“… let me remind you: bigotry against minority groups based on sexual orientation or gender identity, such as the trans community, is a way fascism takes root.”
~ by Robert Reich, The Guardian 4/30/23
Hirschfeld would have been delighted by the progress
As a pioneer in Weimar Berlin, Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld explored the limits of what he then referred to as transsexuality. His work documented substantial progress in the identification of diversity of behaviors among Trans people. His efforts to enhance Trans’ social acceptability were commendable and well-accepted. His Institut fuer Sexual Wissenschaft (Institute for Sexual Research) succeeded in initiating viable sex-change strategies and offered a range of comprehensive educational and therapeutic services to their patients. This enlightened approach to a taboo topic made historic progress in 1920s Berlin. Nazi exclusionary edicts abruptly terminated it, with tragic conclusion.
Continue reading Reliving Transgender History Part II – by Rafaela Amrita Crevoshay
The theme for this month’s edition: what gender related issues should be addressed and how can they evolve productively? Let’s up the ante. What gender related issues must be addressed? Here’s one: transgender women in sports.
Oh that all equity conflicts could be resolved simply by mouthing diversity clichés. Not this one. With regard to this perplexing issue, two pro-diversity camps have gone to war. Probable allies on most equity concerns, these two camps have dug in their heels, often engaging in hyper-accusatory rhetoric in what has become known as the TERF wars.
TERF stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminists. That term is used derogatorily by trans activists when referring to feminists who are perceived as not fully and unconditionally accepting trans women into their ranks. Targets include TERF lesbians, revealing an LGBTQ split over this issue. Continue reading Diversity and Speech Part 19: The Gendered Sports Dilemma – by Carlos E. Cortés
As my 65th birthday approached my transgender personality had become desperate and demanded attention. Decades of self-deception did not bury my feminine self. She had in fact grown, despite isolation, neglect, and denial. I discovered a private dressing room, a place to give her a chance to breathe. I sought the aid of a therapist. Though I believed that I already had the answer, I asked whether I was, in her professional opinion, truly a transgender person. A dozen sessions later she affirmed my suspicion. Indeed I was transgender.
For decades my family had attended an orthodox synagogue. It was an exercise in cognitive dissonance for my hidden identity. Leviticus was at best conflicted about gender. I saw no possibility for reconciliation for Transgender vs. Judaism. Shortly after my therapist confirmed my identity, I heard breaking transgender news that stole my attention.
Continue reading Transgender Jews: Intersectional Study Part 2 – by R. A. Crevoshay
At the tender age of 70, I have come out to the world as a transgender woman. Plagued by intractable anxiety and preoccupied with all things feminine I was surprised by the inescapable intersectionality conferred upon me involuntarily – that not only am I transgender, but I am a transgender Jew.
Judaism always seemed the right fit for me. Its implicit refutation of our dominant theology appealed to me. Personified by modern folk heroes like Einstein, Dylan (Zimmerman), and Koufax, it seduced me with inspiration. With teleological certitude Jewish Messianism offers the promise of a just revolution in our time and a profound endorsement of the counter-cultural impulse. It encouraged our rage against Nazis. It made us as one with all of America’s rejected minorities from the original Native Americans to the most recently-arrived Syrian refugees.
I embrace this rare classification with enthusiasm. I’ve discovered that transgender Jewry features an elite element that could not possibly include me. Or could it?
Continue reading Transgender Jews: An Intersectional Study Part 1 – by R. A. Crevoshay