“She Still Doesn’t Want Me to Tell My Next-Door Neighbor:” The Familial Experiences of Modern Orthodox Jewish Gay Men

Samuel H. Allen*, Laura A. Golojuch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

An increasing number of scholars have identified the need to understand the contextual experiences of sexual minorities in their families, one of which includes gay and lesbian adults within devout cultural-religious groups. This phenomenological study contributes to this noted gap in the literature by accessing the familial perspectives of Modern Orthodox Jewish gay men, a subgroup of American Orthodox Jews whose potentially distinct experiences in their families and socio-cultural community are currently absent from the literature. Qualitative data was collected via individual, semistructured interviews from a sample of out Modern Orthodox gay men (n = 7), and analyzed using inductive thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006). Findings support pervasive and institutional homonegativity in the Modern Orthodox Jewish community; however, they also highlight the general acceptance Modern Orthodox gay men experienced from their parents in response to their gay identity. Postdisclosure, two broad themes emerged in our participants’ experience being out in their families, both of which reflect the socio-religious realities of the community in which they were raised: the importance of (a) concealing their gay identity and (b) maintaining a religious practice. These themes, and their implications for policy and practice, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-394
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of GLBT Family Studies
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Judaism
  • family relations
  • qualitative research
  • religion
  • sexual minorities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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