By Rabbi Eliana Kayelle
“I’ve never been interested in being invisible and erased.” -Laverne Cox
Amidst the flurry of anti-trans legislation being passed around the country, I am grateful for the reprieve and the opportunity that is Trans Day of Visibility (TDOV) — a day to uplift the accomplishments and celebrate the joy of the trans community. One year ago, I was honored to have been chosen by Keshet staff as a trans visionary in the Jewish community. Now, I am thrilled that I get to write about TDOV as part of the Keshet staff. What a proud full-circle moment!
When trans people share our stories, we let the world know that we are here and thriving. Visibility also allows trans youth to know a full future is possible. And yet, my heart breaks for my trans and nonbinary community as our identities continue to be used as political pawns. Trans visibility is important, and we also can’t stop there.
This year, TDOV coincides with the start of Shabbat HaGadol, the Shabbat that directly precedes Pesach. It is said that this particular Shabbat renewed the commitment and faith of the Israelites on their path to freedom. What a perfect moment for us to recommit ourselves to the journey towards full trans liberation.
I invite you on this TDOV Shabbat HaGadol to share the stories of trans and nonbinary changemakers. Recommit to not only pushing back against anti-trans legislation, but pushing for pro-trans legislation — the legal protection of trans people, especially trans youth.
May we soon live in a world where every day can be a trans day of joy, a trans day of dancing, a trans day of love, and so much more. Ken yehi ratzon, may it be so.