“The parallels between Jews and gays are remarkable,” wrote Bernie M. Farber and Glen Murray in a recent op-ed in the Toronto Star. My first reaction was that these men were reaching, but I was compelled to read more.
“Just as the Nazis made acts of love and intimacy between men illegal, so too did they seek to isolate Jews in this most fundamental area of human existence. The first two sections of the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 made marriage between Jews and non-Jews illegal, adding extramarital relations as well.” OK. They make a valid point. I continued on.
“Perhaps in some way the Nazis understood that before you could legalize hate, it is necessary to criminalize love. Between 1933 and 1945, as many as 100,000 men were arrested for the ‘crime’ of homosexuality. It’s estimated that up to 15,000 were imprisoned in concentration camps, where as many as 60 per cent were murdered. Jews and gays wore the same striped uniforms, ate the same food, were worked to death together, subjected to medical experiments and marked with triangles (for what is a Star of David but two triangles?)” As a former English major who delights in literary symbolism (when it’s not heavy-handed, that is), my curiosity shifted into high gear when they pointed out the triangle commonality.
The message of the op-ed is that the Jewish and LGBT communities should find ways to work together. That we are more alike than we are different. We share a history of attempted annihilation by the Nazis, continue to be on the receiving end of vituperous and intense hatred, and then there’s that shared triangles thing. I’m serious. I never thought about it before. And if I think too much about it I will render it ridiculous, which I don’t want to do.
So, how about a pink (or purple) Star of David to unify our two groups. Any graphic designers out there want to give it a shot? If so, please send it my way and I’ll post it here. And then we can send it on to our boys up in Canada.