It Gets Better


  Click here and take the pledge and help spread our message of hope.¬†It Gets Better. THE PLEDGE:¬†Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are. I pledge to spread this message to my friends, family and neighbors. I’ll speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work. I’ll […]

Is Going To Starbucks A Spiritual Act? (Plus Drag Queens, Ponchos and Tents)

starbucks drag queens

Three things to talk about here. First, let’s talk about clothes…what they communicate about who you are, what your life is about, and what you think of yourself and the world around you. And RuPaul. Then we’ll talk about a tent in the wilderness. And after that, Starbucks, sacred ritual, and how we’re basically living […]

The Most Important Jewish YouTube Video Ever Made


There are times when you watch someone do something and you think to yourself, “OK, I’m done. There is no way I can top that.” That’s how I felt when I watched Rabbi Benay Lappe’s ELI Talk. The bottom line: you are a queer Jew, especially if you are here on PunkTorah. Are you Jewish […]

Holiness Is Apparently Not A Gay Buddhist In Blue Jeans (Parshah Kedoshim)


Many of my friends struggle with this week’s Torah portion because of one line: And a man who lies with a male as one would with a woman both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon themselves (Lev. 20:13). It’s interesting to note that none […]

Punk Maggid: Sacred Stories


  Joey B’Shalom, working as the Punk Maggid, lives to help other Jews grab onto the awesomeness that is the Divine Holy Wow, aka G-d, through telling Jewish stories, wrestling with Torah, and reinterpreting Jewish ritual for the 21st century. She lives in Portland, OR, with her ridiculously amazing partner and their four spectacular teenagers. […]

What Gay Bookstores Taught Me About Progressive Judaism

gay bookstore outwrite

What kind of world do we live in where my trans friend is more comfortable at Chabad, the cultural icon of Orthodox Judaism, and not the Reform temple with its ultra egalitarian, inclusive spiritual politics? This question that I have been pondering all started with the closing of a gay bookstore. Outwrite Bookstore and Coffee […]