Tattooed Jew

Tattooed Jew

Amendment One

There are these two stories I want to tell, both of which happened on May 9th of this year.

See, I’ve intentionally waited for a while to write about the passing of NC Amendment One. I was hoping to find some peace. A place where my emotions and feelings were settled and I could pinpoint one feeling that overwhelmed all of the others. I feel like I have been broken up with. For better or worse, North Carolina and I were in a relationship, and the passing of Amendment One has caused all of the chaotic emotions that a painful breakup might cause – made worse by the fact that NC is now an ex I can’t avoid.

I am angry. I am heartbroken. I am so sad for North Carolina, which doesn’t know what it is losing. I am frustrated. I am feeling a little worthless in the eyes of my home state. See, NC Amendment one writes into the constitution the fact that my future marriage and the marriages of countless friends don’t really count for anything. They are shams. They are less than. Amendment one declares that marriage is between one man and one woman. It was a day of radical rejection for many people.


But there is this other story that happened that day. There’s a story of radical insecurity and radical love that happened as well. It goes like this. One of my brothers is getting married. Because I am who I am and I look like what I look like, I wrote to this brother asking if I should wear long sleeves to the wedding in spite of its being in July. I know that it is likely to be a more conservative wedding crowd, and they may not be used to someone who looks like I look. I don’t want to offend anyone, and to be honest, I’m always a little insecure about how I look on formal occasions. So I wrote to this brother and I asked what I should do and here is the answer I got: Come and be yourself. I wouldn’t want it any other way. If other people are uncomfortable, they’ll live. We live through enough shit in this world — at my wedding, you can be you, whatever that looks like on that day! My sibling knows that people will probably stare at me. He knows that he will have to field questions about who I am and why I look like I look. He doesn’t care. He wouldn’t have me any other way.


I almost cried. In the midst of Amendment One being passed, in the midst of rejection and hatred in my home state, my brother reached out to me with this radical love that still amazes me. People quote the bible in their arguments for the passing of Amendment One. They cite the laws of G…d and the biblical mandate.

I have no idea what they are talking about. I felt G..d that day. I felt the love that I believe G…d has for all of us. It wasn’t in the protection of marriage. It wasn’t in the hatred and rejection that was written into the constitution that day. It was in the kindness of a sibling who wouldn’t have me any other way than the way G…d made me. It was in the radical love that my brother holds for me, and his knowledge that I am a creature of G…d no different than he is. It breaks my heart that I found it in Virginia and not in my own home.


Comments read comments(1)
post a comment

posted May 31, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Beautiful. Unconditional love in action. I’m probably misquoting but I recall “judge not let you be judged.” Where is the unconditional love and compassion?

report abuse

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

Rosh Hashanah Wishes
Dear… Everyone, Rosh Hashanah is approaching, and I’ve been struggling with what to say. It’s a time of introspection, a time for looking back at all of the things in the past year, reevaluating, reassessing, and moving forward. We will ...

posted 7:13:54pm Sep. 16, 2012 | read full post »

Yitgadal v’yitkadash sh’mei raba. Exalted and hallowed be God’s great name.   This is the beginning of the Mourner’s Kaddish, one of the most beautiful and moving prayers I have ever found. It is a prayer said in memory ...

posted 12:53:40pm Sep. 11, 2012 | read full post »

There's a reason it's called spiritual practice
I know I'm supposed to say the Mod(e)(a)h Ani first thing in the morning. Before I get out of bed. Before I say hello to my dogs. Before I have a first cup of coffee. After all, what greater gift is there than the return of one's soul to one's ...

posted 11:53:00am Sep. 09, 2012 | read full post »

Political markings and Spiritual Solidarity (on the wearing of a kippah)
Last week, Rabbi Daniel Alter of Berlin was on his way home from picking up his daughter. He was approached, asked if he was Jewish, and then attacked when he responded yes. Among the many responses to this attack was one from Gideon Joffe, who ...

posted 2:37:58pm Sep. 04, 2012 | read full post »

On truth, mourning, and moving on...
I read today that Egypt has closed the last remaining working synagogue in the country -- Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue in Alexandria (you can check out the article for yourself here). I can’t find anything about it on the major news sources (NY ...

posted 11:09:42pm Sep. 02, 2012 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.