I think its very important for gay people at all ages to truly know they they are not alone. The general message of this video spreads a love and acceptance based on hardships that these men had to endure, and the knowledge that the future has been brighter.
I consider Ely, one of the people in the video, a friend, and someone who I have learned a lot about life from. I think its very brave of him and his friends to make this video and share their tough, sometimes brutal experiences with the rest of the world and most importantly with others who are going through what they went through before/after they came out.
Overall I loved the video and couldnt help but be emotionally drawn to the plight of Orthodox homosexuals and the unfortunate circumstances Hashem has made them struggle with.
There are two very important issues I have with the video:
From 4:04 to 5:00 Chaim Levin describes his experience with reparative therapy and then juxtaposes the unsuccessful attempt at therapy to trying to commit suicide. Was the attempted suicide a direct result from his inability to change? Is there a deeper reason and motive for the juxtaposition? Is that his way of saying it doesnt work? I think this juxtaposition of the two is unfair and thereby paints reparative therapy in a bad light just because it didnt work for Chaim! If his suicide is something that was a direct result of reparative therapy he should have said so. If not, it should not have been left so ambiguous since there are those who are still in the process of trying to help themselves to change. --- Did Chaim Levin plan this juxtaposition or was it editied to be that way without his knowledge???
From 8:20 to 8:52 Moishy Rabinowitz speaks about “lifting that dark cloud” and “lifting that feeling of hopelessness” I dont know whether its part of the agenda of JQY to get people to come out of the closet but there seems to be a tremendous push and social pressure amongst openly gay people to try and get others to come out of the closet. I understand if the struggle leads to attempted suicide, then something must be done. Once you publicly define your life as homosexual, that means the struggle is over. In what other areas in life do we say the struggle is over and afterwards come out and publicly define ourselves as something that could naturally lead to serious sins? What is wrong with the struggling? Struggle and challenge are daily facets of life that we as Jews have to overcome.In what other areas in life do we say the struggle is over and afterwards come out and publicly define ourselves as something that could naturally lead to serious sins? What is wrong with the struggling? Struggle and challenge are daily facets of life that we as Jews have to overcome. If there are immediate life threatening situations, then something must be done immediately but living with a struggle is not something to be ashamed of no matter how hard it is. Coming out and admitting you are struggling with this issue to a small group of people to have a support network is also very different thing. We all have our family, close friends, and rabbeim who we entrust with issues that we deal with.
I hope that these video will be very successful in spreading the message that there is a bright future ahead and that no matter how bad it may be, there are others who have gone through the same thing and are willing to lift you up. The Jewish people should learn to be more inclusive of everyone who struggles with all different types of issues and make our communities a safe place for people with all different types of backgrounds, lifestyles, and experiences.
Two other influential Jewish bloggers have posted their takes on this video:
Rabbi Harry Maryles at http://haemtza.blogspot.com/2010/11/encouraging-word.html