you were made for this (evewithanapple) wrote in little_details,
you were made for this

Jewish attitudes to/vocabulary about homosexuality (New York, 1900s)

Setting: New York City (Lower East Side) circa 1905
Googled: Judaism and homosexuality, Judaism and sin, historic New York gay community, Lower East Side gay history, Judaism homosexuality history

This is a bit of a weird question, so bear with me. My character is a young Jewish man who's fallen in love with his two best friends and realized he's poly (he already knew he was queer). Obviously since this is an OT3 fic set in the 1900s, I'm stretching plausibility a bit, but I'd like his dialogue/internal monologue to sound as authentic as possible, and not me superimposing my secular-modern-culturally-Anglican thought process onto him. My question is, what kind of language would he be using to describe himself/his feelings here? I'm worried that the way I'm having him talk is too Christian-centric- i.e. based on ideas of guilt and sin rather than the way a religious Jewish person might view "forbidden" urges and feelings. For instance, this is him thinking about himself:

His eyes slid from one to the other, and instead of finding some relief in one’s gaze, he only felt his horror and shame magnify [. . .] his friends were, of course, unfailingly friendly and kind, but the kindness itself was what shamed him- knowing that he was entering their home and bringing the sickness in his brain with him [. . .] And yet, he couldn’t seem to stay away. He knew that each time he returned, he was doing so out of his own weakness and temptation, but at the same time, he found that he needed it.

Is this a likely thought process for him to have? Or should his focus be elsewhere (i.e. I'm shaming my family/this is forbidden by the Torah/etc) rather than on himself and his friends?
Tags: 1900-1909, usa: new york: new york city, ~homosexuality: history, ~religion: judaism
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