Transgender Jews have moved from the twilight into the spotlight, and whether gender variance has in fact always been a theme in Judaism.
The British summer may have been a wash out, but it’s certainly made me watch a lot of catch-up TV: Laverne Cox in Orange is the New Black, Caitlyn Jenner’s I am Cait , and – not to forget – Britain’s Boy meets Girl played by trans-actress Rebecca Roots (the first time a UK trans actor is in a trans role!).
The Big ‘T’ has found its way into media mainstream. Trans is trending. The’ T’ Word is out there, and change is in the air. The UK Parliament is currently running a trans inquiry enabling changes to the current legislation; Britain’s largest LGB campaigning organisation Stonewall has finally decided to become trans-inclusive.
The gender discourse appears to have made a quantum leap since my last blog in spring and definitely since I came out as trans publicly last year. The world is certainly a different place to what it was like when I came out as ‘gay’ 30 years ago. The word ‘ trans’ was more likely associated with intercontinental travel and fatty acids.
Today, as an out and proud transgender Jew, all this trans-trending should make me feel ecstatically happy. And it does for the most part. Yet, something’s nagging me. Do I, as a trans Jew, feel really included in Jewish community life? Where do I fit into Jewish tradition? Have trans Jews always been there? Where do we go from here?