50 Years of LGBTQ Families: From the “Queer Death Drive” to the Jewish “Gayby Boom”
In the late 1960s, gay and lesbian Jews were condemned by many mainstream rabbis as members of a childless “death cult” and a threat to the continuity of the Jewish people. It was taken for granted, sometimes within the gay community itself, that same-sex couples could never fulfill the mitzvah of having children. Jump forward to today, and it is now socially expected that LGBTQ Jews will find partners, marry, have children, belong to a synagogue, and send their children to Jewish camps and schools. How did this extraordinary shift take place? Join Dr. Gregg Drinkwater and Rabbi Jane Rachel Litman as they discuss the Jewish “Gayby Boom” and how the presence of children changed the LGBTQ Jewish world. Topics will include the targeting of gay men as a threat to children (for Jews, a trope linked to classic antisemitism); “turkey baster babies” and how reproductive technology served queer families; the changing dynamics within LGBTQ synagogues once children and schools became common; PFLAG and the political power of potential grandparents; the evolution of new relationship and family structures; and how heteronormativity has been both accepted and disrupted by LGBTQ families.
All dates and times are Eastern Standard (US and Canada)