More than a year ago, when DAVID Magazine was just getting launched, then-editor Martin Stein asked if I’d be interested in writing a story about gay Jews in Las Vegas. That was it. There was no specific angle or approach suggested, just “gay Jews.” I was intrigued by the offer, and ideas bounced around between us via email for a few months before I actually was able to schedule in the assigned story, which at that point was slated for the December 2010 issue. I did my research, my interviews, and by the time I turned in the finished article in October, two things happened: 1. The magazine was transitioning to a new editor, and 2. The story had been rescheduled for the following June. So last month, I had to go back, re-interview some subjects, talk with new ones, and update the story concurrently. And now, finally, after a year of development, my 2,500-word cover story on being gay and Jewish in Las Vegas has hit the pages of DAVID. You can see a small Flash preview here, or pick up a free copy somewhere out there in Vegasland.
I learned a lot about both the state of the local Jewish community and how homosexuality is viewed from Judaism’s various disciplines. While everyone’s experience in the article is different, there did seem to be an overall feeling of “live and let live” among the Jewish people in regards to the sexuality of fellow Jews, and even some of the Conservative shuls and families seem far more accepting than respective Christian denominations. Interestingly, in Israel, where you’d expect there to be the most religious scrutiny, the divisions and stigma often surrounding homosexuality here in the United States seem to be non-existant, at least in the experiences relayed to me second hand.
Anyway, if you can find a copy, it might be worth a read. I mean, I did spend a year writing it!