Wednesday, November 11, 2015

And, The Time Has Come... COMING OUT!!!

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

I know that most people that are reading this, will be understanding and accepting. However, I still want to start with this inspirational quote, written as an opening to a Coming Out letter:

"Some of you might think that the information I share with you herewith is a joke. It's not. And comprehending this, in fact, may take a large portion of patience, understanding, and compassion. You are likely, in fact, to need a long time to fully process it."

Growing up, I think we all try to remember our first memories, and we are being asked (especially in therapy sessions...) what our first memories are. I never answered this question honestly. I was terrified from my first memories, and for 20 years I was trying to run from it. One of the first things I remember about myself, is thinking, Hey I am not a boy. this thought, feeling, confliction, confusion, realization, is something that never left me. I had - as I figured out at the age of 20 - what's called today (and no, I don't like this 'diagnose') "Gender Dysphoriathat is, when the gender assigned to an individual on their Birth Certificate is not who they are.

I can go on and write a lot about my horrible experience growing up. Not only was I confused, but as you all know, in the community that I was raised in, Trans did not exist, neither was it ever discussed. I was therefore convinced that I have to be crazy, and that I have to get this "stupidity" of feeling like a girl, out of my head. As always, this didn't work well for me. I can write some great SciFi about all the dreams - awake, I had of how I can "become a girl', but in my world, this was something that I knew I can never mention to anyone. 

As a result, from the age of 14, I dealt with bad depression. I couldn't go a month without falling into total despair (I think anyone who was ever been in touch with me knows that they were always days that I just wasn't responding to anyone). I knew throughout this entire time where it comes from, but I had no idea how to deal with it.

At age 20 I left my community of origin. While my decision to leave was not based on being a woman, the urge to search and read 'outside of the box' was triggered by the feeling that "I" am not who I am.



Being convinced that these feelings are crazy, I tried to convince myself that the problem is something else. I moved around in life trying to tell myself that getting out of the box, getting a job, getting an education, etc. will solve my problems. They were all great things, but I couldn't convince even myself to let go of the dream of living MY life. and let me tell you, lying to yourself is not pretty.

Skipping ahead. Finally, last spring, I went to see a gender specialist, after a few sessions, they told me pretty clear: You are a woman, and you ought to deal with that. Otherwise, nothing is gonna change.

My initial response was, as always, stop talking to them. I still couldn't face it, especially knowing that the road ahead is long and complicated. So as until now, I thought that ignoring it is the best way to deal with it (ya i know, stupid me). I went to camp over the summer pretending everything is fine. But as research has shown, ignoring Gender Dysphoria, only makes it worse, and I wasn't any different.

Finally in the beginning of August, I made the best decision in life, thus far: I went to see a primary physician, who specializes in Gender Affirmation.

September 4, 2015 is the day I will remember forever. The day I started HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy). I have since taken a lot of steps towards transition. The road is long, but with the support of some amazing friends and professionals, for the first time in my life I feel like I am getting to be my real self.

In the last few weeks, I have slowly been coming out to more and more friends. I was lucky enough to get amazing support from all of my friends. I owe a special thanks to my 27 roommates at the Bayit - Columbia University who have been an exceptional help. The professionals and members at The Center Gender Identity Project, whom without I would Have not been able to get to where I am now. Rabbis David Ingber and Jessica Kate Mayer from Romemu, who showed me that Judaism and Transition are not only compatible but intertwined. My amazing doctor and medical team at APICHA Trans Health Clinic, who are patiently treating all their patients with love and compassion.
Last but far not least, each and everyone of my dear friends that I came out to in person, you have all been above and beyond supportive, Thank You!!!

Going forward I am looking forward to a challenging yet rewarding journey. I will hopefully keep all my friends in the loop, with all the details of transition, starting next week with an all out "Coming Out" video, keep an open eye!

Lastly, I want to say here, in clear and bold words to all humans out there who are going through similer experiences, and especially these of Ultra-Orthodox background:

"You can Do It!!! It is not going to be easy, but it is way easier than not transitioning. When you start to see the changes, and feel more comfortable with your body, you wouldn't stop loving yourself." 

Full of love, ๐Ÿ’•
-- 
​​

(Srully Abe)
​ Abby
 Stein
​​

Two online forums that I found really helpful:

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Here is a post I wrote 2.5 years ago on this site: http://forum.beginninglifeforums.com/index.php/ 
​Just in case any of you find it interesting. I had since decided to ignore my feelings. and as you can see, it didn't help. ignore the spelling, please.
  eve.d   UNITED STATES
Messages: 15
Registered: June 2012
Location: new york
Newb
My story is like I wrote in my bio, I always felt I am not who I am, I had a lot female nature's, and was always dreaming of a "miracle" that will change me, due to the fact that until the age of 20 (a year ago) I didn't know that it exists a way of doing it in nature.r thinking that way, something that a lot of people in my community do believe that if you are leaving the community life than you have a mantel disorder), so from the age of 14 I was looking 
I didn't had any education outside my insular religious community, not even reading or spelling a word in English! (I learned the ABC's on my own by the age of 20..., I know it sounds unbelievable, and I grew up in NYC, if you are interest, here is an org. in NY that helps people leaving my community, so you can see on your own that it exist such a community in nyc footstepsorg.org) and of course I didn't know anything about LGBTQ at all.
but, I was always looking for "help" I felt something is missing in my life, and I wasn't able to know what is missing, about my sexuality I was convinced that something is wrong with me for even thinking about a gender change, but what I did know was that could be the true way of living my life is not the way I grew up (and I was smart enough not to think that I am crazy fofor answers on the questions I had on the belief system I grew up to believe in, and slowly I came to the conclusion that the world is free, and waiting for me to go out and live my OWN life.
mean while, by the age of 17 I got married in an arranged marriage, that by chance worked out, and I have a really good relationship with my dear wife, (sounds like I am a lesbian..) but the second she will know what's going on in my mind she will leave me, and 2 years ago I had a son.
and here I found it.
once I was a bit out, and I was able to search the web, I noticed, and I came to know that it does exist such a thing as transgender, and specially transsexual, in other words its possible for me to change all the way, and have the life and "body" I want, and feel I need.
but after all the way I grew up for 20 years wasn't rejected so fast, and for a year, although I was thinking about it, and I watch a huge amount of clips and vlogs from trans people, and I spent a lot of time reading about it, I still had an unexplained feeling that didn't let me say to my self, yes, you are transgender, and after all I wasn't sure that I am, I was saying to my self that maybe its just a natural male attraction to women, etc.
until I found this site: http://heartcorps.com/journeys/beginners/how-to-tell.htm I read it, and everything was clear, I am trans, I have most emotional and physical signs, and its time to move forward.
but where? what's my next step? before I make a life time conclusion I need to make sure I am not fooling myself, I am still living in my community, where such an act will mean for me to lose "everything", from family to friends, my job and living space, where I am going what am I doing?
on education I found the above mentioned org., but on my sexuality who can help me?
and then I found this site.
I still don't know where my life will lead me' but it will definitely lead me to huge changes in "everything", and hopefully to huge success!!!
 

139 comments:

  1. Abby, I am so proud of you and happy for you. As someone who is stuck in a similar situation, I admire the courage that you have to come forward. Chazak v'amutz!

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    1. He is suffering from to much self obsessing.

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    2. Lol! If you think Abby is selfish, you've never met her. Drop your 'disgust' for an hour, and go meet her in person.

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  2. Abby, you are the most amazing person I've ever met. I've always known that. You coming out as a woman, that courage, well we all already knew that you are awesome!!!!! Abby, you NEVER fail to inspire us all. Rock on!!!!!!
    �� Shlomo & Brocha.

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  3. You are so stupid and dum
    I really pity your mother and father that they have to go around knowing that they have such a stupid son ,
    In the beginning I thought that you just want to go another direction , and I was respecting your decision ,
    But now look at you !!want to change Mother Nature? You're not happy the way your born ?
    ( so it's nothing about the way you Grew up, it's just you're never happy with the way you are.)

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    1. Please ask yourself why you would want to shame and attack someone who has been through so much pain. The reason has everything to do with you and your own insecurities and nothing to do with the author of this blog.

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    2. I know, right? All those people wearing glasses and prosthetics, getting cochlear implants... can't they see that God *wants* them to have problems seeing or walking or hearing? They must really be dum. [sic]

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    3. lol..Lisa, you make no sense...unless you consider every male to be inherently deficient. he can't in any way be compared to someone who has no hearing, leg, eye etc...who feeds you this crap?

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    4. That's stupid. If you woke up tomorrow with your penis missing, I guarantee you that you'd feel there was something wrong. It's no different for someone who is female in brain structure and base personality having to deal with a male body. As far as males being deficient, that hasn't been my experience. Though reading the comments on this blog post makes me think that a lot of the males here are definitely deficient.

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    5. What's stupid is "someone who is female in brain structure". What the hell does that even mean. Yes, I can psychobabble about what that means too, but it is sheer idiocy.

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  4. You're so lucky. You get to be a girl and avoid the whole menstruation thing. I envy you.

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  5. ืžืฉื•ื’ืข ื”ืื˜ ื ื™ืฉื˜ ืงื™ื™ืŸ ืขืง

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  6. I am not attacking anyone , I grew up with this schmuck , I was living my life doing my things enjoying my friend , he will always be the one to go and make sure that you don't break any laws
    , so when I tell you that he is "stupid" it's not because hate , it's because I know him ,
    He grew up like every normal child , We used to have lovely parents and friends , he was never in pain as a childhe ,he was never having a hard life , so when you tell me that he grows up with pain "bullshit " I am not buying it

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    1. Boy, you really have no clue, do you. She was *terrified* to say anything. People in this situation learn really fast how to cover it up. Right now, you're probably upset because how could you possibly have missed it, right? But that's silly. You missed it because you were intended to. If he was really your friend, she's still your friend. People don't stop being who they are just because they start living as themselves.

      Personally, I think it's a shame she felt that she needed to leave frumkeit because of this. There are frum Jews who haven't.

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    2. Grandpa you sound like a therapist
      But I think you have no clue who this boy is ,
      It's not all of a sudden he decides to be stupid
      , he was always acting like this , always looking for a Nother think what should make him happy , Believe me and a year from now he will be looking for something else , and of course he will say "I always want this "
      So before you write ,mack sure that's you know him & you know the story

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    3. Are you as illiterate as you sound, Shmeilich?

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    4. Lol I hate when people try to speak English when they so obviously cannot lmao

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    5. shemeillich is actually the one that makes the more senses here. your attacking him on his english but his content his true when your content is dumb with good english! so lisa and the other one shut the fuck up...

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    6. Dear "liberals are haters" and "shmeilich":
      The main basis of the modern "goyishe" world is a belief that every person has a right to do whatever they want as long as they are not hurting others.
      The words that you may hear are "consenting adults".
      I fully appreciate how hard that is to grasp, coming from a Torah perspective.
      But you CAN get there!

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    7. What the religiously-minded here apparently don't like is the way the world is going. For a very long time, they were able to use social controls -- "your poor father, how can you do this to him?!", "your siblings won't be able to get married because you!" -- to prevent people from living as they wish to.

      The Frum community (I'm not from it, but grew up in Brooklyn around it) isn't even that terrible that way: in many parts of the world, young girls who suffer the horror of rape are told to kill themselves for their family honor. Really, how f-ed up is THAT?

      But the people here who CHOOSE to live a religious life chafe at the fact that, unlike their deliberate choice to remain within the restrictions of their community, some people say "No, not for me." You see this kind of thing all the time with closeted gay pastors and politicians, who virulently attack those who dare to say "Sorry, I'm not living in that closet with you."

      Abby: you've had a hard road and, yes, you are probably causing your parents "shame". That's THEIR problem; it's literally all in their head. Thank Adoshem you came to your senses.

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    8. The only thing that i really have a problem with is 1) that you had to get married and this affected the life of the girl and 2) that you had to leave the Orthodox world - I presume you no longer keep shabbat or kosher? I hope there will be in the near future a support system for trans people - especially in the frum world this would be an especially painfull "decision" (to acknowlege and come out and actually trans). and it should be a family trans event - just like there would be family therapy for someone with ADD or Depression etc - I dont see the point in ostracizing the trans son or daughter - the family must learn to cope - that is their peckel - and if the other children have to marry children of other families "peklech" so be it - I wish you happiness and fulfullment and hope you will be able to constribute to making klal yisrael stronger and more tolerant of peoples differences.

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    9. Shmeilich, I don't understand you. You say he wasn't in pain?! Do you think he did this out of happiness and nachas? He must have been in pain, don't you think?

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  7. It's sad that it came down to this. You probably could've been helped and saved years ago from this pain you're about to endure, had it not been a taboo subject in the orthodox circle. Hopefully if you are up to this stage in life you'll find happiness in yourself & live a happy life!

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  8. This is very sad. I don't understand the need of advertising that all over the internet. He is fooling himself; everyone is sending support right now, but soon, no one will be there. Except for his family.

    He is hurting his family and destroying his son's life. As much as he can have gender issues, this should have remained private. He should have shared that with his family and his close friends. At some point, you have to stop being selfish and start to think about the people who raised you and who love you unconditionally.

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    1. I totally understand where you are coming from. While you are in the frum community, it seems like the most loving thing.
      The fact is, however: the frum world can never love you like the secular world can. In the secular world, no one would dare get angry at a friend for becoming a woman, or being Mechalel Shabos.
      It is less close-nit, and there are many more cracks to fall through.
      However, no one in the secular world would dream of being angry with you for how you live your life.
      If there is anyone in the OTD world that doesn't have to worry about losing their freinds, it is Abby!!!

      Ps. I totally understand how angry Abby being trans, makes you.
      Five years ago, I was a frum asshole. I don't judge you for it at all. More importantly I want to reassure you that YOU CAN learn to respect every persons right to do whatever the heck they want, as long as they aren't physically hurting someone else, and still be ABSOLUTELY FRUM!

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  9. So proud of you. May the abishter send you the strength to continue to be strong. No one is allowed to judge her, she is the bravest person I know. Everyone you should ask yourself about your own identity before asking the bravest ones who have the guts to act on it. I have tears of joy when I read this article.

    I myself struggle with gender issues. I was born a boy but I've always identified as a sheep. Since I was a young kid. Everytime we went to a farm or to the zoo, I felt that it was there that I belonged.
    I am gonna go to a doctor soon and will start a transition. Hopefully I will become a real sheep soon. Even if I always felt like a sheep.

    My message to all the haters: stop spreading hate all around the internet. Abby is amazing, what she is doing is grate. Everyone should support her and stop saying shtisim about her.

    This is the most beautiful day of my life. Thank you for giving me strength to come out to the world: I AM A SHEEP, and non of you will make me believe the opposite.

    Thank you abby, thank you Hashem.

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    1. Lol! But seriously, it dosent have to be about who you are.
      If you feel inspired, be inspired to be yourself. Where that tie that you like, that your friend thinks is weird.
      Laugh your natural laugh, even if your brother thinks it sounds funny.
      That is what trans is about. Be yourself, and let the haters hate.
      Shuckel your unique shmoineh esray shuckel, even if everyone stares.
      Be proud of the AWESOME quirks that are YOU!!!

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    2. Very funny! But, if you were really a sheep, you'd still be following the random stuff the religious community is trying to feed you :)

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    1. I totally get your reaction. The fact is, though, you can't catch being trans. Hugging a trans person CANNOT and will not make you less of a man.
      In my personal experience, being around trans people strengthens my masculinity. I say: try it with an open mind. Just for 5 minutes. It will be exhilarating!

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  11. Abby, Self-actualization takes an incredible amount of courage and bravery. You are inspiring because you are choosing to be yourself regardless of how you are perceived by others. It's crazy that in NYC in 2015 people still don't get it--you are a trailblazer and are AWESOME! Mazal tov on this milestone.


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  12. Leave hashem out of this abby good for you if it makes you happy and to the other people who are ranting good or bad things to abby (does it effect you)? Does it kill you someone wants to kive how they choose mind your business your noone to judge but keep god out of it. Live and let live.

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  14. One second, so this now means that the whole becoming OTD concept was really a mistake, and didn't make you any more happy, because it was just an escape from this being-a-woman-in-a-man's-body thing? So much for all the hate at the claim that most OTD's are just trying to escape from personal issues.

    Maybe now you can do Teshuva and go back to being a nice visnitze girl, which is really the type of girl you dreamt about becoming as a child, I'm sure you didn't dream of being a girl who dresses not tzniusdig.. So becoming that is inauthentic.

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    1. I can't speak for Abby. Maybe you are right. Maybe if Sruly could've turned into Abby as a Vishnitzer, she would've stayed.
      However, now that for better or for worse Abby is OTD,
      there are another million Vishnitzer girls. In the OTD world there was only one Sruly, and there is only one Abby.
      I hope, that Abby knows that we, the OTD, Footsteps, Romemu world really needs her.
      I hope that Abby stays in our world, even if it is only because we need her.
      I am encouraged that it seems like the Vishnitzer world refuses to accept Abby.
      Abby, if you ever go back don't leave us!!!!!!

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  15. I see all the attention from being the rebbish OTD kid has worn off already.. Bravo on finding a new show.

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    1. I don't think it did. Sruly never stopped being our hero.

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  16. Who was sandek by the briss?
    I expect you going to wear a shpitzel
    Can't wait for that

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    1. Lol!!
      I, however, hope that Abby stays in our world. In our world women DONT wear shpitzels!!!!
      Lol!!

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  17. I am SOOO happy for you right now!!
    Lots of hurdles to come over on this journey, but we're all here for you!
    Never forget that!
    As for all the haters commenting here, go get yourselves decent jobs and lives. Seriously, you're all bitter.

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    2. I wish you were right Shulem.
      Sadly, the fact is that 5 years ago, I could've been any one of these haters.
      I know that they honestly don't get it.
      I KNOW that they don't mean to be malicious.

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  18. I really hope that you will be a tzniasdiga midela and al example as to how a real from Jewish girl has to live and be modest dressed you should make your parents proud of such a good girl/boy they raised

    but if you do choose to become OTD girl and spread your number on Facebook you should be fair and give a huge discount to your friends from the Yeshiva

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    1. Lol, chayam13!!
      Sadly/(happily for me) it looks like the frumeh world considers Sruly 'coming out' as Abby, absolutely unacceptable.
      I think it is safe to say that Abby will stay in our world.
      Ps. I know how impossible what I'm about to ask you is. Please consider getting to know Abby in the context of the OTD-Romemu-Footseps world, with an open mind. I promise you that you will see that nobody is out to get the frum world. Everyone just wants to live and let live.

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  19. Shulem unger and all others who are calling the people poking fun of him/her bitter let me tell you something you guys are not so happy as you trying to pretend..
    she might be able to use the women's bathroom and you might be able to get a bj from her/him and maybe that's why you are so happy because you couldn't score with real girls... But is the biggest joke when someone is not comfortable in his own skin and it's more a sign of brain damage so we really feel bad for him and for all sick people out there watch and see if he is not going to commit suicide at some point he will tell you at the age of 60 that he still struggling with inside insecurities and he still scared to death about who knows what

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    1. Chayam13, Abby only dates girls. She is lesbian.

      I really, really hope that you are wrong. But I can promise you that if Abby 30 years from now is for whatever reason uncomfortable in her skin, our only response will be compassion.
      I would only ask "Abby, what do you need from me?"
      I would expect anyone would do the same.

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  20. by the way what is his new name he/she still signs Abby is he she going to be named after a holy grandmother all just and I'm from the street Jessica for example

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  21. by the way what is his new name he/she still signs Abby is he she going to be named after a holy grandmother all just and I'm from the street Jessica for example

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  22. I really hope that you will be a tzniasdiga midela and al example as to how a real from Jewish girl has to live and be modest dressed you should make your parents proud of such a good girl/boy they raised

    but if you do choose to become OTD girl and spread your number on Facebook you should be fair and give a huge discount to your friends from the Yeshiva

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  23. i feel sorry for your dilemma as statistics show that once you have the op, you are most likely to remain depressed or will simply kill yourself..but happiness will always elude you...

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  24. once you chop it off, you cant go back...dont do it man...

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  26. Abby, why couldn't you just transition straight to a chasdidishe veibel. Then you would have only had to deal with one culture shock. It's also much easier to pull off. Most chassidishe veiber with shpitzlech look look guys anyways. And swimming with a shvim kleid conceals any undesirable bulges.

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  27. I am also a gender specialist. i can look at someone, and in 30 seconds, i will be able ot tell them what gender they are. do people actually make money in this business??

    I would be really really good at this.

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  28. Believing that attention is something you're desperately craving, I found some guidance for you.
    You have enough insight to know that what you are doing isn’t working, but it isn’t enough to stop you from doing it. This is common, as your cravings are very likely to be highly emotional in nature, while your understanding of your issues is merely rational. Emotion almost always trumps rationality in this most imperfect world of ours. Or, at least it is a struggle for everyone to behave rationally when they are in distress.

    Clearly, it is not enough for you to merely understand your issue. Instead, you have to learn to recognize when you are about to do something self-destructive before it happens, and to then act on this insight so as to do something that will feel quite distinctly weird at first; to act in a more healthy way instead of the seductively self-destructive way. This is a hard and difficult process, very much like learning to live sober when you’re an addict. It is best done under the supervision of a skilled psychotherapist, preferably one of the cognitive-behavioral persuasion. A therapist whom you work with on a regular basis is important, because you are in the habit of doing things one way, and without the regular guidance, supervision and accountability that a therapist can provide, you won’t break that habit. Therapy that will benefit you best will need to be gentle but constantly there for a long period of time not unlike braces for your teeth. Without the therapist, there is no corrective pressure to push you in the right direction. A behavioral therapist is important, because you need more than just understanding, compassion and good will to make changes. What you need is an engineer who will help you dissect your problem behavior, identify the complex chain of events that leads you to do self-destructive things, understand your ‘triggers’ and help you develop viable alternative behaviors.

    - Mark Dombeck, Ph.D.

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    1. Please spare us your "Ph.D."

      It's pretty well-established consensus as published in the WPATH guidelines that transition is often the most appropriate treatment for gender dysphoria. And we have decades of evidence that purely psychological intervention is doomed to failure.

      Abbby: To you, I wish you all the best. I am a few months ahead of you on my transition timeline and it has been a liberating and exhilarating experience.

      To quote Andre Gide: "It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not." So ignore all the naysayers and be true to yourself.

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    2. Wow Mr Dombeck - there goes your professional reputation.

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  29. You know meshga is not the word I petty your soul God created the world and u stupid and ur saying god did a mistake !!!!! Omg you are screwed up big time

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  34. Mark doesn't know what he's talking about. You know what you're doing, and honestly, I don't know why you're giving all these menuvalim a forum to spout their hate and ignorance.

    I transitioned 20 years ago. Surgery 19 years ago. Stayed frum through the whole thing, as difficult as that was.

    You can't change your gender identity. All you can do is repress it. Some people do that for a long time. I was 32 when I transitioned. My only regret is that I waited as long as I did.

    Mark Dombeck, I understand why you think she's "craving attention". She posted this on her blog, after all. Let me explain to you why you're wrong. Transition is hard. Harder yet if you're frum or have friends who are frum. You have to have a thick enough skin to keep going despite all the dickish responses you may get from people. You have to learn to assert your *self*. And it's a little like a second adolescence, though mercifully, it doesn't last nearly as long as the first one. It's a time of finding yourself. And an integral part of that is a need for visibility. For people to really see you. Not the old you, but the real you. That's a fundamental human need; one which everyone has. Most people get it automatically, at least to a certain extent.

    And for the anonymous nut who said you won't find happiness, you know nothing. There are a lot of us who are quite happy and fulfilled and productive and have loving families. But honestly, you sound like the kind of person who would see a person on a ledge and go, "Jump! Jump! Jump!" Have you always been such a rotten person, or is this particular subject special for you?

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    1. you are a liar. you did not transition 20 years ago. I know this to be true bec if you did actually transition, you would be dead having have killed yourself after 5 years max. stop the lies.

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    2. Wow. You're like the hillbilly who looked at the zebra and said, "There ain't no sech critter." Why, because it doesn't fit your personal prejudices? I transitioned at the end of July 1995, had surgery a year and three days later in Montreal. It was a wild ride, really. I moved from Israel to Manhattan, knowing only one person who I'd met online.

      Was it stressful? Sure. Every time I'd go to the bathroom, it'd be like a slap in the face. A reminder of the fact that I still had male parts. Because there's more to life than just gender. I'd spend most of most days not even thinking about the fact that I was "trans". I just wanted to live my life.

      Were there times when I was desperately depressed? Absolutely. Mostly because so many people are dicks about it, but also because I never, ever, ever thought of myself as the kind of person who would do something as outrageous as changing my sex. I thought that only weird street people and hookers did things like that. Truth is, a lot of trans people I've met thought the same thing. I'm not some kind of counter-culture lefty. I was a Kach supporter before I transitioned, and I'm for Moshe Feiglin now. I have zero patience for most of the GLBTQIABCDEFGWhatever.

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    4. Call it what you want, if you did do this whole thing you are basically sick in the head.
      Get help, and not from some leftist freak

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    5. When I learned how painful and difficult the process of transition is, I gained only respect for those people who have undertaken it. The haters are simply ignorant. If someone just wanted some attention, there are far, far easier ways of getting it. Try walking around naked in public.

      Anonymous, I respect the fact that you are your own person and retained your very strong Jewish identity.

      Haters, deal with the fact you have shit lives and need to feel better than Abby by dishing out hatred on her. Get a dignified job, or at least a good bonk.

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  35. Abby, I just want to say I am so impressed and inspired by your courage to find your own path and live with integrity. If it helps at all, I'm Chasidish, and I have never felt like anything other than the gender I was assigned at birth, so I can't begin to even *think* that I could judge what someone who's trans goes through. To all the frum people insulting Abby, ask yourself, what does Hashem want, for you to publicly shame and embarrass your fellow Jew (which is equated to killing them, chas v'shalom), or being humble enough to say to yourself, "you know, this is something I don't understand, I will be dan l'kaf zchus because I have never been in her situation so I can't judge." G-d willing we can all come to understand each other and serve Hashem in our own unique ways! May you go mechayil el chayil, Abby. Hang in there :)

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    1. Nice to see some love in a see of hatred. If one is willing to go through this painful process, they must have a genuine need for it. The bigger the question, the bigger the answer must be. Lots of strength to Abby and all other people on the journey of self-determinism.

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  36. Mazel Tov, bubbelah. There's a network/several networks (not just Footsteps) waiting to welcome you and support you.

    If you can see my e-mail address, feel free to contact me!

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  37. Save your shmekel for when you will b lonely and horny

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  38. The big question is does he/she still have to put on tefilin??

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  39. Confused aren't you all Jews? I never realized how much hate is in your religion my god?! Ps I find this topic gross but that's just me its not my business what you decide to do I'm sorry your getting hate mail tho nobody deserves that. I've had transe friends and I always get a little weirded out but probably cuz it's not common and I'm just not used to it๐Ÿ˜–๐Ÿ˜–๐Ÿ˜–๐Ÿ˜–๐Ÿ˜–but that doesn't at all give others to be dicks so I'm sorry for that. Good luck.

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  40. This topic makes me super uneasy and sick to my stomach. I'm not Jewish lol so I don't understand much of what your saying but to see someone that looks like a real man turn into a women is super freaky! I'm sorry I want to say I support you but I can't cuz it's just gross.

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  41. In nature we all adapt to who and what we are. We build upon our G-D given attributes, tall people will play basketball, shorter people will try other things tennis or baseball, you get my drift. We acclamate to who and what we are. We may at some time question our abilities and strengths but we always overcome. Those who feel the need to change their physical being truly need to speak to a mental health professional. The problem with these so called professionals is that they encourage the individual to express who they feel they are, whereas they should really be working with them to correct an abnormality. Imagine if child molesters were told they were OK and they should find parents who are open minded enough to allow their young children to have sex. We'd all think and rightfully so that they're all truly not simply crazy but absolutely deranged.
    Transgender is crazy, ludicrous and ridiculous afront to humanity.

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    1. You are obviously frum because no-one else uses 'G-D' to refer to God.

      In your belief, all kinds of physical afflictions come from 'G-D', too. If we are to accept whatever our God-given attributes are, we should not have doctors or medicine, but accept with joy, love, and praise whatever illness or limitations God bestows on us. Which was the world's thinking until the modern, scientific age that is the product of the Enlightenment, both of which frumkeit hates. Whenever frum people go to the hospital, they are being hypocrites. Don't bite the hand that feeds you!

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  42. Just admit that you're a homosexual. There is no shame in being gay in 2015. But to change your physical appearance in order to look like a woman, when you will never in fact be a woman - when you will never menstruate or ovulate or be able to carry a child to term - is just a way of kidding yourself. If a man is romantically attracted to other men, gei gezunterheit - that's the way the Oybershter made him. But for a man to claim he is a woman who likes men - in effect to claim that he is a straight female - is convoluted to the nth degree. You are not a woman. You are a man who likes men and, apparently, you are afraid to admit this fact. Stop being afraid. The sooner you accept that you're gay, the sooner you will be happy - and I wish you all the happiness in the world.

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  43. no wondr all the hate , what abbey should have done was to shut his tuk-ass mouth ,not blog and or brag about his transition there by shaming and embarrassing his parents and he grew up with while at the same denying and embarrassing the religion he grew up with , so abbey you brought it upon urself ,, eat it

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  45. Who care's what you do, no one hates you, they all just look at you and all they could say is NEBECH what a RACHMUNES, HASHEM should have mercy on you.

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  46. I'm so sorry for all of these ignorant, hateful comments. You should all be ashamed of yourself. Judgmental, absolutely disgusting attitudes.

    Abby, I hope you don't give these vile comments any credence.

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  47. Live and let live!

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  48. Save your shmekel for when you are horny and lonely

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  49. All of u stupid people need to realize that it's not about hate! It's about such a deep issue this person is going through that he thinks this will fix it! But I hate to tell u this, ur troubles will still be there right where u left it when u "become a girl" because u r not a girl and never will be! god made u that way! God does NOT make mistakes! If he would've wanted u to be a girl, he would've made u one at birth! If u don't "feel urself" u got way bigger issues man!

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    1. I'm much happier since transitioning. And I don't believe in god, so whether or not she makes mistakes is not a concern for me.

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  50. You guys are all littered with what you call sin, pray to God that the LGBT community does not start posting videos and stories on the many interesting escapades of Hassidic men and women.

    My guess is you bigots will not rest until you are humiliated by having endless videos posted online of Rabbis in houses of prostitution, and plenty of Hassidic women engaging in acts that even the lowest of humanity finds repulsive.

    I am discussing with my attorney the legalities of starting to post videos online showing countless people from the Hassidic sect engaging in things they lecture others against.

    This year at the seder your children might ask a fifth question, a question that "avudim ha'yinu" will not answer. It goes like this: "The fifth question is, why does the Rabbi keep preaching about "schmirat habrit" when he himself is a giant chazer?"

    P.S. If you know the Rabbi in this video please contact the Police. This is a Rabbi that attacked a Woman in broad daylight.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ihrXB5o_tc

    The videos that we have of Rabbi's makes this Rabbi look like a "Lamed Vav" Tzadik.

    Oh, before I forget, I know that one of the things you get taught right after the Rebbe puts honey on the Alef, is that if someone tells you anything you don't like ask him right away: "Are you threatening me?" For the record I am making a statement that "we will utilize all legal options to expose and fight back against bigots". Please save your "Are you threatening" nonsense when you are talking to a local heimishe idiot with 3 cell phones on his belt and a keychain with 180 keys to nothing.


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  51. I never heard of a woman being able to make babies I guess you are more the feeling and emotional type but you are a man and work on your self to accept that

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  52. Hi Abby,

    As someone who's still in the O community (but not yet full-time and out, still negotiating the whole family-thing), I definitely have only a small notion as to where you're coming from. (I'm also a CU grad - CC90 - so...those who know me now know who I am.) I wish you only ื—ื–ืง ื•ืืžืฅ in your transition. I also have strong ties to CU still.

    (Also, I've been on HRT for almost 9 months. If 2 months is already fun, the next 7 are going to be a wild ride!)

    ื‘ืื”ื‘ื”
    ื™ื•ืกืคื” ื‘ืชื™-ื”

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  53. cant get over this
    from strokers to bossoms
    unreal

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  54. These are the things that make the world a worse place dna says your a man not a woman whatever makes you happy they say. Well thats what is wrong with the world, if it makes you feel better do it. You really cant say how much you love your parents by acting like freak jenner and blogging about it, and then asking for money for having your shmekel removed so you will feel complete if dna says your all male then its a mental problem. Everybody blames the creator that the creator made a mistake, well maybe the devil is making people feel this way, to keep you from something you should be. The Creator does not make mistakes.

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  55. Abby, always keep in mind these immortal words from the great Jimi Hendrix:

    "'I'm the one that's got to die when it's time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to.'"

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  56. Brava brava brava! Laudable all you have done, your strength, your courage. I'm so so happy for you. After all, it's you, you have to live with. Too bad others refuse to comprehend. You will find AMAZING people your way, that will embrace and adore you just the way you are. Hugs, kisses and much love out your way.

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  57. Mazal Tov! You are a brave and beautiful woman and I wish you peace in your journey. Please know that there are Jews and Jewish communities that will accept you for you.

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  58. You must live your life as you envision it for your own self-respect and a brave persona. If you engage with all of the negative garbage that will come your way, just realize who the enlightened individual, is, yes you, in the mirror, with courage and conviction. What do they offer, those who see you as a devil in a dress? Ignore them and enjoy who and what you are, and do continue to look to Hashem for your own piece of mind and eternal guidance. You will always be one of Hashem's children, so live it accordingly, and do not forget it is his dominion that you live in!.

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  59. Hay abbe I AM A HASSIDIC GUY and i always had the same feeling like u since i am 11 years old that o really wanna be a woman now u abbe opend my eyes that there is such a thing and ill definitely look into it. THANK YOU ABBE

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  60. I read that there is a biological basis to these feelings...something to do with when the cells and chromosomes split early in the preg into a baby being born girl or boy what happens with people who are born this way is that the embryo is about to split one way and something goes wrong medically half way through and goes the other way so it's a real and true thing that they think they are in the wrong body. I think there's also a ted talk about this.

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  61. I wish you strength and best wishes in your new path and having seen my brother in law go through this, support your decision to be who you are meant to be. You are a child of Hashem and a beautiful person.

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  62. Congratulations in all regards. I grew up orthodox (and gay) and couldn't wait to leave my roots which began immediately after bar mitzvah. I have nothing good to say about closed minded orthodox sheep. Now practice my own reform/science of mind/pagan path. Following your blog. Aloha.

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  63. Are you familiar with Joy Ladin? She's the first openly trans professor at YU. I think you'd find her work interesting if not helpful.

    http://www.processphilosophy.org/letter-to-my-body-joy-ladin-transgender-experience-and-process-theology.html

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  64. ๏ฌฎ ื”๏ฌฎืจืฆื™ืงืŸ ืฒืฉืจ־๏ฌปื•ื— ! ื”ืœืฐ๏ฌฎื™ ืฐ๏ฌŸื–ื˜ ืื™ืจ ๏ฌฎื ื“ืขืจืข ื“ืขื ืฐืขื’.

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  65. Abby, congratulations on becoming the person you were meant to be. I hope that in time, you will find a way to reconcile with your family and former friends who are not yet able to understand. All the best to you.

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  66. Hi Abby, I was moved by yr courageos experience. Keep going, you deserve to be the true you that you are dreaming of. I wish you all the best with lots of hugs!! Susanna

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  67. Abby, I am extending a message of support and strength in the spirit of Ahavas Yisrael. Despite what may seem like insurmountable challenges, you are guiding your neshama to reside in a more genuine form in which to reveal a much brighter light of your existence. I understand the term “ex-chassidic” will often be assigned to your story, but I find that label highly inaccurate. Although its cultural implications are quite clear, there are inner dimensions to Chassidus that can never be extricated from who you are, because in so many ways, I am sure they fueled the sparks to ignite your path towards self discovery. And for the countless lives you will protect through the hope of possibility sharing your story inspires, you deserve a heartfelt yasher koach.

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  68. Wow Abby - You are one courageous woman! I just finished reading the book "All Who Go Do Not Return: A Memoir" and your story makes his seem tame. You should be immensely proud of your courage not only to leave the Hasidic community but to live your own true self. I wish you nothing but the very best always and hope you find happiness always.

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  69. Abby, I offer you my words of support and praise for your honesty and bravery, and hope that this path offers as many supporters as you need. I tread it before you, and others will come after. You are known, you are loved, and may you be blessed with long and healthy life.

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  70. hi Abby, i read your story in Israel's Ynet newspaper. it takes alot to uproot everything you knew and believed. i can't only say "stay strong and find your happiness where ever it may be. there are plenty of people who would except you for you.

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  71. someone that really cares!November 23, 2015 at 4:40 PM

    i guess you regreted it as soon as you got out of the surgery b h i am a yid and so proud to be one i wouldnt give it up for anything in the world, i just wanna let you know that you are still mechuyav with the 613 mitzvos wether you like it or not and its not going to help you to play the blaming game! believe me i had a hard childhood im not comparing myself to you in any way cos i dont know you i just know of you and i believe that you could have got out that so called closed box and still live a beutiful kosher life, what a shame your really missing out on the stunning shabosim and yomim tovim and chessed org. etc. i hope really soon one day you will get the help you really need and show the world a big kiddush hashem that there is a special place for baalei teshuva higher than stam tzadikim and i hope your grandfather the baal shem is a meilitz yosher for you to get back on track.
    hatzlocho rabo

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    1. When I got out of the surgery in 1996, I felt a great deal of relief. I'm still the same person, but now I'm anatomically correct.

      Unlike Abby, I stayed frum throughout the whole process, and I still am. I share your disappointment that Abby is no longer frum, but if you read the comments on this page, I doubt you'll have a hard time imagining why she isn't.

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    2. the blaming game dosnt help anyone if someone has a hard life thats his test no one in history has had a smooth easy going life all along and the sooner you get to terms with that the happier you will be, and btw im not angry at him i really feel sorry for him and hope he gets to his senses reall soon

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    3. Kol akavod keep it up be strong. We can't wait to hear the good news thet ur pregnant

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  72. Hi Abby, I was moved by yr courageos experience. Keep going, you deserve to be the true you that you are dreaming of. I wish you all the best with lots of hugs!! Susanna

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  73. Greetings Abby. I'd come to know of your story on an episode of the TV show Dark Net. On that program I understood your transition began spawning from your questioning whether God exists or not. To judge anyone besides myself goes against what is known to me as a commandment for mankind, and for that reason, I can't say that your journey is right or wrong because it is not my journey. But I can say honestly that I wish I could've had the opportunity to have shown you the evidence that had enlightened me to answering the same questions and ideas I'd once entertained when I was at my lowest and most faithless times. Of which I get the strong sense that modern society has adopted the same questions naturally bout about by social design to lose the masses(us all) into slavery and chaos as predicted. I'm curious if you would have made the same choices and whether you may have taken a different path to self discovery if you would have discovered the same realizations as I have. I can't judge you, nor am I writing this to preach, but I was moved by your story which takes a lot of bravery to publicize. I can't tell you what to do or how to feel, but your story did move me in hoping that ultimately that you do find the real truth of God's existence in time as I feel fortunate to have had, which I believe has kept me alive, although I no longer fear death. Sincerely, Anonymous Ant

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  74. I know a man who is heterosexual but yet his brain is wired in a way which causes him tremendous difficulty. He is wired to want only a particular woman and none else. That wouldn't necessarily be such a problem because a heterosexual man does tend to hook up with a woman of his choice but in this particular case it poses a problem because the woman whom he is wired to want is already taken. It's his neighbor's wife. He is stuck with a nature that leaves no room for his happiness. He tried to deal with his problem with many years of therapy but no therapy has been able to cure him of this. It seems he isn't sick or problematic but he is simply just who he is and he can't change who he is. By the way he is frum but I don't see how that affects anything. Does anybody have any suggestions for this poor soul?

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  75. Nonsense. No one is "wired" to want a particular person. On the other hand, there are differences between male brain structure and female brain structure. Try again.

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    1. The fact that you and others don't recognize and validate the nature of this individual adds additional pain to his already very painful plight. Who are you to decide that 'no one' is wired one way or another? Do you profess to understand the nature of every person? You know that many people say that no one is wired to homosexuality but that it is simply a mental disorder. Only those who actually are homosexual and know the experience first hand can truly attest to the reality of that nature. Additionally there are countless people who are wired to be needy of multiple sexual partners and can never be content with any prohibition what so ever. Every time they are denied the right to a woman upon whom they laid their eyes it pains them endlessly. Do you deny the existence of the mass multitudes of people who are wired that way? They take to porn and frequenting prostitutes but it still falls short when they are denied the right to have sexual relations with the object of the desire of any given moment. These people are really suffering. Do you have any advice for them?

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  76. When I was in college, I shared an apartment with 3 other women. When we got the apartment, it was because we were all looking for a kosher apartment. I, naively enough, thought that there'd be at least a modicum of respect for Shabbat as well.

    Each week, I'd tape the light on in the bathroom, and each week, one of my apartment-mates would take the tape off and turn off the light. Her argument was that she didn't want to waste electricity. Not that we paid for electricity, since it was a college owned apartment, but she didn't care. She was a conservationist. I said that it wasn't fair for her to turn the light off on me like that, and that it was disrespectful. That was the point at which she started acting like you are right now. She said, "Well, I want to celebrate Shabbat on Wednesday. I don't want you turning electricity in the apartment on or off on Wednesdays, because that's my religious belief."

    Of course, that was nonsense. She had no such belief, just as your deceitful invention of a theoretical person who is wired to want a specific person or multiple people is a lie. It's an interesting rhetorical technique, making up a case that doesn't really exist in order to challenge cases that do, but it has no actual validity. It's just rhetoric. It's boring.

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  77. Are you denying that multitudes of people genuinely are even out control about committing all sorts of adultery? It is the strongest yetzer hora that exists. Do you deny that? Do you deny that these people are wired to want to have sex? It's not like the baloney story of Shabbos on Wednesday. This is really a burning desire. Do you deny that? If so you are simply not being honest.

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  78. No, I'm being honest. Most people have a tayva to have sex. That tayva doesn't go away just because they're married. That's the point at which they need to channel that tayva to their spouse only.

    And it's not the strongest yetzer hara. The strongest yetzer hara is to deny something that makes you feel uncomfortable. Atheists give in to that yetzer hara because the idea that there is a God makes them feel small or out of control. People like you give in to that yetzer hara because the idea that someone could be wired differently than you gives you the heebie jeebies.

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  79. But they are suffering tremendously to be limited only to their wife. The thoughts and desires don't stop day and night. That is the nature of the beast (especially for those who allow their beast to flourish). That's the way men are wired. So then we need to make these extra marital activities permissible because we can't deny ourselves of our needs, can we now?

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  80. Nonsense. Men are randy. That's the way they're designed. That's what kiddushin is *for*. To harness that. You're trying the business of men being polygamous by nature. To the extent that it's true, it's global, and not just a small number of exceptions. And God was very much aware of how He created men. If he's married, he has someone with whom he can have sex. He doesn't *need* someone he isn't married to. He just *wants* it.

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  81. "Need" - "Want"... You're splitting hairs. What does need mean? Does it mean the person will get a heart attack if they don't get their way? Or what? Any definition could probably be equally true or untrue for each of these instances. I could give you lots of other examples too of desires/passions/needs/wants that people struggle with. And if you talk about harnessing ourselves not to feel that need things to be just exactly as we desire, then I am speaking about that too. You can't speak from both sides of your mouth and choose to make exactly those specific differentiations which suit your agenda. That's why I'm calling for intellectual honesty.

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  82. I wonder why my comments were deleted. I spoke in the most civil of manners.

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  83. Thank you for taking the time to publish this information very useful! I've been looking for books of this nature for a way too long. I'm just glad that I found yours. Looking forward for your next post. Thanks :)



    salt spray chamber manufacturers

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  84. Best wishes for your continued transition. There is absolutely room in Judaism for trans people. I'm glad you've found a community that accepts you for who you are. (Tzip)

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  85. I have been looking to see if you have written a memoir in book form yet, but haven't been able to find one. Have you written it yet? If not, let me say I hope you will do so soon, and I will look forward to reading it :)

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