My Queer Shidduch
I am excited to be heading off to the East Coast Nehirim retreat on Friday. It’s hard to believe it was just a year ago that I stood at the last retreat, surrounded by a small group of frum lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Jews as they offered me a bracha for a shidduch. This was a turning point in my journey towards becoming more religious. That weekend in Connecticut helped me see that there were possibilities, that I didn’t have to choose between being who I am (a woman who loves women) and pursuing G-d, Torah and Jewish community. At a retreat that consisted largely of LGBT Jews who took less halachically oriented approaches to Judaism than I do, a group of attendees who were interested in halacha came together and formed deep connections that have turned into friendships over the last year. The bond that is formed when people come together who are committed to loving and accepting ourselves as queer Jews while pursuing Torah and yiddishkeit is a powerful one. Many of us don’t get to connect with others who are like us outside of such retreats, or perhaps the internet. The isolation can be torturous and crazy-making. I felt tears rushing into my eyes at the end of the weekend when these new friends offered me prayers that I should meet someone who I could build a healthy, happy relationship with. I had believed that if expecting to meet a Jewish woman was asking a lot, even daring to hope to meet a frum Jewish woman who shared my love for Judaism was unrealistic and impossible. I was expecting too much, I thought. My experiences with online dating only furthered this impression, as I found most lesbian women to be very intimidated by, or hurt by, religion. So imagine my surprise when not much more than a month after I received this bracha, a woman came into my life who I couldn’t have dreamed up. An Orthodox, kind, beautiful woman who has since become my partner. Baruch Hashem, this year I get to bring her to the retreat where I first began to integrate the disparate parts of my life. It is the closing of a beautifully full circle. I am truly blessed.
Posted by queerbasyisroel.