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I Shouldn’t Have to Choose Between My Judaism and My Queerness

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No one within earshot batted an eye at the slur. I was at a festive Shabbat dinner with other undergraduates at Yeshiva University, a few months into my freshman year at its Stern College for Women. “He’s a fag,” I overheard a student in a spiffy suit say to the woman seated next to him.

A year earlier, as a senior at an all-girls Hasidic high school in Brooklyn in 2016, I had looked forward to being surrounded by open-minded, religiously committed Jews at the renowned Modern Orthodox university in New York City.

But in that moment, my fantasies crumbled. As the slur echoed in my mind, glasses clinked, cheerful conversations continued, and the only visible concern in the room was mine.

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