As October moves on into November, we move from LGBT Month into Trans Awareness Month, culminating in Transgender Day of Remembrance. (You can find much more about Trans Day of Remembrance in our Jewish Guide to Marking Transgender Day of Remembrance.) Check out this series of videos of transgender Jews and allies created as part of the “I AM: Trans People Speak” project. We’re grateful to Keshet members Alex, David, Stacy, Stephanie, and Suzie for sharing their lives with us and to the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition for this project.
“Eventually, [my job] became unbearable because the senior staff were making my life miserable because I was open about being transgender. So even somebody like myself, with all these credentials and all this training and all this experience — still gets discriminated against. I can’t reach my full potential, because of other people’s discrimination against me. [Judaism] connects me throughout the generations, with people all over the world. …Being Jewish has helped me in dealing with being transgender.”
“I don’t live my life compartmentalized, so my community is the Jewish community, my community is the queer community, my community is the overlap of those two, so who I am is the sum of all of those parts.
I try to be an ally to the trans community in part because as a gay man, I think it’s easy to think that I need the whole world to be my ally, and to forget that I have certain privileges I can use to make the world better for everyone in the queer community. … Something I hear in a lot of Jewish communities is that we’re totally willing to be inclusive and welcoming of trans people, but we don’t have any in our community, so we don’t want to put in the effort. …If you really want to be welcoming, you have to be ready when someone walks through the door.”
“I’m Jewish, I was born Jewish, I was raised in a Jewish home, a kosher home, a fairly religious home. It’s been part of me my entire life, it’s just who I am, and I don’t want to give up on that just because I transitioned, and I shouldn’t have to. …I want my religious community to accept me for who I really am, accept me for the woman that I really am.”