--written by a member of the LGBTQ Chabad support group--
I am a transgender boy.
I’ve known I’m transgender for about two years now, when I first found out that transgender people actually exist. This brought great relief at first because I finally had a word to describe my feelings but it also another layer of stress to my life due to me realizing that I will probably never be accepted by my family if I choose to come out and start presenting more masculine.
Over the past year my dysphoria – the feeling of disconnect between how you want your body to look like and how it actually looks – became worse and my increasing depression only exacerbated it. It was around this time that I came out to my two closest friends and asked them to start referring me to with my chosen name. This helped relieve some of my depression and I am so grateful to have friends who accept me totally and without them I probably would not be here typing this out.
To help with my dysphoria, I gradually started cutting my very long hair shorter and shorter, until I ended up with my current haircut that I still get a lot of flack for because it is a typically male haircut and I unfortunately still have to appear feminine for safety reasons. I also own several binders which I wear often to help diminish the size of my chest until I can get top surgery. I try to wear pants as often as possible and dress as masculine as I can.
I am currently in a all-girls school and every time the class is referred to collectively as “girls” or “ladies”, it feels like I’m getting stabbed in the heart. There is nothing I can do about it without coming close to outing myself. The teachers often make transphobic and cissexist comments and it takes everything I have not to scream out and show them how wrong they are. The worst part of it is how often it is drilled into us that getting married and having tons of children is the correct path and the only long term plan we should consider when that is not at all what I want to do and doesn’t even apply to me as a boy. I have become disillusioned with traditional Judaism, and no longer believe in God.
I plan to start taking testosterone and change my legal name either by the end of 2016 or the beginning of 2017. I don’t know how my family or my friends that I’m not out to will react, but I’m hoping that they will be accepting and not shun me right away. Meeting other non-binary and trans people through the LGBTQ Chabad private support group has shown me that being trans and Jewish doesn’t have to be a contradiction. The group has also introduced me to a whole spectrum of people and changed my view on LGBT+ issues in many ways.
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