Pionerering Rabbi Mark Solomon: be proud of who you are

Rabbi Mark Solomon giving an oral history testimony about being Jewish & gay. Rabbi Mark was the first UK Orthodox Rabbi to come out. He works now as interfaith consultant for Liberal Judaism.

In ‘89 a film called “Torch Song Trilogy” came out in London, which I went to see. I was going to see any films that were gay related at that point and I was blown away by “Torch Song Trilogy” specifically because the main character in it is Jewish, a New York Jewish Drag Queen, very powerfully Jewish and extremely gay. And this was the very first thing I’d ever come across which brought Jewish and Gay together in one place. They always seemed like two utterly separate roles that had no connection. And so I’d never been able to make a connection for myself. Being Jewish was the main thing that was my identity, going to be a Rabbi. Being gay was just this really unpleasant thing that I tried ignore as much as possible. But, I –I went to see “Torch Song Trilogy” three times in the first week or something. I was just blown away by it and it had a powerful affect I think as a catalyst in helping me to think more about myself, and start to realize who I was.’

Read the full transcript: TRANSCRIPT Rabbi Mark Solomon


The interview was conducted within the Rainbow Jews project and produced by University of Portsmouth.

Thank you Shawn Briggs, transcriber.




"Rainbow Jews provides an important source of Jewish history. I urge people to get involved and support this project in whichever way they can"
Danny Rich

Rabbi Danny Rich
Liberal Judaism CEO
"I am honoured to support Rainbow Jews and to celebrate the huge positive contribution that Jewish people make to the LGBT community and to our wider society. Jewish and LGBT people share many parallels of oppression and of triumph over adversity. As victims of prejudice, it is important for us to stand together united against all hate."
Peter Tatchell

Peter Tatchell
Human Rights Defender

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