Like many kids from LA.'s west side, I attend a secular, progressive private school with a large Jewish population very accepting of the LGBT community. I came out three years ago, and I've yet to face harassment. Although I'm the only gay person in my gay-straight alliance, the club is thriving.
I'm a Reform Jew, which means I'm from a progressive sect of Judaism; we ordained women rabbis in the 1970s and LGBT rabbis by the 1990s, when ceremonies recognizing same-sex relationships in our synagogues became not uncommon. I learned about my sect's and my religion's close ties to social justice, and I make it my personal responsibility to give back to the community and help others achieve equality and respect.
Often I have difficulty working with LGBT youths in this cultural salad bowl. Most LGBT youths in need in this city are Latino or black and from low-income households. Whether trying to work with an inner-city GSA or just make friends at a gay prom, I face animosity because to many I'm just another spoiled Jewish boy from the west side. I understand why they feel that way, but it's frustrating.
My message is that you can make a difference whether you are in the closet, out, Jewish, or Christian.
--Goldman, a proud Angeleno, is 17.
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|Title Annotation:||GEN Q; social acceptance of sexual minorities|
|Publication:||The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)|
|Article Type:||Brief article|
|Date:||Oct 10, 2006|
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