Growing up my synagogue had a really awesome summer camp. A 9 year old boy named Josh Maduell sang She loves you by the beatles.
A rabbi named Michael Adam Latz gave a sermon on the importance of MiChamocha (Who is like you Eternal G-d)
A year later Josh who was now 10 had a counselor named Abel who introduced Josh to me. What Abel didn’t know is at home, I was dealing with a very dysfunctional family. My parents tried to love both my brother and myself equally but my brother has used me as a punching bag my entire life.
At 12, Josh and I became co counselors for the synagogue’s day camp. I told him I had Asperger’s and now it’s a life long friendship. Unfortunately that summer ended quickly but not before I set the bar pretty high by telling Josh that I have Asperger Syndrome. Our mutual bonding point before that was our mutual love for Harry Potter and all things geek. Little did we realize the author was sucker punching us and promoting transphobia
The next 11 years go by but there are a few crucial moments of my life. Matt recruited Josh for the B’nai Brith Youth Organization. Josh didn’t hang around my brother that often but when he did, he knew how dangerous he was and to be related to your biggest bully is an embarrassment.
Here are the things that happened in the 11 year jump. Well obviously my parents divorce was probably the biggest kick in the teeth but I could sense it coming since even in my senior year. It caused me to have panic attacks.
I adopted Fuzzy, a pomchi as a 20th birthday present. Fuzzy was a nerd with a napoleon complex. He loved me for all my autistic interests. He was also the funniest son of a bitch alive! When he was searching for food, I swear we heard him oink. When it was time for a walk, Fuzzy would swagger.
It was clear that Fuzzy didn’t like fish. I had to brush his teeth with salmon toothpaste he would stick his tongue to his button nose and stick his butt in the air and moon me.
Of course there was Bath time…
I was clearly the lesser of two evils after that bath! Fuzzy was a birthday present from my mom and he once jumped into the front seat and put his paws on the steering wheel. In his own little way, Fuzzy was hinting at my friends Katie, Jenna and Tammy. The magnum opus of my memories of my memories of him is when I was taking a shower and he wanted a walk. Somehow and some way he played stow away into the bathroom and saw me completely naked.
After a breakup, Fuzzy knew I was sad. So he massaged me and fell asleep on my butt. A month later, Fuzzy died of a seizure. That summer I met an ex, Tammy Roland and Katie Elokhina. I also saw something that crushed my inner 9 year old’s heart.
Tammy Roland is a woman in South Carolina with Anxiety and cerebral palsy. She’s very shy and has requested me to walk her down the aisle in lieu of her father who also passed away in 2010 to lung cancer, he was 56. She’s engaged. The groom has requested my cooking and comedy, the bride has requested me to walk her down the aisle. The date for this wedding is unknown and I’ve never received such an honor.
Fuzzy died of a seizure on February 11, 2010 and 6 months later on Facebook I met Katie Elokhina too.
On August 22nd 2010, The friendship between Sam Kanter and Katie Elokhina began but back then she was still single. As I have been the target for bullies, 3 days later my inner 9 year old was crushed. David Yost who played Billy the Blue Power Ranger revealed why he left.
Now growing up the power rangers were the biggest thing since Michael Jackson and I won over someone on my birthright tour with how much I know. When I got back to the states I received toxicity within the director and while I graduated the same year as Emma Watson, me with an associate’s and her in English Literature at Brown.
During the quarter I was supposed to graduate, a former friend named Michael Ahlrep told me he was Gay. At the time I told him I didn’t care because even though we had fights, we always made up but over the friendship he showed his true colors once I met Nelson Amador.
Nelson has the most infectious laugh and he always looked up to me. The summer we met he revealed he was a huge power rangers fan when he was little and even though we disagree politically we agreed never to discuss politics but he agreed to understand the Jewish culture through food and our customs.
In September 2012 the director scheduled an event on Rosh Hashannah the Jewish new year and the director threatened to fire me if I didn’t show up to the event. It took a lot of my energy to prevent from swearing and getting angry but my mom just said to show up anyway.
A month later I moved out on my own and that December my dad asked me to take my younger brother in. Nelson has noticed that my brother and I don’t get along to save our skins. When I was living with him, he found that I had not had sex and did what is called Virgin Shaming. Virgin Shaming is when you find out where someone has not had sex before.
2013 was my junior year of college and Mike and I had another fight that was because I wanted to get more involved with leadership on the main campus and not just my degree. Mike is highly functioning autistic and mainly has German ancestry and after doing a DNA test 20% Jewish. Nelson and I were friends and Mike would question the way Nelson would talk. What does that even mean? “The way he talks.” Do Gay men think about fashion and musicals all the time? No!
Throughout my friendship with Mike, things got downhill once Nelson showed up. Nelson and I had our gym classes together during my degree and Nelson witnessed a presentation I did.
In my day to day life I describe myself as the joker but as the hero rather than the villain. When I graduated the director spotted me 3 times and as tempted as I was to swear I just kept saying leave me alone but she never listened. Her she actually received a villain name so offensive, I gave it to her because she had German ancestry and was Aryan looking.
In Passover 2016, Alexandra Olson committed suicide and Mike didn’t give a damn and Nelson came to give me a hug. That summer Nelson became more than just a close friend, he became a brother.
Nelson has tried my cooking several times and we went to Archie McPhee, a local Seattle joke shop and for Thai food. What impresses Nelson the most is my resilience but our friendship and sense of humor hasn’t changed just because I’m a Jewish Bisexual but because of the stuff I know that came from Japan.
Because love and laughter was all around my family growing up, I was able to comfortably talk about death of loved ones with both Nelson AND Josh. The difference is, I have a healthy set of boundaries prior to coming out. More likely than not, I’m liable to fall for a woman. If I had a boyfriend I know it wouldn’t be the end of the world.
8 times out of 10 I’m liable to fall for a woman. After I was pressured into sex and my last girlfriend wanted sex, I knew telling my family was of the utmost importance after interviewing my cousin. Coming out as Bi wasn’t easy because you have celebrities like Marlon Brando and Alec Guiness. Do I want to have sex? Yes but when I am comfortable.
If I have a girlfriend they have to respect that one thing I love to do is donate blood. The girlfriend has to be as geeky and nerdy as I am. Sex has to be earned and not forced into. If I have a boyfriend, as I said it wouldn’t be the end of the world.
If I have a boyfriend, they have to realize donating blood is something I enjoyed when I thought I was straight. Because I was pressured for sex twice, this is how I know I’m bi. I’ve been taken advantage of by gay men and by women and it took me a few months to come clean to my family. At 31 I’m still young and even though 2 of my 3 high school friends are married I have 3 rules for whomever wants to go that extra mile into marriage.
- Rabbi Michael Latz has been my hero since my Bar Mitzvah, so a Jewish wedding is possible
- I’m a foodie which means all foods of the world represented and we can agree on the cake but I’m a cheesecake or pie is my vote
- The theme of the wedding must be mutual
I do NOT have a crush on Josh! Josh and I have been friends for 15 years. He’s witnessed abuse via my brother 2nd hand. My brother and I will never get along and Josh has met Nelson. Josh is my brother through Judaism because even though we aren’t the most religious, when Nelson had his first bowl of Matzoh Ball Soup at a mall, he became unofficially Jewish. Since Josh saw my stand-up from my college days, here’s the standup from high school:
Another recipe is under way! Stay safe!