Kat Macias is a queer Jew looking for others like her. That’s why, as the Boston Program Specialist and Trainer for Keshet, she did a thorough spelunking of the Internet universe in search of company. “I don’t see myself reflected in Jewish communities,” said Macias, the daughter of Puerto Rican and Cuban parents, who converted to Judaism in college. “And if I’m looking for that, there must be other people looking for it too.”
The result of Macias’ quest was a partnership with the Jewish Multiracial Network, which produced a Queer Jews of Color Resource List , a collection of social/multi media resources, blogs and articles, including What It’s Like to Be a Gay Black Professional Jew by Ilana Kaufman, and Macias’ Coming Out and Inviting In about her decision to become a Jew. Macias describes the list as “a shortcut to many hours of interneting. It’s a way to let other queer Jews of Color know that people are thinking about them.” “The more inclusion,” said Jordyn Rozensky, Keshet’s Communications and Marketing Manager, “the stronger the Jewish Community.”
Erika Davis is a member of the Board of Directors of the Jewish Multiracial Network. She described building the list with Keshet as a “truly collaborative process,” and one that illumined the lack of representation of queer Jews of color in Jewish spaces. “There aren’t just a handful of Queer Jews of Color in our spaces, but a lot of us. You may not always “see” us because perhaps our spouses remain home or we don’t look like people of color, but we exist and there’s room for us under the tent of Judaism.”
The list as it is now is by no means complete, which is part of the point - it’s a jumping off point that people can use as a means of connecting with other queer Jews of Color. It will be distributed via the Keshet and JMN websites, the Keshet national enewsletter, social media, and in the Selah Leadership Program and the Jews United for Justice lists.
“I have a lot of identities that have never been held in one space,” said Macias. “The resource guide is a great way to show that these things, being a queer Jew of color, can live in a single person, in the same community. It’s a tool for raising visibility and for collective liberation, for saying, ‘I see you, I know it’s hard, you are not alone.’”
Chanel Dubofsky’s work on gender, sexuality, pop culture, and reproductive justice has been published in Cosmopolitan, RH Reality Check, Previously.TV,The Billfold, The Frisky, and others.