I have a colleague. He is a homosexual. I didn’t know for over 15 years. I wasn’t close to him. He was about 10 years younger than me. Several years ago, he “came out of the closet”. I had just merited having our first grandson born, and there were pictures all over my office. He popped his head in one day, and said (like most staff)
“Don’t tell me you’ve had another kid, how many is that now?”
After explaining that despite my youthful countenance, I wasn’t engaged in that particular pursuit any longer, he suddenly volunteered that he had just had a baby as well. I congratulated him. Asking how the birth had been, mentioning that I had no prior inkling that he was expecting a child (so to speak). He nonchalantly stated that he and his husband were ecstatic. Obviously I showed no untoward outward reaction. He was comfortable enough in my responses. After further questioning he seemed happy to engage me in conversation about this personal topic. I even went as far as to ask him how he and his boyfriend/partner decided on which sperm was to be used with the donor egg (that was then carried by a different mother). Did they toss a coin?
Time went by. Pictures of my grandson, and then baruch hashem another grandson were updated on my office wall. He’d pop his head in, and we’d chat about kids, and colds and tempers etc
At no time did I sense that he was uncomfortable with me, despite him knowing that I was visibly Orthodox and (hopefully) acted that way.
Oh, if you are thinking, this is a “you are so special, isaac” story; keep reading.
Recently, he and his so-called husband had another child. He cheekily told me that he was taking maternity leave! I giggled and said that our current boss (very conservative) wouldn’t know what to do with the application, and would probably gag.
Last week he returned from leave, said hi, and as he left my office I started to wonder, whether I was doing the right thing? He told me he had been at a place full of Israelis who were also obtaining babies (not necessarily homosexuals) through this surrogate method, and they had invited him for Pesach, and that he didn’t think much of Maror …
Should a Ben Noach feel that comfortable talking about such things with a frum Yid? Should I feel comfortable simply being civil and non-judgemental? I certainly had nothing against him on a personal level. On the other hand, the act of homosexual sex is abhorrent in the extreme, and I recoil innately at the very thought. There is also the modernistic view which goes hand in hand with the fakers who call themselves “Jewish Tikun Olamniks” that one should never be judgemental.
Perhaps I’ve become too soft cuddly and socially left in my older age, I don’t know. I guess it’s also a symptom of living in two worlds that should be one.
I wonder if I have any Halachic obligation to behave in a particular way here? Is זניפה going to achieve anything?