|GLBT Artists Literary
Tribe (Jewish Coming Out Stories) by Lawrence Schimel
to Lawrence on his Lambda Literary finalist status!
I always love a good coming out story. I have mine on my website. As I have said before, coming out is a very personal process that never really stops. Some people believe that if you donít come out to all, you are not really out. I disagree with this. If you are gay and you have accepted it within yourself, then you are out. Due to circumstances, you may not be able to come out all the way. I have been lucky that I have worked in fields that I really didnít have to worry about being found out that Iím gay and a family and friends that accepted me for who I am. There are people that either work in a field where it would be
professional suicide or have loved ones that couldnít handle it. In Found Tribe, there are several really good coming out stories from a Jewish perspective.
There is one by David Ian Cavill, A Scout IsÖ, A story that has universal appeal and a broad shared relatable emotions. In 1991, he was asked to be the Jewish Chaplin for a scout camp. He was Camp Chaplin till 2000, when the Supreme Court case of James Dale vs. BSA happened, he resigned as Chaplin and came out to those who didnít know that he was gay. Reading the responses that he got was a reaffirmation of my own feelings on Gay Boy Scouts (I was one myself). I find that frequently, people that get to know you first, then find that you are gay, accept you for who you are not what you are. Kudos to Mr. Cavill, for sharing his story with us.
Not being Jewish myself, I was grateful for the authors offering explanations of that which are part of the Jewish faith, especially that which a Non-Jewish person would have no or little knowledge. Well edited and written with the personal pride and pain of the individual authors. I was touched, enlightened, intrigued, and became on even more common ground with my Jewish brothers. Some content is very specific to the Jewish perspective. Frequently the content hits home like a blinding light of association and remembrance. The basis of negative response and rejection is pain and loneliness , a universally shared experience.
I would recommend this book to anyone that is coming to terms with their sexuality, Jews and Non-Jews alike. I would also recommend Found Tribe to anyone that has a friend or relative that is gay and has just come out to him or her.
FOUND TRIBE is available for sale directly from the publisher (tel 505.988-7214, www.shermanasher.com) or online from Insight Out (www.insightoutbooks.com) or Amazon.com (www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1890932205/) if you cannot find it at your local bookstore.
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