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Prof. Joy Ladin spoke to a conference of those of us who prepare Jewish bodies for their "final journey." We wash them, we dress them and we sit with them between death and the funeral. Joy came to talk to us about "being dead," her story of living the "in-between" lie of beginning life as a male while knowing she was truly a female. She spoke about the challenges of revealing that to her family and friends; of the abuse she took (and still takes!) from her university employer, and of the anguish involved in being transgender.
Through her presentation, she was hilarious, she made us laugh many times which put us all at ease. I will admit that as a Rabbi, I am still getting used to dealing with same-sex relationships, but transgender was never something I could wrap my brain around. Joy helped me understand that we ARE all truly created in the Holy Image of God, AND that understanding is not the issue, acceptance is. And love is!
Thank you, Joy, for opening my eyes! God bless you as you are blessing all of us!