Rabbi Alan Stadtmauer, principal of Yeshivah of Flatbush High Scool, resigned at the end of last year -- and has now revealed, in an email to a former student, that he has come out of the closet. SIW says he would like to hear more about R. Stadtmauer's personal story; certainly. But what I would also like to hear about a little more is how the coming out of a well-loved and respected rabbi (acc. to the Forward article) will affect the attitudes of his students, former students and colleagues to the issue of gay people in the Orthodox world. Perhaps this is a long-term question, but the Forward doesn't really address even how they've reacted now, other than to quote a dry letter from the school's president and a comment from student in the street saying that "I don't care so much that he's gay as that he's left religion" -- a quote which sounds suspiciously like the question posed by the student who originally wrote to R. Stadtmauer to inquire about his sexual orientation, who said, " i have nothing against the gay part if its true but i dont understand how you could give up your religion that easily."* Those comments, especially if (?) they come from two different students, are extremely interesting -- seemingly backing up R. Stadtmauer's comment in the email, that " I think most kids I know would be okay [with his homosexuality], but most adults would not," but it would be interesting to hear more on how they've reacted to this news.
Ultimately, more and more gay Orthodox Jews are talking openly about their homosexuality -- increasingly, people in positions of authority. As more people know Orthodox people they respect who are gay, and watch them struggle with all the accompanying issues, are attitudes already beginning to shift?
*In his email, R. Stadtmauer says he no longer feels bound by halacha, although he still believes in the value and truth of the Torah; he apparently told a member of the school's administration he was no longer an Orthodox Jew.