August 20, 2019

For Me, Being Gay And Zionist Are The Same

“Thousands of people marched down Fifth Avenue on Sunday with their synagogues and Jewish youth groups. The Celebrate Israel Parade, billed as the largest pro-Israel gathering in the world, was a sea of blue and white flags. Interspersed in that sea were a few dozen rainbow flags with stars of David on them, representing a contingent of LGBTQ Zionists. One of them was mine.

Marching in the parade is a public display of Jewish pride. But for me, that feeling took on a deeper meaning. Like a Jewish pride flag, the march fused my two identities — proudly gay, and proudly Jewish — into something new, something bigger than the sum of its parts.

Marching and dancing with rainbow flags among the Israeli flags gave me a unique feeling, that of being among thousands of people just like myself, while also feeling completely different. Ours was without question the most visible group at the parade — a strange phenomenon for a community that has historically been invisible. On the rare occasion that LGBTQ people are visible, like at a gay pride parade, everyone blends together; but at the Celebrate Israel parade, the rainbow cluster is the one group that stands out; our very presence sent a powerful message.”

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