I just came across this story about a transgender woman who identifies with the Hasidic Jewish culture. I find it inspiring that someone has the courage to identify as transgender openly in what has been traditionally viewed as a very conservative and rigid religious community. I like reading and hearing stories of people making the attempts to bridge divides and build stronger ties of community. I think it is also important for people to note that there are so many different ways in which we identify and we are not confined to being members of only one niche or one community or one affiliation.
Each of us should have the right to identify not only by our gender expression or gender identity but also by our spirituality and faith. We have the right to express our gender as well as our faith however it suits our sincere selves. We come to find out that religion as well as gender, can be expressed in a continuum or spectrum of variety and nuance.
People of faith can be lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, transgender, or queer and questioning. Likewise, an LGBT person can certainly be Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, or simply spiritual or even agnostic or atheist. We come in all shapes, sizes, colors, religions, faiths, gender expressions, etc. The rules that are so often applied to us, forcing us to determine who we are within rigid and confining “this or that” standards, they have to go. And to live life according to who and what society wants of us need to be challenged when society takes away our individual right to self-determine ourselves.
Identity is the core of being, from which we occupy a part of society. Without an identity, who and what are we? And part of our identity could involve our personal belief systems and faith or religious culture.