Gay Pride | Israel | Jerusalem | Michael Lucas

Russian Jews, Israel, Gay Pride, and Porn

Jews in Russia have urged city leaders in Jerusalem to ban a Gay Pride parade scheduled to take place there on the day before the eve of Rosh Hashana, September 21st.

Jerusalem_1Boruch Gorin, head of The Federation of Jewish Communities in Russia told media outlet Interfax: "We believe sexual manifestation, be it traditional or not, to be inappropriate in any city of the world, while in Jerusalem, the city that is holy also for Judaism, this is a scandalous blasphemy."

Gorin also noted the stabbing that took place the last time a Pride parade was held in that city:

"The tragic results of the last action’ when an Orthodox Jew attacked its participants with a knife is another reason why the city authorities should bar such actions. Such provocations could bring about a tragedy, and their consequences are unpredictable. We urge the Holy City’s authorities to revoke their decision permitting pride parade and consider no requests like that in the future."

WorldPride had been scheduled to take place in Jerusalem on August 10th, but was postponed due to the war with Lebanon. Threats have been ongoing against organizers of Pride events in Jerusalem for some time, including pamphlets posted in an Orthodox neighborhood (which some have said were practical jokes) that advocated the killing of gays.

LucasGay porn producer and actor Michael Lucas, who is Russian and Jewish but now living in New York, plans to visit Israel starting today for a week to show solidarity with Israel, entertain the gay community there (with sex shows, of course) and raise awareness of gay issues. Admission to Lucas' events will be free to all Israeli military personnel.

Said Lucas: "It will be my fourth trip to Israel, and my third time to perform there. I am very proud to be going to my home away from home and entertain gay Israelis in a time of war. People need to see the faces of war, and I plan to shed light on the world where gay Israel exists. I will expose the reality that the people of Israel face right now, especially that of gay Israelis who are targeted by the hate of Hizbullah."

Is it any surprise that Lucas' trip has caused a controversy? He responded several times on his blog (NSFW) to criticism of the trip:

"Look, I am one of you, my gentle readers. I have experienced a great deal of anti-semitism growing up in Soviet Russia. Like all Jews, I had a paragraph in my passport which read "Jewish". People called it "5th paragraph". Russians never gave me the opportunity to be one of them. Israel is my country as much as it is yours. To come to Israel is my birthright. Yes, I produce gay porn. But for the most part, I am just like you, proud to be Jewish, love my family, proud of Israel, and was glued to TV for the past month, worried for my people. The fact is, lots of people love and need porn. I do not harm anyone, I make them happy."

Lucas has so far not announced plans to attend the Gay Pride festivities scheduled for later in September but there's little doubt that if he did, fellow Russian Jew Boruch Gorin would have something to say about that.

You may have missed...
Jerusalem WorldPride: Flyers Offer Prize for Killing Gays [tr]
Stabbings at Jerusalem Pride [tr]

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  1. I think what Michael Lucas is doing is awesome!!!!

    Posted by: Roy | Aug 29, 2006 10:22:22 AM

  2. Ok, I hesitated writing this and I know I'm going to get flamed for this, but since when did being gay become synonymous with gay pornography? I don't understand this phenomenon. I realize as a gay man I should be open and accepting but it embarrasses me to see gay porn stars being cherished and worshipped in gay pride festivities as though they have contributed to society as if they were an activist or political figure. Personally, I think it's gross that porn stars are so openly lauded and thus associated with homosexuality, it paints a negative picture for our community and just reinforces the stereotype that all gay men are promiscuous. How can we, as a population misunderstood, expect to break stereotypes such as this when we openly allow it? I realize that this is only one segment of the gay population and that I should not generalize, but for once I'd like non-homosexuals to see more than gay pride parades with drag queens and half naked porn-stars with over collagenized lips dancing proud to circuit music while shaking their asses in front of children at 11 a.m. on 5th Ave Sunday mornings. I'm sure everyone is going to write "if you don't like it, blah blah blah", and sure, I can turn away, but these people "represent" me to the main stream public as well, and for once I'd like to see the gay community embrace decency instead of people such as Michael Lucas (whom I had to share a float with on my last and final gay pride March in NYC in March '04) and Matthew Rush. These people are NOT gay icons in my book...

    Posted by: Cory | Aug 29, 2006 10:39:43 AM

  3. Hey Cory while I'm no shining example of gaydom. I do agree with you. and as for Boruch Gorin isn't he just blaming the victim. The same rhetoric is used by the suicide bombers.

    Posted by: ousslander | Aug 29, 2006 10:44:08 AM

  4. "Lucas, 34, was born Andrei Treivas in Russia and prior to arriving in the States studied law in Moscow."

    LAW? No, he "studied" a particular lawYER who helped get him a visa to get OUT of Russia!

    "After releasing law wasn't for him, he became a fashion model before setting up his gay adult entertainment company in 1998."

    "Fashion model" = HOOKER! He never modeled professionally.

    Posted by: Cable Guy | Aug 29, 2006 10:46:22 AM

  5. Straight porn stars are lauded just as much as gay ones... Jenna Jameson, Ron Jeremy, John Holmes... the list goes on. So while I understand that some folks might not feel comfortable being represented by people in that industry, it is worth remembering that we're represented far more publicly and more frequently by people from less controversial professions. I doubt we'll see Michael Lucas speaking for the gay community on CNN any time soon, so let's not get too upset about the porn folks.

    Posted by: Brian | Aug 29, 2006 10:54:26 AM

  6. Likewise I'm planning to visit Fire Island one last time this summer to show my support and perhaps reconcile the rift between the Pines and the Grove.

    Posted by: rod | Aug 29, 2006 10:59:05 AM

  7. I can't decide which is more disturbing:

    A. The fourth paragraph where they say, in effect, don't have this parade because one of our wacky friends might stab you like last time and that would be, you know, tragic.

    B. Michael Lucas as goodwill ambassador

    Posted by: John T | Aug 29, 2006 11:07:12 AM

  8. Michael Lucas also has a whole lotta foreskin for a case it matters.

    Posted by: Seangstm | Aug 29, 2006 11:13:05 AM

  9. Some of the comments on the Michael Lukas blog are alarming, particularing the one by "Christ on the Cross", in the 8/21/2006 post on "Israel a controversial trip". To me it sounds like the author is convinced that all Muslims are deceptive by their very nature and seek to dominate all facets of life. It sounds really hysterical and extreme, I wonder if there are a lot of gay people who feel this way about Muslims in general. I think Muslims and Christians are very similar in their different levels of belief and practice; although there might be a strictly higher percentage of heavy practitioners within Islam and more relaxed in Christianity... I like my muslim friends who, like other rational people, consult logic before dogma.

    Posted by: Scott A | Aug 29, 2006 11:20:02 AM

  10. Russian Jews often did not get circumcised because of the unwanted attention it brought them in school/army.

    Also, since when is NYC gay pride in March?

    Posted by: jmg | Aug 29, 2006 11:23:29 AM

  11. This Lucas character is a joke. He's well known in NYC as being nothing less than a sleazy opportunist. This latest publicity stunt demonstrates this.

    If he really wants to show his concern, maybe he can start contributing 50% of his company's profits to some truly worthy causes.

    Such a scam artist!

    Posted by: Martie | Aug 29, 2006 11:24:37 AM

  12. Fashion model? Michael Lucas? Yeah, me too!

    Posted by: Steve | Aug 29, 2006 11:28:52 AM

  13. right on, cory!

    Posted by: jon luddite | Aug 29, 2006 11:34:33 AM

  14. Cory, I completely understand where you're coming from. I'm 21, and when I came out I felt it necessary to stress to my family and friends that the gay culture they watch on TV is not representative of a large chunk of gay Americans.
    It's sad to say, but it doesn't really surprise me that so many homophobes resent gays because of the culture. Maybe these "Gay Pride" parades should be renamed to "Gay Porn" parades. Just a thought of mine.

    Posted by: Shorty | Aug 29, 2006 11:54:25 AM

  15. Jeez, it sounds like people don't like Michael Lucas much. But even if he is a sleazy opportunist and conceited asshole in person, that really doesn't matter. I likely won't ever meet Michael Lucas either socially or professionally, so it really doesn't matter whether or not he's a prick. Maybe an unexpected benefit to his trip to Israel would be to show the religious fascists that a parade isn't really all that terrible when confronted with a choice between a parade and a poolside double penetration scene.

    Posted by: Brian | Aug 29, 2006 12:01:39 PM

  16. The older I get, the less often I feel it necessary to remind straight people that the media's portrayal of gay culture (whatever that is) doesn't necessarily reflect the reality of my life.

    Posted by: Brian | Aug 29, 2006 12:05:55 PM

  17. Man, if I had a nickel for every time I've said "Yes, I produce gay porn..."

    Posted by: david | Aug 29, 2006 12:10:54 PM

  18. "whom I had to share a float with on my last and final gay pride March in NYC in March '04"

    Oooops, got carried away on my little tanget. What I meant to say was "on my last and final gay pride march in NYC in June '04" ... I was asked on the HX float that year. What I didn't know was we had to wear nothing but fig leaves as it was a "Garden of Eden" theme. After a few drinks I eased into my "costume". The irony was having Michael Lucas on the Garden of Eden float. If I recall correctly, at one point towards the end he flashed his (apparently large) penis at the crowd. If only my Mother saw he then, she would have been so proud lol. I was horrified. My truly first and last attendance. Oh well, worst things have happened =)...

    Posted by: Cory | Aug 29, 2006 12:28:13 PM

  19. Straight porn stars are lauded just as much as gay ones... Jenna Jameson, Ron Jeremy, John Holmes

    Brian, while I agree with your statement to some extent, the straight community does not have to celebrate it's "heterosexuality" to the main stream public in Pride Parades nor does it have it's heterosexuality celebrated and shown to the main stream public by "spokesmen" such as Michael Lucas and Matthew Rush. Yes, straight porn stars exist, however they are mostly touted privately by straight men, not at 11 a.m. on a Sunday morning. I realize porn stars exist in both communities, however the gay community seems to have taken a liking to "its" porn celebrities as if they were Joan of Arc or Mother Teresa, which is precisely my point with Michael Lucas going to Mother Russia,as a seemingly gay spokesman, causing a publicized controversy to be even more controversial, =).

    Posted by: Cory | Aug 29, 2006 12:46:25 PM

  20. Cory,

    Lucas is not going as a "spokesperson." He's going as himself. And like Brian said if straight folk can't make distinctions between gay men (some of us are porn stars while others guys who live in the burbs and watch football games) that's their problem. Not mine.


    Posted by: James | Aug 29, 2006 1:02:53 PM

  21. Well, I gotta speak up here because I'm friends with a few guys who work in the porn industry. I can certainly understand why some people would be upset or embarrassed to have porn stars in the news or atop a Pride Parade float; but, the thing is, I do not decide how I should feel about myself based on what my mother would think depending on what she saw or didn't see at 11am on a Sunday morning. If we start telling certain segments of our population that they are acceptable to be "seen" and others are not, well, then we're heading right down that slippery slope, aren't we? Pride parades are for EVERYONE and instead of staying home and spending his money on drugs, if a porn star decides he wants to fly to Israel to perform and get some attention for himself, then god bless American capitalism.

    Posted by: J.C. | Aug 29, 2006 1:11:43 PM

  22. While I don't agree exactly with everything you wrote, thank you Cory for having the courage to express the overall opinion that I totally agree with. And, sorry, Brian, but your statement, "Straight porn stars are lauded just as much as gay ones... Jenna Jameson, Ron Jeremy, John Holmes..." doesn't address the core point. I don't recall ever hearing of any straight porn stars riding floats in the Rose Bowl parade, or Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, or fill in the blank. It's not just our Mamas [most of whom eventually learn that there are all kinds of us], but for decades the religious nuts have used videos and still photos they've taken of our sanctioned public excesses against us. Just one example, in a suburb of San Francisco years ago video tapes of SF "Pride" appeared on hundreds of doorsteps the morning the local gay rights ordinance was up for repeal. The ordinance went down in flames [though, thankfully, revived years later]. One of the ways Jerry Falwell regularly replenishes his bank account is to send mailings with such pictures. Why, nearly 4 decades after Stonewall, are so many of us still reacting to our earlier erotic oppression with childish gluttony? Confuse liberty with license? "Porn" certainly has its place, starting with my DVD player, but it ain't riding a float or going to Israel to entertain the troops.

    Posted by: Leland | Aug 29, 2006 1:13:14 PM

  23. I've searched and searched. Driven my RE/MAX agent crazy, and she still can't tell me where all of these biospheres are in which so many gays claim to live immune to what's happening in the outside world. But she heard a rumor it's very close to Sunnybrook Farm. Anyone have Rebecca's cell number? "It's not a place you can get to by a boat or a train. But far, far away. Behind the moon. Beyond the rain....."

    Posted by: Tagg | Aug 29, 2006 2:04:57 PM

  24. "We believe sexual manifestation, be it traditional or not, to be inappropriate in any city of the world, while in Jerusalem, the city that is holy also for Judaism, this is a scandalous blasphemy."

    Then ban all marriage and make it criminal for straight couples to hold hands or kiss in public. Also desexualize the words "wife" and "husband" by replacing them with "partner."

    "The tragic results of the last action’ when an Orthodox Jew attacked its participants with a knife is another reason why the city authorities should bar such actions."

    I >heart< blaming the victim.

    Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 29, 2006 2:09:20 PM

  25. Leland -

    "I don't recall ever hearing of any straight porn stars riding floats in the Rose Bowl parade"

    LOL... point taken. But I, for one, would make a point of watching the Rose Bowl parade if the floats were festooned with porn stars. I think many other people, straight and gay alike, would do the same. But I think the decision as to whether or not porn stars (or any other sexy go-go boys) are appropriate on a parade float depends on who sponsored the float... if it's sponsored by a porn shop or a bar or club, then fine. If it's sponsored by PFLAG or the United Church of Christ, then perhaps not.

    And regarding Jerry Falwell, that argument has been made for many years and is kinda tired. I think that pretending we're all conservative suburbanites is silly, and won't do a single thing to appease Falwell and his supporters. Frankly, very little will change the minds of people who support bigots like Jerry Falwell.

    Posted by: Brian | Aug 29, 2006 2:12:43 PM

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