When New Yorkers were either Jews or gays

nigelkennedy[1]The Museum of the City of the New York is holding an interesting exhibition on Jewish values, called Gay Gotham. According to the MCNY website, the exhibition brings to light the often hidden history of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the city of New York.

The visitors at the exhibition will have the honor to see 225 works of art including such Jewish icons like Mae West, Leonard Bernstein, Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Gertrude Stein, Andy Warhol, Greer Lankton, Lincoln Kirstein, etc.

Michael Kaminer, a contributing editor at the Jewish Daily Forward is so excited about the exhibition of famous Jewish achievements – he penned an article on November 5, entitled, A Trip Back to a New York Where Everyone was Jewish and Gay.

In the article, Kaminer shares some of his own secrets which even MCNY was not aware of. For example, Bernstein though married to a woman, had sexual relation with several men. The good part is his wife knew about Bernstein’s ‘gay’ side – but she loved Bernstein as a good Jewish wife.

Could it be the reason that in Jewish Shari’ah (halakhah) only husband has the right to divorce his wife?

Kaminer boasts that Kirstein and Bernstein opened the door for non-Jews to push LGBT boundaries as well.

The broader mainstream celebration of Jewish culture happens a little before the celebration of LGBT culture, but there are interesting parallels. And as LGBT people got more representations in the mainstream, like ‘The Boys in the Band,’ they tended to be a little more tortured than something like ‘Fiddler’,” wrote Kaminer.


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