A wise woman once said to me, ‘The inherent nature of Jewish tradition is to wrestle with the status quo, not to be the status quo.’ I have her to thank for inspiring the personal statement that I submitted with my successful rabbinic school application. Here is that statement.
The last age I took so hard was 25. Back then, launching into the latter half of my twenties without having achieved richness or thinness had me feeling like a big loser. Luckily, my self-confidence has improved since then. Now launching into my final 365 days before middle age without yet having achieved richness or thinness just has me feeling old.
Recently, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Center in New York profiled GLYNY Again in its monthly video features program, Out at the Center. That’s the alumni group for Gay and Lesbian Youth of New York, America’s first-ever gay youth group, of which I was an active member from 1986 through 1990.
I turned 37 this month in my hometown. And while August continues to merge into seemingly one exceptionally and unexpectedly long trip to Gotham to interview and apartment hunt, it was turning 37 that I found most informative. Purely for narcissistic reasons. Essentially I was smoked.
So I’m GLYNYing again. This past spring, I chronicled the sudden and miraculous Internet reunion of my 1980s cohort of Gay and Lesbian Youth of New York (GLYNY, pronounced ‘GLIH-nee’). The nation’s first-ever gay youth peer support group, GLYNY was founded in New York City in 1969 as a splinter cell of the historic Gay Liberation Front. Back in the day, the group and I were inseparable.
Catching up with my GLYNY AGAIN reunion friends at Astoria’s Bohemian Beer Garden, the world became smaller than usual. No one expects to learn their long-ago, two-timing, perv boyfriend is the current family physician for an NYC Council candidate. At least he didn’t tell the pol to call him Piglet.
Well here I am, my last night in New York, leaving tomorrow to finally head back to my life in Chicago. I’ve already spoken my peace about Saturday night and seeing my old friends again. But my momentary anxiety got the better of me and I never did tell them all how much they mean to me. Let me rectify that omission.
Last week, I was at a loss for words. Try as I might to blog, nothing came. Nothing could. I was preoccupied with an unfolding miracle–one that continues to reveal its happy countenance, its joyous contours. Just where does one begin to describe the feeling of finding long-lost family?
In the late 1980s, I joined a group of people who came together to survive. A large, proud group of gay and lesbian adolescents who met every Saturday in Greenwich Village, New York, and talked things out. Beginning in 1969 and continuing for more than thirty years, Gay and Lesbian Youth of New York established a place in LGBT history.