Heterosexual, Pansexual, and re-named variants. Gay is the
preferred word for men attracted to men, no longer considered
a slur. Queer, once a derogative term that referred to all peo-
ple who did not behave along heterosexual lines, is now the
accepted umbrella term used to refer to all LGBTQI people.
The HUC-JIR Museum staff held numerous focus groups
of artists – both queer and straight – asking them to share
their intimate feelings concerning their lives in the commu-
nity, including their faith-based experiences. We frequently
heard incidents of marginalization, isolation, and exclusion.
They shared their long years of concealment as well as the
wrenching experience of “coming out;”
their relationships with family
members, employers, and friends
that disintegrated; and the
search for life-long partners.
Through this process we
drew up a list of prevail-
ing injustices and subtle
The first creative artwork
that came to mind was the
riveting, emblematic painting,
Judy Chicago (page 16).
A portion of the much
it is a brutal
reminder of the perse-
and murder of thou-
sands of homosexuals
during the Nazi era. The
United States Holocaust Memorial
Museum came forth with a long lost
print of a drawing by a camp inmate,
Richard Grune, who was persecuted
because of his sexual orientation
Addressing issues of “hiding in full sight,” we selected works
that alluded to masks, to mirrors, to eyes looking out from
concealment. The plight of transgender teenagers was most
troubling to us. Rejected by their own families and local
welfare institutions, literally thousands of young people
continue to migrate to New York City from other parts of
the country for this city’s more liberal, humanistic social
welfare network. Even there they are harassed, attacked,
molested, and murdered. The renowned photographer,
Joshua Lehrer, in what started as a compassionate outreach
effort, created individual portrait Cyanotype prints that very
clearly restore to these children their robbed dignity and
individuality (page 26). Dealing with a similar subject, Joan
Roth presents a portrait photograph,
that of a MTF, a transsexual formerly male, now a female.
This vibrant, beautiful woman was formerly the father
of three and Gottesman Professor of English at Stern
College of Yeshiva University, an academic position
that she still holds.
photograph as their cover for a groundbreaking issue
on transgender issues (page 33).
The troubling quotation from the Bible, Leviticus
Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with
womankind; it is an abomination,”
enced and refuted in several works.
Helene Aylon highlights the phrase
with the use of a magnifying
lens (page 15), and Susan
Kaplow, together with
Trix Rosen, created an
anguish aroused by this text.
In Israel one finds strongly secular Jews
and fervent Orthodox believers in public conflict
over the issues of perceived homosexuality. Graphic
examples of public protest art are included in the
works of Heddy Abramowitz (pages 12, 14) and
Dorit Jordan Dotan (pages 6,17). Kobi Israel
adds poignant, iconic images of Israeli military
personnel as commentary (page 24).
Seeking additional pivots of change, we turned
to the powerful presence of
The New Yorker
zine, namely their magazine covers and stable of
Pastel cut-out, canvas