Being Gay and Jewish: Negotiating Intersecting Identities

By Randal F. Schnoor

Oxford University Press, 2006

Due to the emphasis on “traditional” gender roles, the “nuclear family,” procreation and conservative religious values, many gay and lesbian Jews feel a sense of alienation from the Jewish community and develop an ambivalent or conflicted relationship about their own Jewish identity. As a result, gay Jews often struggle to find ways to successfully negotiate their ethno-religious and sexual identities. Based upon in-depth interviews of thirty gay Jewish men in Toronto, this work offers a case study to empirically explore the varied experiences of these intersecting identities for this under-studied population. Recent research on other ethnic minority gays and lesbians tend to simplify this question by suggesting that the minority gay individual will simply choose to prioritize one of these identities while repressing the other. Building upon studies of gay Christians that stress more fluid, dynamic and evolving approaches to identity construction, this paper underscores the complexity and variability of this phenomenon as it applies to gay Jews.

Topic: Homosexuality, Jewish Identification, Jewish Identity, LGBT Issues, GLBT Issues, Religion, Values, Identity

Name of Publication: Sociology of Religion

Volume/Issue: 67:1

Page Number(s): 43-60

Funder: Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture

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Genre: Scholarly Journal

Coverage: Canada , Toronto, Ontario

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Schnoor, Randal F. Being Gay and Jewish: Negotiating Intersecting Identities. Sociology of Religion. Oxford University Press. 2006: 43-60.


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