Sunday, December 2, 2007

"You cannot's like standing on the edge of a cliff..."

A few days after we met with our Rav, I made contact with Rabbi Steve Greenberg. We spoke for quite a while, and our conversation was most enlightening and heart-wrenching at the same time.

I gave him information about our family's background and some information about my son. I asked him if he knew of any Orthodox Jewish support group for parents of gay children. He responded that he knew of none because Orthodox Jewish parents were reluctant to talk about this publicly, even though there are plenty of parents in a similar situation. At best, he thought that maybe people could meet on a very informal basis. As far as our case was concerned, he thought that the best course of action for us would be to attend some PFLAG meetings and do some reading about Orthodoxy and homosexuality.

We continued to talk and he asked me some more questions about my son. He asked if I still loved my son. I said I did. He asked if I support him. I said I did. He then asked me what it is that I was having a problem with. I replied that I was having terrible guilt and anguish because of the suffering that my son has been facing since it became evident to him that he is gay.

He replied, "you cannot even imagine what he has been going through. Imagine yourself standing at the edge of a cliff, knowing that you must step off and not knowing what your fate will be. Imagine repeating this every time you tell someone that you are gay."

My heart broke.

Rabbi Greenberg then recommended that I read an article that he wrote in 1993 for Tikkun Magazine. He wrote this article under an assumed name because he had not yet come out. After reading the article I had a deeper understanding of the struggle that our children face as they come out of "the wreckage of life as (they) wanted it to discover life as it is."

The article is entitled "Gayness and God" and can be found at


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