Judaism and Sexual Orientation

Jewish identity and nonheterosexual orientation (i.e., lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer [LGBQ]) are typically seen as two separate identities, though both involve some form of identity negotiation. The presumption in some Jewish communities is that one is heterosexual, and the presumption in some LGBQ communities is that one is not religious. Thus, the intersection of Judaism and sexual orientation provides challenges and opportunities for growth, from attitudinal shifts and questioning of staid understandings of religion and sexual orientation to the recognition of multiple and intersecting identities. Lack of acceptance in each community of the other identity and in mainstream communities of both groups makes these negotiations rife with negative consequences, such as internalized identity gaps, relational stress, community rejection, and even violence. Research shows ...

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