Since coming out of the closet as gay in Out magazine, many people have asked me how I could do it for so long—how I could maintain adherence to a religion which was so anti-gay as Orthodox Judaism while still knowing of my true identity on the inside. How I could get married to a female while knowing of my true orientation. How I could preach observance of the same faith that was keeping me so restricted. I explain to them that it was my faith in Judaism which trumped my need for self-preservation for a decade, and that I have wanted to come out for quite some time. Indeed, the door of the closet has often been comprised of one single question:
"What will the Orthodox community say?"
This question has loomed over me for years. I've been alternately afraid of losing my community and my fan base for my entire music career. As I told Out magazine, I fully was prepared to lose all of my Orthodox and religious fans the instant I revealed my true identity. This past weekend was the first Shabbat since my coming out, and the first time synagogues would fill with parishioners since my announcement. I asked on Facebook if anyone heard their rabbis mention me, and what the word "around the Shabbat table" was in the Orthodox communities of the world, where my Orthodox fan base resides. To say I was shocked at the response would be an understatement.