Davi Cheng

Davi Cheng pictured above


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Which one of these just doesn't belong?


By Davi Cheng
Published: June 5, 2011

"One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong..." know that catchy tune from Sesame Street? That children's game where you point out the object that doesn't belong in a group? Have you ever felt like you are the "object" that doesn't belong? I have.

I am a Hong Kong born Chinese immigrant, a Jew, and a lesbian. At times I am too Chinese to fit in with my American friends, or I am too American to fit in with my Chinese friends, now I'm just too gay to the Chinese, and too Chinese to the Jews! One way to look at this, is that I don't fit in anywhere, the other way to see it is that I belong to multiple communities and can serve as a connector to the differences.

I think that all of us, at one time or another, struggle to find ourselves. Whether it is dealing with being Jewish, or being straight, or being queer, it doesn't matter what it is. It could be a gender issue, or it could be expectations from a certain profession, or being tall, being short, or you fill in the blank. Some identities we are born with, others we acquire later in life, some are forced upon us by society, or by uncontrollable circumstances, or we create them ourselves. But most importantly, we are all created B'tzelem Elohim - "in God's image", we are all uniquely the same.

I feel blessed because I did find a home, a community, a place where I can express my true self at congregation Beth Chayim Chadshim (BCC), the world's first LGBT synagogue established in 1972 to serve with vision and values of equality, fairness and inclusiveness. Let me share with you a blessing we say every week:

Dear God,
In whatever way it comes into our lives,
We give thanks for the blessing of family.

And for our children:
May you be who you are.
May you be blessed in all that you are.

And for all of us:
May we be who we say we are.

Shall we play another Children's game? Where is Waldo. The game where you point out a unique individual blending in with everyone?

Davi Cheng
is the Past President and current Ritual Chair of congregation Beth Chayim Chad shim (BCC) in Los Angeles. Davi designed and helped create the stained glass windows and Ner Tamid of her synagogue, she is also involved with the URJ West District and Be'chol Lashon's International Jewish communities.


Originally published here: