chapter
4 Pages

Introdction

ByJim Tushinski

So there we were, having lunch one day in San Francisco. We talked about a lot of things, but somehow that day we ended up revealing to each other that though raised in Christian homes, we had each developed a desire to be Jewish. We laughed about the odd coincidence of it, but wondered: Was this “identity envy” common? Of course, not every Christian-raised queer kid wanted to be Jewish, but surely other people had desires like this. Was it related to the universal childish fantasy that your parents weren’t your real parents, that instead you were adopted royalty? If so, why did this feeling sometimes persist into adulthood? Surely it wasn’t just some elaborate sexual fetish. We had no clear answers, but the idea intrigued us, and we set about asking friends if they had experienced something similar. The affirmative reactions we got, the number of variations, and the eagerness with which people launched into their own “identity envy” stories convinced us that we were on to something.