In December 2017, the Social Justice Core Committee announced that our first (but far from last!) Justice Initiative is focused on Gender Identity and Expression. At the
- Gender Identity and Expression
- LGBTQ Awareness
Birth Certificates - Effective February 1, 2019, NJ Birth Certificates will allow "Male, Female and Undesignated/Nonbinary" and people will be allowed to amend their existing birth certificates to reflect their gender identity. Click here to read the article.
Transgender Youth at Risk -
Right to transition in Jail- a transgender veteran’s story is an exploration of medical ethics and the criminal justice system.
- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which was conducted in 10 states. The Study found that while nearly 2% of U.S. high school students identify as transgender, 35% attempted suicide. It also found that 27% of the students who identified as transgender felt unsafe at school or traveling to and from campus, and 35% said they were bullied. In a recent article in The Washington Post, Amit Paley, chief executive and executive director of the Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ youth, called the report “groundbreaking” and told The Washington Post that the Trump administration has rolled back Obama-era rules aimed at protecting members of the LGBTQ community in areas such as health and education. In 2017, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos revoked guidelines that allowed transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice.
The rights and lives of Transgender and nonbinary individuals are at risk. The Trump Administration appears ready to issue a regulation that has a strict definition of gender based on a person’s genitalia at birth. See this recent NY Times article.
We are also participating in the URJ's Audacious Hospital series of webinars about LGBTQIA matters. Here is some information from the webinars:
The First Transgender Superhero is...Nicole Maines on Supergirl See this recent NY TImes Article about her.
For more information about Nicole, see "Our First Event" below
Helping Pediatricians Care for Transgender Children - Click here
Stigma Against Gay People Can Be Deadly - Click here for article
- URJ Resolution on the Rights of Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People, adopted in 2015
- Pronouns and Gendered Language
"THE ORTHODOX RABBI WHO WORKS AT AN LGBT SYNAGOGUE" (Click here to see this article in the Jewish standard)
Here is a clash of Immigration, Asylum and Transgender Rights -
FREE ALEJANDRA, TRANS RIGHTS ACTIVIST SEEKING SAFETY
Alejandra fought for transgender rights for more than a decade in El Salvador. She was forced to flee after repeated attacks and extortion by a criminal gang, as well as abuses by the Salvadoran military. Alejandra was sexually assaulted by both the gang and military personnel because of her transgender identity. But instead of offering her safety and a chance to rebuild her life, the U.S. government is detaining her in a private prison with inadequate and unresponsive health care. Alejandra is now stuck at the Cibola detention center in New Mexico, waiting for an immigration judge’s decision on her asylum claim. She should be free – not behind bars. Join us in demanding that ICE release her on parole – so she can reunite with her niece, who is living in the U.S. and has already won her asylum claim.
Alejandra’s situation is not unique; there are many more trans people seeking asylum in the United States stuck waiting for months in detention centers where they are at risk of ill-treatment because of their gender identity, medical needs, or the trauma they have endured. It is cruel and unnecessary for U.S. immigration authorities to detain people fleeing to the U.S. in search of safety from persecution and violence, including brave women like Alejandra.
Tell ICE to release Alejandra, along with other transgender asylum seekers detained at Cibola!
Here is a link to a Modern Love story that should make us all think about what gender really is: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/01/style/modern-love-neither-male-nor-female-seems-to-fit.html
It's a Theyby - Here is a link to a provocative article about raising a baby without a gender identity. https://www.thecut.com/2018/04/theybies-gender-creative-parenting.html
Seeing the person not the gender...
His Dating Profile Listed Reasons Not to Date Him She Was Intrigued. “Love is finding the person who understands you more intimately than you ever thought possible.” NY Times Article July 27, 2018
- Our first event was a Shabbat Lunch N’Learn on February 3, 2018, where 35 of us discussed Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family, by Amy Ellis Nutt, led by Laurie Rochlin and Nilene Evans, and our responsibility to treat all people with respect. If you want to learn more about Nicole, watch her Ted Talk on Youtube. Here are the handouts from the event - discussion questions, FAQs about Transgender People, Supporting Transgender People - Being an Ally, and The Gender Unicorn. We also watched a brief video on What not to Say to a Transgender Person
- LGBTQ & ALLY TEEN SHABBATON GATHERINGS - Keshet, a national organization that works for full LGBTQ equality and inclusion in Jewish life, is sponsoring these Shabbatonim as well as trips to Israel for LGBTQ & Ally Teens. For information, see https://www.keshetonline.org/teenshabbaton
- The NJ Senate and NJ Assembly passed joint resolutions that would designate Nov. 14-20 of each year as Transgender Awareness Week and Nov. 20 as Transgender Day of Remembrance. The week would be used to “increase awareness and understanding of the prejudice, discrimination, and violence that transgender persons face,” according to the legislation. Nov. 20 would honor the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.
- Walking a Mile in Someone Else's Shoes - Please see the op ed piece from the December 15, 2017 NY Times.
- What is in a pronoun? Read this recent op-ed from Jennifer Finney Boylan in The New York Times. I use whatever pronoun my students choose for themselves, simply out of respect for them.
- Resources from our work with Keshet, a national organization that works for full LGBTQ equality and inclusion in Jewish life.