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Thursday, 12 December 2013

FEARLESS QUEER CHASSIDIC GIRL


This evening we are privileged to be speaking with a young person from a chassidic community, "Nicki". Please remember, as you read, that names and identifying details have been changed to protect the identities, and that none of the photographs are of the actual people. Nicki wrote most of this article, although parts of it were responses (in writing) to questions posed by the interviewer.
Hello ladies and gentleman! My name is Nicki and I am an unapologetic pansexual non-binary person.  I never thought that I am part of the LGBT community but I was anyway. I didn't know what all the terms for people like me are, but I am as curious as can be, so I searched till I knew all the terms for what I am. Nobody guessed that I am part of the LGBT community. I am very good at hiding feelings and if there was any inkling to someone that I might be, they didn't say anything. It's a taboo subject here.
My story begins twenty years ago, when I came out the womb wanting to kick some ass. I was raised in a Chassidic house and environment in Brooklyn N.Y but never conformed. My parents had a problem with that but their love for their daughter was on overdrive (thank g-d).

When I was in middle school, I was bullied a lot and I was physically and emotionally abused by a teacher. My parents didn't know about it cause I didn't want to hurt them. But all of the sudden, I went from being a star student to almost not passing. My parents knew something was amiss so they took me out of that school and changed me to another.

I would like to think that this story is a blessing in disguise because if not for that, I would never be so popular and I would never have met my first love. I would never be so strong for other battles that came and will come my way. Forgiving my bullies and my tormentor was the best thing ever. I got rid of the package that was keeping me back. Don't misquote me: I am very against bullying, but if you are bullied, know that there is always a new day.

In high school I saw many hypocritical things which made me denounce Chassidism, but my faith and love of Hashem is still going strong. At that same time I became romantically involved with another student letting me to this funny interesting story.

As adults, we think children know nothing about life but their truthfulness and innocence pick up the slightest deception. A few years ago, I was at my girlfriend’s house and her niece - a fourth grader was there too. We weren’t yet out, so we couldn’t cuddle or kiss in front her, but we schmoozed, sang and flirted a little. While I was there, my girlfriend’s niece asked us with curiosity, “What is the relationship between you both?” We paused, looking at each other. “We are best friends,” I answered.  With confusion in her eyes and voice she asked, “Are you sure that’s the only relation?” We didn’t answer that, but I found it very amusing!

I long since parted with my first love and what looking for in partner is social smarts, confidence, self respect, integrity, forgiving, not being afraid to say that he/she is sorry. Being scholastically smart is a plus.
A year ago,  I came out to my parents and they went crazy, telling me that I shouldn’t talk like that because it’s a “poeridig crazy thing”. They told me that I don’t feel these things and if I do I won’t feel it when I get married. I felt like a piece of garbage, which led me to have a notorious affair with razors and forks, cutting myself, but then catching myself in the middle, ( logic always kicking in telling me that tomorrow is another day).  I am planning to come out to them cause I want they should hear and listen to me.
I admire lots of people. I know it's old school but I admire Larry Kramer for taking a stand against AIDS  and preaching for safe sex. Even though he had right wing political enemies and enemies from the LGBT community who thought he wants to undermine them but he didn't care. He didn't back down and he was fearless. At the end, he became a winner. Never give up on yourself or what you stand for.



This past Chanukah we had an event and one of my sisters came up to me and started telling me a story about a lady hitting on her. She used terms like “faggot” and “homo”. I was mad and told that i am not interested in hearing the rest of the story cause I will not tolerate the usage of hate words. She ran to my father saying that I am sticking up for these people. They both ganged up at me, screaming. Now I was fuming so I ran to my room to chill.   
After the party, my other sister asked what the whole fight was all about and I told her the story. She asked why I care so much, so I came out to her. She hugged me, and told me that she still loves me. When I told her that mom doesn't know about me (being queer) or about Eshel, she volunteered telling my parents about me. I told her it’s a bad idea and I will tell them when I am ready. She asked me this question, wanting to show her support. That was a great moment. Ten points sis!
I don’t know about the future cause I am living in the present.


I take to heart William Shakespeare words “To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as night as day, thou canst not then be false to any man”.

Thanks for listening! Bye!