Each of us has a challenge in the world, a roadblock on the highway of life that challenges us to become the best we can be. We are given these tests to help shape our character and to become masters of our desires, whatever they are. Whether the test is keeping Shabbat or learning afternoon seder between classes, we are all given a test in life. My own challenge keeps me up at night, preoccupies my thoughts during the day, and leaves me feeling like I am walking down a somber road in a lonely world: I am a religious Jew, living in the observant Jewish world, faced with the challenge of being a homosexual...
As a religious Jew, I have always put Torah values at the center of my beliefs. Never would I dream of trying to say that homosexuality is permissible; I know that there is something intrinsically wrong with such an act. That is certainly not to say, however, that it is not a challenge for me. Attraction, whether to a man or to a woman, is not something that one can control. The fact that I have certain desires – which I would purge from my life in a second if I had the ability – is something that I cannot change. They leave me with feelings of solitude, despair, depression, and, alas, excitement...
My path is unclear and even though I still stand alone, I stand armed with the will to live another day and fight to keep my beliefs alive. No matter the support I get, I stand on trial every day of my life. I do not know where my future will lead, nor how I can change my feelings. I live with a sense of frustration, knowing the goal I want to reach but lacking the tools to arrive there. What must I do to be able to marry a woman? What must I share with my future partner? How can I even bring myself to tell her this hidden secret? I do not know if it is fair to ask someone to live with me under these conditions, or whether I will truly be able to be happy in such a relationship. All I know is that I want to one day make marriage to a woman work – to love her and have her love me back. I want to watch her walk down to the chuppah in the most beautiful wedding dress, with tears of happiness and joy in her eyes, as I know there will be in mine.
This is especially poignant:
I thank Hashem every day for the strengths He has given me. I thank Him for the rebbe He sent me, who, instead of rejecting me, stood by my side, helping me though the most awful time of my life. I thank Him for the stamina He gave me to fight a depression that nearly led me to commit suicide.
Hashem, or more accurately, the insane belief in Hashem and in the Torah as His word, is what probably caused that depression... and this poor kid is grateful that Hashem gave him the strength to fight it.
As I wrote in response to Apikores's post about this article, some men like women and some men like men. What is the big frickin' deal?
Here's the first paragraph of my response on the Commentator website. I assume it will be deleted, but I don't know their policy:
My heart goes out to you, not just because of your pain, but because your pain is unnecessary. You're so quick to dismiss your orientation as wrong and problematic -- how much time have you spent considering whether the Torah is wrong or problematic?
Previously: How Orthodoxy Causes Good Men To Do Evil.