Y-Love Gay: Ex-Hasidic Jewish Rapper Comes Out
"I feel like I have wasted years of my life worrying that my 'public reputation' will be negatively impacted by my identity," Y-Love told Out magazine. "Now that I'm over 30, I simply can't care as much about what people think, despite the prospect of alienating the community I dedicated my life to as an artist and a man. My hope is it will open their eyes -- and hearts," Jordan, 34, said.
The New York-based MC is of Puerto Rican and Ethiopian descent, and converted to Hasidic Judaism in 2000. While he previously feared his sexual orientation would alienate his "conservative-minded" fan base, Y-Love insists he's "never been conflicted about my sexuality ... Any conflicts that have come up in my life have come up because of other people's homophobia. I've always known when to be in the closet and when not to."
For Jordan, the time to come out was long overdue. "I'm ready to live authentically," he admitted. "I'm ready to find a husband," Jordan continued. I'm ready to live without fear of being outed or the stress of keeping my whole self from people. And I've waited too long to do that."
While he acknowledges that his newly public identity will cost hims some fans, he's now ready to take that risk. "I'm sure some will huff off in disgust at seeing the real me," Jordan said. "What will not change is my art. My rhymes will still be 20 percent Hebrew and full of Jewish quotes as always.
While his rhymes will still reflect his faith, Jordan, who now calls himself "ex-Hasidic," will be leaving his once stringent observance behind. "As far as the ultra-Orthodox community is concerned, I won't be able to return to any type of Jewish observance."
As he embarks on a new chapter of his life, the MC's forthcoming album, Focus on the Flair, will offer a whole new audience a voice, LGBT hip-hop fans. "I also fully expect that these people who no longer find me 'appropriate' will be replaced by fans who can truly appreciate the real me -- with a particular emphasis on LGBT hip-hop fans, who I think will be able to identify with my struggle and triumph and have few out artists and role models."
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