Out Magazine has an interview with the (formerly haredi) Hip Hop artist Y-Love, Yitzi Jordon. Here's an excerpt:
“I’ve never been conflicted about my sexuality,” Jordan told Out in an exclusive interview this week. “Any conflicts that have come up in my life have come up because of other people’s homophobia. I’ve always known when to be in the closet and when not to.”
So why come out now? According to Jordan, he’s wanted to tell the world that he’s gay for some time, but he was concerned that his “public reputation” would be tarnished and the music career he has fought so hard to carve out in a seemingly intolerant community would be ruined.
“I feel like I’ve wasted years of my life worrying that it would alienate the community I dedicated my life to as an artist and as a man. But my hope is that it will open their eyes—and hearts.”
But there’s an even more understandable desire. At 34, Jordan hopes he’ll be able to finally date “in the light.” After a brief, failed marriage to a Jewish woman and dealing with the constant attention of matchmakers for years—and even a form of blackmail when one suitor’s brother “outed” him to rabbis—he wants to date men openly and build a future with a man.
“My number one priority is to get back into dating. I’m ready to find a husband,” Jordan says. “I’ll be able to have a dating profile and use my real name. I’m ready to live without fear.”
In many ways, Jordan has already come to terms with the Hassidic community he once tried so desperately to cling to. He now calls himself “ex-Hassidic,” having moved out of the Flatbush neighborhood in Brooklyn where he once lived, and he now listens to secular music and appears in public with women. As he admits, “As far as the ultra-Orthodox community is concerned, I won't be able to return to any type of Jewish observance.” But Jordan clarifies, it doesn't mean he's lost his faith, in fact, he'll be observing a Jewish holiday next week.…
When asked if he decided it was time to come out publicly because of all the positive discourse in the press as of late, Jordan says his catalyst was actually the opposite. “It’s because of the negative backlash that’s coming. Because people like Michele Bachmann’s husband are still pedaling ex-gay therapy. Because there are kids that are jumping out of their school windows. I know what it feels like, and so I have to say something.”…
“I’ve dealt with racism; I’ve dealt with discrimination,” Jordan explains. “I want to be there at that gay pride festival, for that kid who has a baseball cap over his yarmulke. I know what it feels like to have to hide.”
[Hat Tip: Nachos.]