Menu

InstagramTwitterYouTubeFacebookSnapchat
Globe Icon
Join and support LGBT+ journalism

Join

and support
LGBT+ journalism

Current Affairs

This trans woman got some serious hate when she left Hasidism behind

Joseph McCormick November 19, 2015
Abby Stein used to be an ultra-Orthodox Rabbi

Abby Stein used to be an ultra-Orthodox Rabbi (Photo from Abby Stein/Facebook)

After leaving her Hasidic roots behind, this trans woman got some awful hate directed at her.

Abby Stein, a second year student at Columbia University announced that she was leaving her Hasidic dynasty behind, and that she would transition into a woman.

The ultra-Orthodox community she left behind in Williamsburg directed some hatred towards her, but she says she is happy to have told her story and brought attention to trans issues.

AbbyStein

Stein shared photos documenting her transition and wrote on her blog: “In the community that I was raised in, Trans did not exist, neither was it ever discussed,”the 24-year-old writes in her blog.

“I was therefore convinced that I have to be crazy, and that I have to get this ‘stupidity’ of feeling like a girl, out of my head.”

Some said Stein has “royal blood’ because she is the great grandchild of Rabbi Mordechai Stein.

She told the New York Post that the results of her transition have been “amazing”.

“The road is long, but with the support of some amazing friends and professionals, for the first time in my life I feel like I am getting to be my real self,” she wrote on her blog.

However her story is not all happy. She came out to her father recently, and says she has not heard from him since.

“I think right now it’s shock more than anything,” Stein told The Post. “He doesn’t know what to do.”

Writing on social media, some voiced criticism. One person wrote: “And family is nothing?

“The lowest scum of earth live with deficiencies with lifelong pain not to hurt their family. I saw your father today in synagogue, he is going to die of the shame you have caused him.”

The person continues: “No human in the world puts his pleasure in front of the pain of his loved ones. What kind of animal are you?”

Another person added: “It’s all the devil, the evil inclination that says there is such a thing a man can be born in the wrong body.”

Stein says she was prepared to receive a negative backlash after telling her story.

“My main goal is to get people to talk about it,” she told the Post. “I don’t care how hateful the reaction might be within the Orthodox community.”

Of the community, she said she thought many didn’t understand trans issues at all, and were in denial.

“For most of them, they don’t even know what this is, they have no context for it,” she said.

She hopes other transgender teenagers within the Orthodox community will be inspired by her story.

According to Stein, 17 people from within the Orthodox community have contacted her to say they were struggling.

She says she could not have come out or been true to herself until she left.

Originally married, and with one son, Stein spoke of her “sheltered” upbringing, originally believing as a teenager that most of the world was Jewish and that most of the Jews were ultra-Orthodox.

She was never allowed to use a television, the internet or watch films/

While she is currently raising money for her own transition, Stein said her “main goal is to raise awareness for trans people within the ultra-Orthodox community.”

She said: “It’s been totally ignored until now.”

 

More: Jewish, Judaism, ultra orthodox, US

Click to comment

Swipe sideways to view more posts!

Dismiss

Loading ...

Close icon