“I am not my preference”

Project Description:

It has only been three years since I’ve been true to myself. Tensions between my insecurity and identity led me to rid myself of the self denial I so naively swam in for so long.
In high school I never dared once think of myself as being a lesbian.
I started gaining confidence when I met a few queer observant Jews and I asked them the same question that people ask me today. How do you justify homosexuality within the contexts of Judaism? I had discussions with my new friends that brought me to close relationships with people who I felt were like me. And for once in my life I had validation. Gaining this connection with other LGBTQ and A community I was able to act myself. For once it was completely “normal” to be me. I was no different in that we all understood the struggle of overcoming true denial.
I saw that even though I felt comfortable with myself, the people around me still do not. I’ve been asked questions like When did you become gay? I mean when did you realize that you’re gay? Or
what made you become gay?
I mean what made you realize that you are gay?
Did it happen because you’re parents are divorced?
Do you think it happened because you went to an all girls elementary school?
Do you think it happened because you come from a different background?
As if I’m some kind of freak or diseased person. They mean no harm and disrespect they’re just “curious”
Can I ask you something personal? Were you molested as a child?
how can you call yourself an observant jew if you are a lesbian?
how are you okay with being gay if you believe in the torah?
Stigmas about ex chasidim “becoming lesbian” bisexuals don’t know what they want. But you’re so pretty why would you be a lesbian?

The burden of the insecurity lessens when communicating this part of me
ridding the self denial I so naively swam in. Tention between my insecurity to confidence by communicating my identity to an audience. denial. being in high school asking myself those questions. now I’m being proactive and offering a voice to the conversation. and i speak for people who are voiceless who are still stuck in that denial stage. dan savage it gets better. offering a voice to people who don’t have one. because i had no voice. and then once i started voicing myself, i gained confidence through all the validation and responses i was getting. it was only when people knew i was queer that they accepted me and who i am. but when people don’t know they say the most horrible things. when i began meeting people who were queer , i tapped their shoulder and i grabbed their hand by asking questions and trying to figure out this whole part of me that i had locked up for so long. and when i had those conversations with the few queer friends i had, all of a sudden this huge feeling of validation hugged my entire being. i felt so … okay. i was content with my being. i was content with my identity. however that’s only when i accepted myself for who i am. the hardest part came after- starting to live in the world as something that is so strange and different that it has become an abomination to God! the more true i was to myself the more i saw our society’s fear of change and lack of human connection. people seemed totally oblivious to the fact that there are people in this world who live in fear of being tormented, excommunicated, judged, beaten and killed for something they can not control.