Sunday, November 15, 2015

Thank You World - Friday Night Reflection

"When you transition, everyone kind of has to transition around you."- Chaz Bono
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!

The last few days proved to me once again that I surrounded myself with the best group of friends and allies a human being can ask for. From the second I posted my “Coming Out” post, positive support, enthusiasm, and admittedly shock, was pouring in non-stop. In the form of Facebook, comments, messages, wall posts, and likes, SMS, WhatsApp messages and phone calls, all with the same love, respect and beyond describable support. If anyone ever says anything negative about humanity as a whole, all I have to do is redirect them to these posts.

Before I make some follow up points, I want to re-post here what I wrote on Facebook on YouTube regarding last Friday night. I still hope to write a longer reflection about my first ever speaking engagement as myself, but for now, these are my initial thoughts:
Last Friday night I missed the weekly services at Romemu, for a good reason. I had an amazing time speaking and engaging younger and older people at the South Orange USY Shabbaton. It was an amazingly positive experience, and hopefully raised awareness for the issues close to my heart, the ex-Hasidic community, and the experience of trans people in the Orthodox and Jewish world, as well as all over the world.
Turns out, I was there. I got to witness firsthand what being part of a community, especially as amazing as Romemu, entails. My dear Rabbi and mentor, David Ingber, gave a heartwarming sermon about my experience.
Every time I miss Friday night at Romemu I go back after that to the archived LiveStream video, and listen to the sermon. As much as I am pretty easy going in expressing my emotions and let tears flow lately, I never ever had such an experience while watching something online.
From the beginning, Rabbi David retold my experience in coming out to my father last week. Some of you might have realized that I didn't mention anything in past days about my experience with my parents, and I am going to keep it that way. However, anyone who listens to this sermon, can get a sense of that experience, by thinking about Yakov (Jacob).
I am also amazingly honored that the inspiring quote by Anaïs Nin that i used on Facebook and at the beginning of my blog post, was mentioned in this sanctuary (at 13:42). It is so empowering, and needs to be mentioned as much as possible.
But above all, was being mentioned as "My dear friend Abby" (14:40). While I see myself as a student of my dear Rebbe, I was proud to be called a friend. Then the amazing singing of "True Collars,” I have no words (thank you Basya Schechter and the musical team).
Thank you Rabbi and thank you Romemu. I want to publish it so People should know that the world is a great place. No matter how your community of origin, friends or family treats you, it is important to know that there will always be people who will accept you for who 'You' are, the true you.

-Please feel free to share this video:

They are several points and reflections I want to talk about as a follow up.

·        I got in the last few days over a 150 private messages (FB, WhatsApp, SMS, Email) and that is in addition to the numerous comments on Facebook on the blog. I want you all to know that I appreciate it, and thank everyone who took the time to wish me all the best. However, as much as I tried to response to as many as possible, the backlog is pretty backlogged. It might take me a few days to respond to all of them, and if I don’t get to it, feel free to reach out again. Just know that I saw them all, and am beyond grateful (on FB I tried to like as many comments as possible).

·        A lot of people asked me, some in all seriousness some in amore laughing tone when the Kiddush (a Jewish ritual were a Saturday afternoon lunch is served as a way of celebrating an important life cycle, such as the birth of a child, wedding, etc.) will be. So I want to get you all excited and announce that yes, there will be one. It will be in one of the upcoming weeks at Romemu. It will be with a full Torah and name change ceremony. It will also be the perfect time to celebrate in person with all of you, in person. Exact date is still To Be Determined, so lookout!

·        I got several questions about my name, Abby, its meaning, and why I chose it. First, I want to say that I am preparing a longer article about that, where I hope to go into more detail. For now, I would just say that I think the main part of a name is how it relates to ones self, so above all, I relate to Abby, it just feels like me.
The origin of the name is the Biblical Abigail (or Avigail) who was King David’s wife (Book of Samuel). Its literal meaning in Hebrew is “Father’s joy” (אבי-גיל), which is part the same as my middle name given at birth - Abraham (אברהם). I love the joy part of it, and to be honest, it is a great Hebrew name that is American enough… In addition to that, I see it as a wish, as it could mean “My father (referring to parents and ancestors as a whole) should be happy” (אב-יגיל). I hope that with all this I can be a joy and source of happiness to my family.

·        A comment about blog comments:
While I would love to foster a free and healthy uncensored conversation, I cannot afford to tolerate hate comments and personal attacks on other people. You want to hate and talk against me, enjoy, but leave others out of it. Obviously, the best way to get your message across successfully is to talk about the ideas people said, and back up your claims. Do not attack people, and do not just shout arguments without any backing.
Until next time, wishing you all the best with everything in life!

Abby @ The Second Transition


  1. Looking forward to the kiddush!!!


  2. There are two Bucharim (18-19) in Boro Park that have been dealing with the same things you were. Currently they dress up (like girls) and go out to certain parties in the City. I told them about you and it gave them lots of hope! Thank you for coming out. Some here know full well who they are especially after one was caught by the Moshgiach, as to what the Moshgiach was doing late Saturday night in the village who knows, he claims he got a tip about a Talmid of the yeshiva there.

    Please people, do not share these things with Nuchem Rosenberg as this has nothing to do with the issues his organization deal with. He does great work, however, he should be more open minded about the Trans world.

    1. Thank you for your comment. I am currently working on putting together a group for people of trans experience who come from an Orthodox background, and would love to get in touch with them!

  3. Abby, I'm not trans. However I am moved beyond words. I have demons of a different flavor. To see you embrace your true self with true pride, truly inspires me. We are all trans!!! You are a pioneer for all of us!!!

  4. Abby, I've been looking in to transitioning for more then a year now, but I can't decide what to do with the hoozoo, what are you doing in regards to it?

    1. Not sure what you mean. Feel free to email me.

  5. Hey Abby, I read your story with mixed feelings. Myself growing up with many questions and many of them still unanswered to this very day, I feel for you and amazed by your courage and taking this drastic step. I have to admit that to say that this will bring the end result you’re looking for, I highly doubt it. I just pity you when the excitement will wear off as it does not last too long (as all others have), what will be the next step. My heart goes out for you. May you find your inner peace and have a speedy recovery.

    1. I really do understand and empathize with the impulse to label all OTD people as confused. There is definitely a need to look down on them and marginalize them so as to prevent them from influencing our youth. However, it should be self evident that it won't work. Our kids are going to grow up. They will meet Abby and others like her. The hard reality is, that Abby is one of the most exemplary humans I've ever met.
      Even worse, it is fairly obvious after meeting her for only a moment.
      What will our kids think when they realize that the only argument about why not to go OTD has been that you will be one of those " crazy people ", and yet those people are the furthest from crazy that they have ever encountered?

  6. Is life about self centered indulgence OR are we part of something bigger?

    If the former, then ISIS are right and ought to defeat your degenerate society!

    1. What can be less self centered than accepting Abby even though I don't, and never will, understand her trans experience? Do you really think that the קדושת לוי would be pointing out selfishness in others???? Is it our point in life to point out selfishness in others?

  7. Your parents, granparents,and ancestors gave up and sacrificed so much .
    For what?! For this?!Did they?!

    Judaism holds "all kar'chach at a chai"

    Your life and your body don't belong to you!
    Example: you are absolutely prohibited to commit suicide .Or ,even lacerate your body in mourning, irrespective of any rationale
    someone will concoct.

    Oh,"you're different"somehow,eh?

    Any researcher could tell you, that rapists and/or perverts could also say "they're different "
    probably more so

    1. "Your parents, granparents,and ancestors gave up and sacrificed so much .
      For what?! For this?!Did they?!"

      How far back do you want to go? Once upon a time your ancestor far far away would not be happy that today you are busy all day with you mishigasen that borders avodeh zarah.

      When Rabbis stop going to transsexuals all over NYC I might start listening to what they have to say.

      As I am typing this I guarantee you at least one community macher is bent over in some apartment in NY and is getting.....

      Another Rabbi is busy licking the boots of some "goy" while another is getting a spanking from his favorite dominatrix, a fantasy that might of crept into his head in yeshivah when he or his fellow classmates got spanked with their pants pulled down.

      Stop the preaching there, the more you push the more people will expose, soon with video and photos. You will have thousands of men and women running away weekly from that 280 year old cult.

      I hang out in the city, I see the married yentas in the clubs all the time, they take their rings off and do things their husbands wish she did with them.

      The chassidum are pushing it without realizing that way too many people are sitting with footage of rabbis and rebitzens doing very interesting things in parts of NYC.

      Live and let live should be the moto.

      Abby has the support of people who respect choice and life, that community will not sit by and let some radical chassidum hurt her or anyone. If attacks on her don't stop I will publish videos and photos every day until the dictionary will use the word chassidum to describe what hypocrite means.

    2. Ccc: the difference is: are you hurting others? Are you living and letting live? Hurting people by living your own life is nowhere near the level of hurting someone.

  8. Seems my response to the above was blocked. How come?