Upon the release of her new memoir, Underdog: Confessions of a Right-Wing Gay Jewish Muckraker, Sue-Ann Levy shared some of her views on politics and Judaism with Canadian Jewish News.
“I’m a Zionist,” Sue Ann Levy says. “I’ve taken on fighting anti-Semitism. I also fought to get QuAIA out of the Toronto Pride Parade. And I should note that when I write about anything gay, I never get the kind of pushback as when I write about anti-Semitism, BDS [the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel] or Holocaust denial. Then I get all kinds of hate mail. I’m very proud of being Jewish and of my ties to Israel.”
You’re sensitive to anti-Semitism and presumably homophobia. Do you see Islamophobia as an issue?
I see the potential for it to be an issue, but I think people are going overboard about political correctness. For example, [Toronto] Mayor John Tory just gave $90,000 for this campaign to tell people not to say nasty things about Syrian refugees, as though we can’t be trusted to respectful of people. They put ads up in bus shelters. I find that repugnant. You don’t see ads in bus shelters about anti-Semitism on the rise.
What made you stay in the closet for so many years?
I came from a very traditional, patriarchal family. My grandfather was a successful entrepreneur who owned a chain of grocery stores in Hamilton. I felt he didn’t approve. When I came to the Sun in 1989, I thought it would be career-limiting, but things have changed considerably. The Sun has evolved.