Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sometimes, you Gotta Give 'Em Hell

Lately, I been thinking a lot about the name and goal of my blog giving people hope, helping to create a brighter future for others in our communities and trying to send the powerful and life changing message that, just because some people might reject you for who you are, it is not you who needs to be changed. Molly Resnick’s behavior was something I could not be silent about. Such behavior is something that no one should have to tolerate silently. Such attitudes must be addressed and stood up against. I believe, sometimes, you Gotta Give 'em Hell.

Giving 'em Hell might seem like responding to bullying with bullying, but it is not. Loud, public, well-respected but utterly unrespectable voices like Ms Resnick’s cannot be the only ones that are heard. My post about what she did has brought a lot of readers and a lot of attention, especially from within the Chabad movement. I am still impressed that a Chabad Shlucha could not keep silent about it either. Not too long ago, I was dealing with daily bullying and shaming in the Chabad community; I personally never imagined that one of its leaders would come to my defense. People are talking, and things are changing. That gives me hope, and I hope it encourages others.  

Giving ‘em Hope is my only goal, even if sometimes I have to give others some hell. I believe it is necessary to discuss the attitudes and behavior that would shame, embarrass, disenfranchise and harm minorities. Nothing changes unless it is first exposed. A more open dialogue allows for the awareness necessary to put an end to baseless discrimination and attacks against gay people, victims of sexual abuse and the many other groups of people who have suffered greatly.

Yesterday, I challenged someone on Facebook to confront me publicly regarding his very disrespectful messages that I should not discuss certain things. He hasn’t. He had originally reached out to me on Facebook because he heard about my work and wanted help networking with other gay Jews. I gladly helped him and was taken aback by his hostility and threats: "Watch me turn your whole image into a false reality that is you."  Even though he would not show me the same respect, I chose to provide minimal detail regarding who he is in order to protect him. I understand that he was raised in an ultra Orthodox community that taught that everything must be kept hush hush and we must forgive people even if they took away some of the greatest part of our livelihoods; it’s unfortunately very similar to the community in which I grew up. But, the idea of simply forgiving people by remaining silent on behavior and attitudes that harm others is a draconian and barbaric one. That is not forgiving, nor is it forgivable; this idea must be given up. Remaining silent about harm only tolerates and perpetuates the intolerable. It is beyond me how people could be more concerned with insisting that victims should keep quiet and forgive “not sue another Jew” — rather than with not standing idly by while others are harmed.

Today, I want to challenge him to inspire. I believe we must give people hope and empower, console and help them see the brighter and more beautiful future that awaits them despite the seemingly impossible situations that people might find themselves in just because they are different. I invite all of you to share your own stories of hope, to inspire others and to improve or even save just one life.

Sometimes, I feel like I've lived through several life times, but I am only 22. I'm try to engage people in discussion in order to gain a better understanding their opinions and motivations, and ultimately, how to bring an overall positive message that's both hopeful and intolerant of intolerance. Gottagivemhope was born six weeks ago one weekend morning while I was pondering how in the world am I going to say all the things that I feel must be said to gay youth, Orthodox people and everyone generally. I believe we must not only tell people that it gets better, but also actively try to make it better now. So, I started this blog and have seen a response that continues to surprise and inspire me.

Always, I appreciate your comments and feedback, both public and private, and I want to encourage you to share your messages of hope.


  1. Im confused chaim because you keep saying how your here to show inspiration and hope to other people, but again and again all your blogs are abt you mentioning people's name and embarsing them it dosent matter what they did to you personally. this is not abt trashing other people, and yes forgiving is the only way! as a recovering drug addict myself the only way i was able to overcome my addiction is by forgiving and praying so i suppose you try loving and spreading love instead of spreading hate!!! again im a gay jew myself and i kno the strugles all to well but im happy and content with my life today even though i was abused and raped and no i didnt stay silent i made sure those people wouldnt harm again but there are other ways to deal with it rather then going public and embarse everyone who ever did you wrong! its not the way my freind.....

    1. Oh, dear friend of Bill W. (since you obviously want to stay anonymous... though I really hope you're aren't trying to use your recovery status as a shield to hide behind, because that would be really cowardly and wrong on so many levels)... I suggest, quite strongly that you FOCUS ON TAKING YOUR OWN INVENTORY. If you still feel the need to do Chaim's 4th step for him without his consent, read more of his blog, because he talks about a HELL of a lot more than just what others have done and said to him. Then, take your inventory of Chaim, write it up, and then figure out why those things you don't like are things that you don't like about yourself. "Chaim is angry." Really? So why are YOU angry?? Remember that when you point a finger at someone else, you have THREE pointing back at yourself. Oh yeah, I went there. Who are YOU spreading hate toward? I don't think you're nearly as happy and content with your life as you think. I seriously mean that. Oh, is this pissing you off? Good! TAKE IT TO A MEETING.

      And this is coming from someone whose relatives are also friends of Bill and who has worked in drug treatment for years as a therapist. Guess what. You never "overcame" your addiction. You have a lifelong, chronic illness that one day you will die from. And even if you put down the bottle or the pills, your shit will still stink at the end of the day. COLD FACTS. If Chaim wanted people to share their stories of hope surrounding being GLBT in a painfully homophobic world, he was asking for experience, strength, and hope, not crosstalk. Chaim is asking folks here to share their stories, not requesting that you tell him how to tell his and which details are "okay" to share and which aren't. PUT THE FOCUS BACK ON YOU AND BACK THE HELL OFF.

      Oh, and please, now that you're (supposedly) in recovery, take some grammar lessons. Unless, of course, you meant to spell "friend" wrong because you're not really Chaim's friend.

  2. I tend to correlate hell with hale, Seoul, Korei'a, and Korach. Pretty sure a Gay Korean Jew exists. Happy Passover. Moving along, lol

  3. Just keep in mind that others feel rightfully that they have the right to give you hell.


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