This is the reality of the people who are in our group. Share this story so that people will get an idea of what it’s like to be gay in a Chabad Yeshiva
I’m your average 19 year old Chabad bochur. I come from a typical chabad family, I have several siblings, grew up on Avraham Fried and MBD, and went to chabad overnight camps. I grew up in a Chabad community and went to a couple mainstream Chabad yeshivas. I’m still currently in a mainstream chabad yeshiva. Like many other bochurim my age I try to learn chitas and Rambam every day, participate in farbrengens, and try not to waste to much time during nigleh. I also don’t wake up every shabbos morning for chassidus, don’t always go on Friday mivtzoyim, and don’t hand in my phone all the time either.
I’m just your average bochur. Except I’m gay.
As far back as I can remember, I dreamed of having a family of my own with a wonderful wide by my side. It was the only thing I really wanted in life.
I can’t say when exactly, but gradually as I got older, I just didn’t love women the same way all my classmates seemed to. They would all talk about this girl or that girl, and I would notice the guys. At first I lived in denial. I just thought if I spoke the way everyone else did about girls, I’d eventually like them the same way. I convinced myself I was just a “late bloomer.” When this stopped working I became very depressed and something inside me died. What did I ever do to deserve this terrible fate!?
I eventually stopped going to mikva as it made me uncomfortable and I felt it inappropriate, but my mashpia noticed and insisted I continue to go regardless of how I feel.
A few years back one of the hardest things for me to do was to open up to one of the mashpiyim yeshiva provided. I was in to much pain to keep it a secret any longer, I had to talk to someone! My mashpia wasn’t ready for that surprise and made it quite obvious and insisted I get help as soon as possible. I was more than willing to “get fixed.” In fact I went to more than one therapist for a couple years. I tried so hard. I promise you that. But nothing. I used to write to the Rebbe as often as I could to help me. All that mental effort and money spent after a couple years of “treatment” and still no change in me. It left me drained and exhausted. That’s it, I was hopeless. I was alone.
By hashgacha protis I happen to meet Chaim Levin at a friend’s. And like I’d been taught by my parents, peers, and rabbi I asked others if he was “that gay guy,” pretentiously.
Later I contacted him and all of a sudden someone understood me, that however much I try I can’t change who I am and that I hadn’t chosen this for myself. I got added to an amazing group on Facebook where suddenly I was surrounded by Chabadniks who had gone through the same struggles as I had.
Currently my homophobic parents are already discussing shiduchim and want me to marry a nice gezhe girl and be a good example to my younger brothers and sister. I wish with all my heart I could do this for them, but Hashem made me different, and I can only be the best Jew that I am capable of. This does not include marrying a girl.
I speak from my own experience, but I also speak for the Mendy, the Shneur, the Shmuly’s, the Chaya’s, the Miriam’s, and the Chana’s. We are living in pain, and silent in our misery because we fear we will never be truly a part of if we are honest and open. We are frum. We are Chabad. We want to be loved the same as any human has a right to be.
P.S. anyone who identifies as a part of LGBT, we are here for you with open arms.
Eventually I hope we can live freely. We are so much more than our orientation. We are human. We are beautiful children of God and followers of the Rebbe.
— More in Personal Stories —