Commentary: My rabbi is gay, now what?`


The social disadvantage that can be summarized by its location.

Rabbi Gil Steinlauf

Recently, Gil Steinlauf, a senior rabbi of Adas Israel in Washington, DC, one of the largest conservative movement-affiliated synagogues came out as gay.

Soon after Apple, CEO, Tim Cook, announced he was gay. One blogger wrote, “You don’t just leave your wife to”go be gay any more than you would quit her to go be straight.” Another wrote, “Apple has lost its pioneering skills and sought more businesses.”

Fortunately, Rabbi Gil Steinlauf and Tim Cook both have financial anchors, bridges, closets, and retractable vessels that can weather the storms and bypass rough tides, and maybe Unlike Michael Sam, an openly gay player who was cut by two National Football League (NFL) teams

Does one need a prerequisite to come out as gay? I asked. The gay community stories are bigger than these two men, despite the media attention. Fortunately, for many wealthy and famous people, publicly announcing their sexuality often increases wealth and power. However, this story is not about the rabbi or Tim Cook.

The other stories:

Many other trapped by their location under an ancient colonial doctrine, there is an ongoing fight for acceptance by homosexual people who are however seeking an anchor. On some of these pleasant beaches where the sunshine as if it never sets, it remains a delicate dance from the exclusion. For some homophobia roars like the ocean, damaging any objects in its path without an anchor. These unchecked anti-waves have eroded several impoverished and developing regions.

These less fortunate gays, lesbians,  bisexuals, and transgender announcements from social disadvantage do not have the luxury of a small boat to escape tides and community pirates willing to throw them overboard for being for who they love especially in may poor and developing countries.

This struggle for acceptance still roars like the ocean, damaging any objects in its path without an anchor. These unchecked anti-waves have eroded several impoverished and developing regions. This I believe represents a culture of homophobia woven in decades of social, religious political and colonial laws.

Inside the LGBT community, there are several reports of an increase in murders since 2010. Youth and young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 years old were 2.41 times as likely to experience physical violence. And the amount of transgender people murdered each year according to several reports has been on a rise, and more people of color are killed at each year.

Often many parents and family members in these communities face stigma, shame guilt from society. There was a report that his father not only kicked him out of the house when he was about 14 but supported the community force him from his poor neighborhood. 

Dwayne Jones age 16 Montego Bay Jamaica

The other also as reports have shown, some of who perpetrated violence against this community, they too are struggling with their sexuality.

Many parents who support their child’s sexuality also experience discrimination for having gay children and are more worried today about social stigma and hostility that may result in abuse, homelessness, lack of access to medical care, or support groups, and expulsion from the community.

The Human Rights Watch has noted an increase in violence for being perceived as a gay person.

human_rights_watch: Photo

The only visual representation of a voice mail or iTunes maybe the sound from the broken sewer pipes dripping and hovering over their heads from living under decayed bridges. Being gay is not a sin or learned behavior, but bigotry, intolerance, and atrocities against them are.

(One) — I termed him, Rupert. Shortly after he had come out, his church memberships and choir receded. He seldom goes to the beach anymore. Few friends’ lives cut-short as a barbaric treatment against them appeared now acceptable. Repeatedly denied entry to community activities, employment, and forced to move for their personal safety. Few burned alive, stoned, and scorned.

(Two) — Sonia dressed like a man, brittle hair, cargo pants, and boots, although she has found comfort in maintaining the small town floral garden. While some visitors marveled at her floral garden designs, others abused her appearance and hurled rocks at her. Being gay did not limit her imagination.

From her garden

I wonder if a few had taken the time to know her, one would learn friends of own dad repeatedly raped her as a child at a local bar he possessed. With nowhere to turn for support, her trust in men eroded, and she became isolated.

Even in her death after she had lost her battle with breast cancer, they treated her remains as if her gayness had Ebola. Her ashes are now resting in the garden she designed.

(Three) —Burma, exquisite and has a good job. She blends in well with her peers, lives in a pleasant home, and well educated, but scared of coming out. Despite rumors, after they saw her holding hands with her partner on the other side of town, she constantly shrugged off the argument of having a child.

An umbrella still looking for the right shades:

Despite US Attorney General Eric Holder’s announcement: “I am pleased to announce the federal government will recognize same-sex marriages”, combined with new laws passed in over 20 states, polarization, intolerance, and political ideology threatens this fundamental change.

The gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community has ultimately reached many shores, but others are still searching for that elusive lighthouse for guidance off these shores

In 2010, the Cayman Islands rejected an Atlantis gay cruise. Moving forward is slow in the region. Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar says the “decriminalization of homosexuality” in Trinidad and Tobago is not something her administration will seek to do because “it would not be prudent for the government to go ahead in that direction”, according to the Trinidad Express.

Today, many of your cab drivers could have been famous cricketers, track stars, teachers, and police officers, but they were not welcome for being gay. Many left their communities to find comfort behind the wheel of a cab or coaching in a women’s sports league and serving your meal at the local restaurant.

Despite the statistical signs for more tolerance, this issue continues being a monumental task and these regions cannot achieve this alone. The Jamaica Gleaner reported on an anti-gay march in St Thomas in response to a proposed bill that would recognize marriage as a legal union between two people and not the traditional man and woman.

An intolerance system passed down from several decades is hard to change course instantly. Subconsciously, the Anglicization of families as the British did wherever they settled centuries ago stay active. However, some islands have taken steps, like Bermuda, and  Jamaica, have introduced extra measures for more tolerance, but an advocate needs to keep the pressure on.

An over looked history:

Some 150 years later, several Jamaicans opposed amending, the Buggery Act that created during colonial rule around 1861. Today, many leaders in the region remain silent on amendments or new human rights laws. The anti-gay protesters believe that homosexuals and their agenda are bad for strong and healthy families, righteousness, and justice.

According to a study conducted by Trevor Barnard, based on data from St Andrews Jamaica, marriage patterns between 1666 and 1750 taken from the parish register and analyzed. The results showed that the average length of marriage was extremely short and declined. It resulted in a reduction of children produced by marriage and did not sustain slavery and population growth. During that period, influxes of women slaves from Britain and Africa arrived in the region.

It seems valid if people stayed married four centuries ago and produced more children; it would have supported the demands for labor. Centuries later, independence has caused more social and economic struggles. These residual footprints in customs, laws, beliefs until now encounter the ghosts of the past.

For centuries there has been the fight for one’s race, gender, and socio-economic status. These struggles not only due to law and systematic institutional barriers but can is found today in many settings where one should run for refuge. These other barriers stemmed from some who still have issues with this homosexual community of biblical and other ideological grounds.

A recent one report on  YouTube by an Arizona pastor claiming that “we can have an AIDS-free world by Christmas if gays were executed.”If the god they all worship is love for all, who determines he does not love which one?

Like fighting other racial issues, the gay community has to continue to fight for equality because while they dance to fun rhythms on the beach in these regions, many lyrics strategically placed to demonize the community, like racial epithets, and codes used to polarize, create intolerance and hate.

The fight continues:

The gay, lesbian, and transgender community spend an estimated $830 billion according to Curve Magazine each year. Given its influence, especially along blue water and white sand, promoting more education, and other grassroots support is vital. Some of these exclusive vacation spots globally cannot afford to avoid potential revenue, despite their position in the gay community.

This community strategically should not have to plan gay vacation routes based only on gay-friendly destinations in the Caribbean, Africa, or any other regions as if it is an election strategy targeting only your registered voters. They should leverage their economic power, and force local leaders who depend on their tourist dollars to keep many of these tourist destinations afloat

Only when our society globally become more educated and tolerant, then we can dance together and reverse a monster that was created centuries ago. Pushing the legalization of marijuana, despite its potential long-term addictive effect, gay rights should take on the same effort. Those communities must choose candidates who share their values.

The next time you power up your iPhone to spread hate, just recognize the new design you waited 24 hours in 10 or 100 weather to purchase, a gay man was part of these gadgets.

And no! I am not gay, but should that matter to support their cause?

Rest in Peace • Leslie Feinberg-for fighting for equality for all.

Please Share Your Thoughts- Thank You!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.