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Trans male – question about being in Jewish spaces


I’m a Jewish trans man. I was raised reconstructionist but gravitated more towards orthodox spaces in high school and have been an active member of the Chabad on my campus during my four years at college.

I started transitioning a few years ago and I pass as male to new people I meet most of the time. I will probably continue to look more and more masculine as time passes and I intend to live my life in all meaningful ways as male. I haven’t had a conversation about my transition with the rabbi at the Chabad near me, though I am sure he would be kind and supportive. He sees and treats me as female.

Though I imagine I will eventually find a conservative synagogue to join, I am sure that after I graduate this year, I will find a Chabad wherever I move to and will connect with that community first. I have loved my time with Chabad and it is a big part of why I have found Jewish community in my life.

My question is about the ethics of presenting myself as male in spaces where that decision will impact the behaviors of others, particularly in spaces like Chabad ones where they may assume I am biologically male and will treat me as such. I hate the idea of having to disclose that I am trans, but it also worries me that a Chabad rabbi (for example) might shake my hand when he otherwise would choose not to, or include me in a minyan, or so forth.

Of course – I see myself as a man and as such feel I should count in a minyan (for example), but part of me worries I would be misleading individuals who would choose to act differently were they to know. I feel torn between the idea that I am male and should get to live that way without caveat or explanation wherever I am, and the understanding that not sharing that information could be seen as a form of deception.

I’m looking for advice on how to approach this issue in Orthodox spaces, as I don’t expect it to come up the same way in conservative communities or elsewhere.

submitted by /u/lucky21s
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Source: Reditt