Orthodox Jewish Grandmother Championed by G&L Chamber

by Eats & Beats
03.31.2011


Good job mom! Who would have figured when I was a kid growing up in suburbia, that my mom (from an Orthodox Jewish family) would be honored by The Miami Dade Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (or any gay and lesbian chamber of commerce for that matter)? My dad, mom, brother, sister, and I were all straight and none of us had gay friends or relatives. My old-school European dad, in fact used to actually make jokes about “faygelahs” (fags or fairies) in Yiddish, if he met an extremely effeminate man, but never in a hateful way. Having had 59 members of his own family murdered by the Nazis, part of the murder of six million Jews known as the Holocaust, he would never advocate discrimination, hate, or violence against any human being based on religion, color, or sexual preference. Many people don’t know it, but in addition to murdering millions of Jews, Hitler murdered tens of thousands of homosexuals.


Pictured above: Ivan and his mother Naomi with the mayor of Miami Beach.


The LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community picked my mom, Naomi Wilzig, as Business Leader of the Year because she defends their community any time she gets the opportunity and proudly displays gay art in her World Erotic Art Museum (W.E.A.M) even though some politicians, landlords and members of the community have been hostile to her because of it. She stood up to them all, and now the museum has entered its’ 6th year as a cultural institution in South Beach. Four hundred people in the Miami Downtown Hilton ballroom cheered her on as she accepted the award. The food and silent auction were all great! I was lucky the theme was purple because I got to break out my purple Peaceman Cape for the occasion. Mom, you looked like a royal diva in purple too! I’m very proud of what you have accomplished.

Pictured above: Ivan and his mother Naomi.


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