May 1999

This is my first submission to Oasis, so I'll introduce myself: I'm Reuven, and I'm a high school junior living somewhere in the Midwestern US. This article is about three things in my life that I've until recently tried to make myself believe were entirely unrelated to each other, and had no effect upon each other. Now, (in no particular order) I am, in my opinion, a fairly "normal" guy, who just happens (as God created me) to be gay, disabled, and Jewish. Recently, I finally realized they DO (should've been obvious, I know) for better or worse, have an effect on each other. I'll explain these aspects of me and how they impact each other one at a time:

My religious aspect has evolved over the last few years from being (as raised) entirely agnostic to becoming more religious in outlook, and this, I'd like to think, will one day lead to me being more religious in actual practice. Since I realize that God created and loves all people (regardless of such irrelevancies as race, sex, sexual orientation, etc.), it'd therefore logically follow that He has no problem with gay people. Nonetheless, like many of you who may read this, there are still some spiritual gaps in my sphere, that being still mostly closeted, I can't fill yet. Religious leaders and congregations (I realize this holds true for many organized religious groups) sadly, as many of us know from experience, are often hypocritical when it comes to their definition of loving "all" people.

My disability, cerebral palsy, results in moderate uncontrolled body movements. It limits my ability to meet other local gay youth in person. The local group is on the other side of town, and I rely on my parents and friends to get around, so go figure. I'm capable of doing most everything except drive and play sports, so don't feel sorry for me, I'm just fine (wheelchairs are cool!).

Homosexuality is made even more complex by the above, but I'd not have it any other way... I'd like to think these challenges will make me a better and stronger person. Hopefully someone will find this article and those to follow to be helpful, but it's all good!

Peace and love,


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