Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

Gay Holidays

There are specific days in the year that are adopted by the LGBTQIA+ community for Queer (minority) celebrations. Let’s investigate.

Gay Pride

Most famously, there is Gay Pride Day, which is rooted in the Stonewall Inn Uprising when Trans and Gay patrons of the Stone Wall Inn decided to not be intimidated any longer by police brutality and literally fought back.

Yet, the date is not kept precisely, celebrations are spread out all over the month of June which is dubbed Pride month. Many new to the issue ask what there is to be proud about when one’s fate invites others to hate and oppress you, and should there be Straight Pride Marches too?

The best answers I know are that the Pride comes to confront shame. Not so many Straights are conditioned to feel ashamed about their sexual orientation. Generally, heterosexuality is encouraged all-year-round.

Surprisingly, Pride Marches are rather celebratory and, at least from the side of the revelers, there is little violence in the commemoration of the original revolt. Many participants, Gays and Allies, report relief of finally feeling that these minority groups matter and are significant. And that the whole identity is something to cherish and relish, not to dread or mourn.

Pesach Sheini

Many Queers have adopted the repeat Passover Night from the Torah as yet another day to say: we were overlooked but we actually want a part of the pie too. It was instituted for those who missed this crucial celebration the first time around through no fault of their own. It says: But we are not minimalistic in saying: we couldn’t so, it’s OK. It is OK but we rather have a second chance. LGBT-groups have converted this to a focus on inclusion for marginalized members in the Jewish community. More than just festive, here an accent is put on learning and teaching, and community.

The Day of Love

Coming up, the world over, Valentine’s Day (and in Israel and other Jewish communities, Tu be’Av) is celebrated specially by Queer communities because of the stress on the aspect of love, relationship, and family.

Gays often recognize themselves in the relationship between David and Jonathan, though little is written about sex between them (besides a few puns and hints). But what makes them identify with these two Biblical characters is the obvious love between them. This shows that the essence of a Queer relationship is not sex but rather deep unselfish love.

Israel also has Family Day (today!), a replacement of Mother’s Day.

Purim

Purim with its dressing up and sporadic cross-dressing also has some special appeal to Queer Jews who’re by definition revolted by normalcy.

Purim and the month of Adar in which it falls are known for their happiness. The Talmud records: “Who enters Adar expands happiness.” That can mean: be happier, spread more happiness, and (maybe): from the beginning of Adar, we can spread out happiness over the whole year.

Happy and Gay are closely related. Gay was adopted to offset shame and depression put on Queers. However, many Cis-gender Straights live very unhappy lives. Also that has nothing to do with their gender or sexual identities. Rather, it’s hard to have to pass as ‘normal’ and be happy.

(We see that in every oppression. On average, wealthier people are not happier than poorer people (who can’t afford to be down). There are no really happy hard-core racists or antisemites or sexists. Being pushed into an oppressive role by society leaves the executioners privileged but deeply unhappy unless they develop being excellent Allies to the oppressed.)

Purim is, besides a very deep Holiday, a fun, happy, and Gay day.

Shabbat

Jewish Gays also tend to see the Jewish Sabbath as their day because it celebrates what is (in contrast to what c/should be), and it recognizes the centrality of the home, family relationships, and friendships, and having guests, and the legitimacy and importance of a good love life.

Almost every day, we should be ambitious to help create a better world for all. Yet, we should not be emotionally far-sighted continuously. One day a week, we’ll acknowledge and rejoice in the goodness received already. It’s indispensable against burnout. Activists, never leave home without it.

Many said already that also Gentiles may need something like the Shabbat: a weekly moment to prioritize and soak up our home and relationships.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500th blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To find his earlier blog posts on a certain subject XXX, among his over 1200 ones, go to the right-top corner of the Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". His second daily active less tame blog, to which one may subscribe, one may find here: https://mmvanzuiden.wordpress.com/ or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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