A panel called “Being Gay in the Orthodox World: A Conversation with the YU Community” was held on Tuesday at Yeshiva University, a prominent Orthodox Jewish college in New York City. The event drew about 1,000 attendees. Although the head of YU spoke out against even the idea of such an event, many people attending were outwardly supportive, if not tolerant, of the gay Orthodox Jews who spoke.
The hope was not that people would change their hearts and minds about halakha (Jewish Law) – the hope was that people would attend and see that queers are not an abstract “other,” but in fact are fellow human beings who are much more similar to straights than different from them. Gay men and women in the Orthodox Jewish world have a growing number of resources available to them both online and in New York City, YU’s home. Many are compiled by the Gay and Lesbian Yeshiva Day School Alumni Association (GLYDSA), an Orthodox Jewish group that is located in NYC.