“The Diary of Menorah Horwitz” by Menorah Horwitz— Gender, Judaism and Nail Polish

Horwitz, Menorah. “The Diary of Menorah Horwitz”, Floating World Comics, 2017.

Gender, Judaism and Nail Polish

Amos Lassen

What do you mean that you have never heard of Menorah Horwitz? Neither had I until I read this book and I have since learned that she is the drag alter ego of Portland based artist Michael Horwitz who was named as “A Queer to Watch ” by Advocate.com in 2015.. Michael Horwitz is a shy 29 year-old gay illustrator who combines Judaism and a love of drag in “all the wrong ways when he becomes Menorah”. When he performs, he dresses in “a puke colored school-girl’s uniform, stripper heels, and nails made from burning candles taped to his fingers” as he Michael Portland’s queer and punk party scene, one bad lip synch at a time. He falls in with drug happy club kids, hot tempered local divas, and some of the world’s most famous drag queens (sometimes disastrously)—all while waking up at 6 am the next morning to bag groceries”. Things change when Michael realizes that “Menorah isn’t a persona but a suggestion of the person he’s always wanted to be. What began as an imitation of someone famous for speaking their truth becomes a transition into his—or rather her—authentic self”. Menorah’s diary is an autobiographical comedy about finding one’s authentic self in the artificial world of drag, a first person account of gender transitioning and an exploration of traditional Jewish identity intersecting with new gender norms.



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