Trans Spirituality – Passover 24 Edition

Trans Spirituality – Passover 24 Edition

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As I write this, Jews around the world are preparing to, or have started, the biblical festival of Passover, known as the “Feast of Freedom.” We commemorate the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and their Exodus to the wilderness, to learn how to become free people.

As trans people, we face a similar Exodus when we transition. We are in bondage in our birth sex, facing myriad forms of oppression, internally and externally.  If we are fortunate enough to transition, and have adequate support, we can cast off many of the chains of that bondage and move “across the sea” to a new life of freedom as our true selves.

This year, for Jews and others around the world, Passover is very different and will be much more difficult. That is because of the number of Israelis still held hostage by Hamas in the war in Israel/Palestine.  We are all aware of this war, as well as the wars in Ukraine and elsewhere globally, the perpetual sex slavery of minority women and other issues that result in marginalized people being harmed and bound. The end result of this is that far too many people cannot celebrate their freedom right now, and the cry “Let my people go!” has never been more poignant. This is true regardless of your position on the situation in Israel/Palestine.

Here in the US, we are facing our own war of a sort. The GOP, fueled by the White Supremacist hatred from the Evangelical Christians, is trying to destroy trans people, just as Pharaoh was trying to destroy the Israelites in Egypt. They are continually pushing more and more anti-trans legislation throughout the country.

This is why I have been harping about the upcoming election and will continue to do so. Historically, younger and marginalized voters don’t vote in large numbers. But, more than ever, we need you to get out the vote, and to help others to do it as well. Voting is easier than ever with mail-in ballots in so many locations.  This is critical for trans people, immigrants and others as well, because the GOP has tried to push for voter ID laws in so many districts, in order to prevent minority voters from voting. With mail-in voting, that is bypassed, and you do not have to miss work if you do a mail-in ballot.

I am hopeful that Trump will be convicted in his New York trial and blocked from running for President, but we can’t rest on that. We need to keep whoever the GOP presidential candidate is from being elected.  Mark my words, if Trump is blocked, the GOP will put up someone even more vile and hateful than him in his place, out of spite for the prosecution of Trump. The same goes for CONgress. We can’t afford for the GOP to keep the Senate or gain control of the House.  This can only be done by an overwhelming presence of progressive voters showing up.

And for those of you who are allies reading this, and thinking, nah. . . the GOP won’t come for me, I remind you of the words of Martin Niemöller, in his poem “First they came for. . .” that once the GOP succeeds with trans people (if God forbid they do) they will come after BIPOC people, disabled people, Jewish people and every other minority out there, until all that’s left is white Protestant, rich, able men (with their wives to serve them, and some minority people to effectively be their slave labor – kind of like recreating the old Deep South).

We cannot allow this to happen.  If you read the following research paper, Biblical Interpretation and the Oppression of the Transgender Community, you can see the history of this white supremacy developing all the way back from the Pilgrims to modern times. It is quite unsettling.

So, PLEASE, take heed of my warnings. My tradition teaches that we cannot rely on miracles. We MUST take action to protect ourselves, to ensure we have future years in which to celebrate Passover, when we can again use my “Queer Liberation Haggadah.”

I wish those who celebrate a Sweet and Happy Passover, and I wish everyone…



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Category: Opinion


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