LGBT Issues in the Wake of Orlando

by Marnie Macauley August 1, 2016


advice augI believe we Jews have a vested interest in shouting out on behalf of all human beings against the shrill sound, the wafting smell, the ignoble ignorance of persecution and bigotry. This column is dedicated to all the victims and survivors of June 12.


Marnie: What do you think about gays, lesbians, and bisexuals? I am bisexual and I don’t understand why people judge me on that alone.  How can it be “wrong” to be true to how I feel?  Usually their only argument is that it is against Jewish teachings. Exactly what passage says “thou shall not be gay”? And do you think that there is a specific age when it is too young to know? I knew when I was younger and no one thought I was old enough, but I’ve grown up and this continues to be who I am.

– Judged in San Diego

MARNIE SAYS: I’m not sure here whether your inquiry is the Big Litmus test of a columnist who yells “not my job” in the matter of enforcing moral platitudes, or if there’s a personal question in there somewhere. If it’s lurking let’s find it.

First, I’m not a Jewish scholar or rabbi. I don’t do Bible readings. You’ll have to look elsewhere for passages.

The answer to your age question is a resounding…who knows? I’ve met LGBT-ers who’ve played it “straight” till they were old enough to rollover their IRAs, while others suspected “something” before Pop took off their training wheels. Then there are those who are betwixt and between forever. I believe we are each as unique as cheese curls. So I don’t do “normal.” I can tell you that sexuality isn’t vanilla vs. chocolate. Think rocky road.

Onto your real question. “Why does it matter what others think of my life?” We all know there are those who will argue, castigate, label and disenfranchise you wholesale. But, the critical issue is: are you OK with you, despite it?

Ask yourself: Do I have a choice about my sexuality? No? Then claim your life, fight for your rights and find dignity in the mission.


Dear Marnie: I recently learned that the president-elect of an adamantly anti-gay group, is, himself, gay. This group would be appalled if they knew the truth. As a gay person myself, I came across him at a gay bar where he aggressively came on to a friend of mine. Surely this is not what this group promotes. But I’m not sure if I should just standby quietly or do something about this disgrace?

– Values in Conflict

MARNIE SAYS: I must say, your query gave me pause. I loathe duplicitous swine of any gender; and also “morally-driven” witch-hunts. Sexuality is private. It’s personal. It’s my opinion that most “outings” should be limited to frolicking at a park. Unless the lie is in hateful contradiction to a public “mission.”

If you act, you’d better have the facts. Can you prove it beyond a doubt? You’ll have to because if you’re wrong it’s called slander.

BUT, I believe hypocrisy must be exposed. The compelling aspect of the word in this case implies two things: lying and linking. That is: being a part of the very group you’re targeting for hate. Is the closeted gay director of say, the parks department a hypocrite, unfit to do his job? No. Is the vociferously anti-gay bigshot who backstreets at a leather bar a raging hypocrite? Yes.

Armed with the facts, consider going “private.”  Confront the man. Tell him what you know. Let him tell you his truth. If, despite absolute evidence, he refuses to step down, would I “out” him – publicly? Again, you bet.

As always, consider your moves carefully, friend.  Because the business of “outing” is both serious and risky – but at times, necessary, as when hypocrisy breeds hate.


Dear Marnie: I’m a 37-year-old female and for eight months now, I’ve had a crush on a 44-year-old female. I’ve written her a letter to let her know how I feel and she said I hurt her feelings, which I didn’t mean to do. This is the first serious crush on a woman I’ve ever had. How can I explain my feelings to her without hurting hers?

– Lost in Love

MARNIE SAYS: Alas “Lost,” without seeing your actual written “declaration,” I’m a bit lost over the lady’s “hurt feelings.” So I’m forced to hunch, given that this isn’t really about “hurt” feelings anyway. Nor is your question.

Your Real Question: “How do I get her to love me back?” 

Her Real Answer:  Whether she got wiggy because she felt “friendship-betrayed,” massively misunderstood, or alternatively “understood” and scared – in intention or sexuality, I can’t say.  Either way, it would appear her “hurt” was precisely about your romantic intentions and your assumption she’d return them.

In other words, she gave you your answer peanut.  Your task then, is to accept it. Whether the object of your affection is hetero, gay, bi, a no is a no is a no. You asked, she answered. If you misspoke, by all means clarify and see if the friendship can be salvaged or should be, given your feelings. Then quit bugging her. It’s not friendly.

Consider instead, what’s fueling this “crush.” You’re entering new vistas here and you need: a) to get the deal straight with you, first; b) a road map, if you’re making new choices at this age.   Because you see, this whole issue – your sexuality – is very much about you.

Focus on you. Check-in with a tuned-in counselor to help clear up any static in your mind and your signals. That requires IDing your journey first and getting the navigation to tools to make it a safe and successful one.


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