It’s pretty revolutionary that a right-wing orthodox paper like the Jewish Press would publish anything even remotely supportive of the frum gay community, yet this past week they published a nice piece by Chaim Levin in defense of his YouTube video “It Gets Better“. The Press previously ran an article attacking Chaim for openly declaring himself a homosexual and urged him to repress himself like all frummies would like everyone to believe they do. The author of the attack of course paid no attention to the fact that the “It Gets Better” videos were aimed at people on the brink of suicide.
I had the pleasure of meeting Chaim Levin for a few minutes on Friday afternoon in Crown Heights. He’s a pretty fascinating dude in that everyone in Crown Heights knows him and because although he’s openly gay, he continues to live Crown Heights and has a good relationship with his parents.
I didn’t interview him, but we had some pretty good conversation and he shared some very poignant views. He spoke about how being gay may not be the norm, but it simply isn’t a chosen lifestyle, that no one in their right mind would choose a homosexual orientation. We also spoke about his confrontations with homophobes, discussing how many people are just afraid of what they don’t know or don’t understand.
The best thing I learned from our 20-minute conversation was actually some good mussar to heed. Poorly chosen words can hurt, especially the word faggot, which I now liken to the N-word. Whether you agree or not, these words are wrong to use and always hurt the other party.
Chaim also told me that the orthodox gay community really likes my blog, which is always nice to hear. I secretly wondered if I helped prevent anyone from committing suicide or going off the deep end through something kind I may have written.
Find frum gay stuff on 4torah.com