and personalities that we must care for, cultivate and celebrate.

Deborah had entered mainstream media a few months ago with her fascinating memoir. I haven’t had a chance to finish reading her book yet; in fact, I just started the other day. But with every page, I…

MILWAUKEE JEWISH COMMUNITY SAFETY ALERT!

I am publishing this letter today to notify the public of an individual named Tuvia Perlman and the immediate threat he poses to the safety of any and all children in his vicinity. I first met Mr. Perlman when I was 18 while attending an organization called JONAH (a Jewish conversion therapy organization that was shut down in 2015 after losing a lawsuit). When I met Mr. Perlman, we were on a retreat together called Journey Into Manhood, this retreat was facilitated by an organization called People Can Change. After this retreat, Mr. Perlman, who lived in Baltimore used to call me often, to the point where even at that time I felt extremely uncomfortable by his calls and long voicemails. Mr. Perlman as far as I knew at that time, had recently stopped being a teacher at a cheder (Hebrew word for elementary school). In a group setting that was facilitated on by JONAH on their premises in 2007, Mr. Perlman admitted to the entire group that he molested at least 2 of his 12/13-year-old stu…

When it's Someone you Know: Levi Moscowitz

I’ve been torn inside and out ever since I found out that someone who I otherwise knew to be a good friendly guy, someone that I shared good memories in yeshiva with, pleaded no contest to one of the most heinous crimes that has ever come across the arsenal of cases that I’m personally familiar with.

Levi Moscowitz committed suicide on Saturday in Griffith park in Los Angeles. This came just weeks after the charges against him as well as a very damning police report became public. Despite having known Levi for over 10 years and once considering him a close friend, I knew that sharing this information with the public was crucial to the safety of any and all children that he may have come into contact with. At the same time though, his death brings about some very unfortunate realities and issues that have yet to be addressed when confronting this cancer of sexual abuse.

While there are many who have expressed no remorse over his death, and others who even seemed to rejoice in it, I don’…