•  
  •  
 

Paper presented at the Association of Jewish Libraries Convention, June 22, 1993, at a session on "Gay and Lesbian Jewish Literature."

Abstract

The topic of gay, lesbian, and bisexual literature with Jewish content has been taboo for a very long time. Because of Judaism's deep-rooted commitment to the family, alternative forms of sexual relationships have rarely been mentioned in Jewish literature. Only in the past twenty-five years, with the rise of AIDS, but starting in the radical 1960s with its innovative sexual and cultural critique and revolutionary approach to politics and power arrangements, have we seen the rise of Jewish literature on gay, lesbian, and bisexual lifestyles. Since homosexuality is still asur (forbidden) in Halacha, this is still a controversial topic and care must be taken to handle it with sensitivity. Still, librarians and teachers should introduce these issues at age-appropriate and text appropriate levels. This bibliographic essay demonstrates the wide range of material that exists on this topic from research guides and anthologies to novels and sociological works. The literature is growing by leaps and bounds; much of the material is useful for Jewish libraries but must be updated regularly since this field is undergoing great change. However, since gay history is still history, the encyclopedias and research guides will always be useful. The paper includes a special section on homosexuality and sexual politics in Nazi Germany, a special interest of the author, a son of Holocaust survivors.