What would life be like for a poor, Jewish, lesbian girl and her Italian lover at New York City in the 1910's?

So, I'm playing this AWESOME game about US history and Lena is one of the characters you can play. I chose her and from the moment she started to talk, I wanted to give her a high five. She's awesome. She works for a sweatshop, then a factory (Asch Building! I hope she survives) & takes English classes in somewhere near her house and she met a fellow worker there, Rosa. She's an Italian girl with dark red hair and has the most beautiful accent in the world. If I was writing the game, Lena would be falling for her. This got me thinking, what would happen if this actually happened and they fell in love? What if they came out? What if they kept it a secret? What would life be like for them? I know Lena is expected to find a husband, and I made her agree to go to a dance with a boy called Zev too. Maybe she's bisexual like me, hehe. I don't really regret going to the dance, but she could go to the feminist meeting (first-wave feminism!) and do something more useful. Wait... I'm ranting. Sorry!

Updates:
They're making her work on Saturday. Grr

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Most Helpful Guy

  • As a Jewish lesbian she's essentially out of the Jewish foodchain because poor Jews around this time were working their hardest in white, Christian countries to give their children better lives. It takes a few generations but I'd say right after WWII being a Jew suddenly becomes very sweet.

    Really I'd imagine life would be quite shitty for her, she's basically attacked from all sides, homophobia and the like and won't even get a chance to pass on her genes.

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What Guys Said 3

  • I think her life would have sucked... t he whole world was antisemitic back then, I don't even thin the majority of (straight) people knew homosexuality was a thing, if they did, you were certainly possess or mentally insane. On top of that she is an immigrant in a city far too full of them at the time, likely just learning English with little to no family around.

    i would say it can't get much wore than that!

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    • She has a family. She lives with her brother who came to the US before her, her sister-in-law & her nephew and baby niece. She's also saving up to buy tickets for her parents who are in Minsk, but I don't think she's going to make it.

  • Everyone would be wondering why they weren't married (to men, obv)

    People might think they were suffragettes and radicals. When the US entered the war in 1917 it would probably make things easier for them.

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  • haha.. sounds like you got into it, highlights a few social issues that still exist today as well

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    • I totally got into it. Her storyline is very long and I have 3 more characters to play as well. An Indian boy, a white boy during the Revolutionary war and an African slave girl. I LOVE this.

What Girls Said 1

  • Well, you could be arrested for homosexuality in the 1910's, so she probably wouldn't be able to come out safely. There was also quite a bit of antisemitism around that time as many people held resentment towards the Jewish people for WW1. What's the game called btw? Sounds interesting :)

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