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The Orthodox Transgender Dillema

obormottel Sunday, 23 July 2017


What happens to "Frummies" who are gay or transgender? There will always be a percentage of people in any given community who are somehow just born like this and there is no way to change them. Sometimes nature makes a mistake and assigns the incorrect gender to a person, so the poor soul is trapped inside the wrong body! Do these people just live "inside the closet" or do they "come out?"

GYE Responds:

Firstly, as frum yidden, we don't believe that "nature makes mistakes". Every soul is given the journey it needs to undergo in life. Hashem sometimes puts a soul into a crippled body, or a mentally retarded mind, if this is the journey that the soul needs to undergo. We find in Kabala that sometimes a male soul is put into a women's body and vis-a-versa, which is a punishment / tikkun for that soul, for whatever reason. These people may not be able to change and suffer just as anyone born with disabilities suffers. They have nothing to be ashamed of and can "come out" if they want to, but often they are uncomfortable to do so, and that is understandable. But we don't judge such people or look down at them at all. We can only pity them and try to help them live the most productive life they possibly can, whether they can or can't get married.

I hope this helps.

Thank very much!!! That's fantastic. I really appreciate it.

Could you please give me examples of some practical advice that would be given to these individuals for navigating through the structure of our frum society? E.g. Do they go to the mikveh at private times so they shouldn't be tempted? Also, should they not shake hands with another man as a harchakah? Should they daaven beyichidus, just as the general male populace would not go into the ezras nashim for tefillah?

GYE Responds:

Such a person needs to be careful and honest with themselves. Anything that may be challenging for them or a trigger, should be avoided. So yes, I advise such people to avoid the mikva. It's not worth the "kedusha" they will get if they get turned on by other men. If they can come to the mikvah when no one else is there, that would be ok. Shaking hands is fine, unless they find it triggering. And no, they needn't daven biyechidus unless they find that they simply can't stop gazing at the other men, in which case it would be better to daven beyechidus. Hashem asks us to use common sense with the yetzer hara. יודע צדיק נפש בהמתו.