Opinion: I am an out, Jewish, and joyful local queer! | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

Opinion: I am an out, Jewish, and joyful local queer! 

Queer joy, queer belonging, queer homes, queer coziness, and queer adventures are a profound and constant thread in my adult life as an out, high femme Milwaukee queer. I lean on our community all the time for smiles, fresh recipes, dog sitting help, and during tougher times too.  

Likewise, my faith is a major part of my life and a major support to me. I am probably more religious than most of my friends and colleagues suspect – I think I chatter away with my idea of God pretty much every day, I love lighting Shabbat candles, and reading the weekly Torah portion is something I look forward to more and more.  

I don’t usually feel alone in my identities today, I think because I’ve had quite a lot of time with them, and I’ve spent that time cultivating beautiful, diverse queer and Jewish communities. That’s what delights and motivates me about J-Pride: as queer (and Jewish) people, I think we deserve to celebrate more the abundance around us – of friends, loved ones, great meals, fun holidays, people who believe in us, and shoulders to lean on for comfort.  

That’s the queer, trans, and Jewish experience that I would wish for all of us here in our community – one of abundance, joy, connection, great meals, tons of laughter, fun events, and outstanding friends. Importantly – that is not a community that existed when I was young or first coming out. I love that a community like this does exist for people coming out and transitioning at all ages today. I love that it exists for all of the Jews and queers in Milwaukee who get to relax into our specific and unique overlapping cultural shorthand when we’re together too. We’re bringing a brand new, more-Jewish-mother-like meaning to “All Are Welcome Here” – all are welcome, and please expect to be asked at least five times if you have had enough food yet.  

J-Pride will be behind a lot of exciting things in the year ahead: A queer and Jewish presence at PRIDE this year, plenty of happy hours (NA options included), plenty of Shabbat dinners with mouth-watering food and better company, game nights, movie nights, and as-yet-unplanned theme parties and holidays with other Jewish and/or queer groups around Milwaukee whom we love.  

Membership is more like a social club than anything else – we are happily a no-dues, no-required-meetings group of fun and adult Milwaukee LGBT Jews with an open door for our friends, families and allies. We want to make sure that you’re getting invites to the fun things we’re doing in the year ahead, and that someone is ready to greet you and help you feel at home when you’re attending for the first time or if you don’t know many other people on any given day. Radical hospitality is both a queer and Jewish value, so we are doubly excited to extend it!  

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Connect with J-Pride 

-Nicole Gorelik, NextGen engagement associate, Milwaukee Jewish Federation, 414-390-5720, nicoleg@milwaukeejewish.org 

-Instagram: Jess Annabelle at @mkerealtorjess and Gorelik at @nikssssg. 

-Join the Facebook group: J-Pride Milwaukee – LGBT Jews and Allies.  

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Next event 

The next J-Pride event is a happy hour on Tuesday, March 6 from 5-7 p.m., at Art Bar, 722 E. Burleigh St.