In the wake of Oct. 7, there has been hostility in queer spaces for Jews. We asked three Jewish LGBTQ people of various ages how they’re navigating both identities during Pride Month. Here are their stories.


“I’m an almost 50-year-old Ashkenazi Jewish man who comes from an interfaith background. I came out before Ellen did in the 1990s, so I might have a different perspective than younger people. I actually watched the “Ellen” coming-out episode at my campus Hillel, which really speaks to how my Jewish identity has always been tied to my gay identity. 

“But even before I came out in the ‘80s, I never felt my Reform movement was anything but accepting. In fact, I came out to my grandfather when he was in his late 90s, and he could have cared less.

“I married an Israeli American, and when I first stepped foot in Tel Aviv, I felt at home. I was completely in a space that embraced being Jewish; it was the default. And Tel Aviv is so gay-friendly. Now, our kids have gone to overnight camp there. We have a deep connection to our family in Israel. I might want to retire there. It’s the Garden of Eden for gay people! My kids have been to Tel Aviv more than New York City.

“As for Pride: This year, we aren’t feeling it, to be honest. We have a Pride flag, but I might not put it up. I’ll see what my kids think. I don’t want to take them to a Pride event where they might be exposed to anti-Jewish sentiment, which recently happened at Philadelphia Pride.

“My kids know that antisemitism and homophobia exist, but they don’t experience it everyday. We live in a small town. People are generally: live and let live. It’s not a politically charged community in general for culture-war things. I want to keep my kids in a place where they don’t realize so much of the world hates Jews. I don’t want them to have anxiety. One would think a Pride event wouldn’t do that—but I don’t want to risk it. 

“I’m a suburban dad first, before I’m anything else. And then, being Jewish comes first. I don’t like to play ‘order of identity,’ but being part of a Jewish community is more important to me. I’m involved in my temple, which normalizes LGBTQ issues. I’m at an age where I want to be with people who share my values, gay or not.”


“I grew up in an observant Reform household in Brookline. Growing up in the ‘70s and ‘80s, nobody discussed gay issues. In the ‘90s, they discussed HIV and AIDS. I came out to my parents when I was 30. When I told them who I was dating, my mom’s first response was: ‘Thank God she’s Jewish!’

“In 2003, my mother went to the State House, holding a sign: ‘Another Jew for Marriage Equality.’ By then, there was an army of Jewish mothers who were influencing legislature!

“I’m a social worker, and my Jewish values intersect with professional ones. I think about how we honor people as individuals and treat them with respect and kindness. I try to create spaces that are safe and affirming for people. Through work, I’ll march in Boston Pride, although at work, I’m not visibly Jewish.

“This month, I’m also going to a Jewish lesbian wedding for a couple who met at a bereavement group I help to run. And last weekend, my daughter held her bat mitzvah, thrown by her two moms: Our temple is very supportive, safe and welcoming. And my daughter has always participated in Pride events since she’s been old enough to withstand crowds. And our basement is filled with rainbow swag.”


“I’m a math major at college, home for the summer. I am nonbinary and a lesbian. Growing up, I was exposed to queerness. I had family members who were queer, and I even have an uncle who’s trans. The funny thing is, my brain didn’t conceive of that being a normal thing for me.

“When I was in middle school, I went to gay-straight alliance meetings, where we would talk about different things. Everyone in that room identified as an ally, which is common—maybe they didn’t identify as queer yet. When I was 15, I realized that I wasn’t experiencing an attraction to guys, but I didn’t make the connection that I liked girls. I thought: Maybe I’m asexual; I just don’t experience attraction at all. I was closed off. When I was in my junior year of high school, I realized: Yes, I do like girls, but I identified as bisexual. 

“But at the beginning of the pandemic, when I was in lockdown with my family with nothing else going on other than being on TikTok, the algorithm was pushing a lot of lesbian content at me. I was like: This feels a little more right. Being nonbinary also came up during the pandemic, because a friend of mine referred to me using ‘they’ pronouns and apologized. But I liked that. That was nice. I use she/her/they/them. It feels like it fits me. 

“At college, there was an encampment, and different queer groups put out statements of solidarity with them and with their efforts to bring BDS onto campus. I sort of stuck mostly to Jewish spaces. I feel fortunate that my Hillel has a queer Jewish group, but I have missed the more general queer spaces. When you’re spending time with non-Jewish queer people, it ends up with them steering the conversation toward Israel and  Palestine. I would love to feel that I could go into a queer space on campus and that being Jewish didn’t matter. 

“I may go to Boston Pride, but I am nervous: Other Pride events in other states have been blocked off by protestors. Last summer, I went to quite a few Pride events. This year, I’ll go to this one main thing, because it’s an open space where it will be easy to leave if I need to.

“In terms of being Jewish in queer spaces, safety is most important. You shouldn’t have to hide stuff about yourself, but it’s OK to do what you need to do to be safe in certain spaces, if that’s where you need to be right now.” —Skye