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LGBTQIA Rights

Toba Spitzer

Toba Spitzer became the first openly gay head of a rabbinic organization in 2007 when she became president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association.

Deborah Brin

Deborah Brin, one of the first openly gay rabbis, led the first prayer service for Women of the Wall at the Conference for the Empowerment of Jewish Women in 1988.

Joy Ladin

Poet and scholar Joy Ladin is the first openly transgender employee of an Orthodox institution, Yeshiva University’s Stern College.

Dear Midge Decter

You know the saying: keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Were we to meet, we wouldn’t be enemies exactly, but I doubt that we’d be friends either. While you and I are both female Jewish writers, the similarity stops there. 

Caroline Kubzansky Holding "Fearless" Sign

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Author Caroline Kubzansky holds up a sign that reads "Fearless."

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Author Caroline Kubzansky holds up a sign that reads "Fearless."

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Kate Bornstein

Through performance art pieces like Kate Bornstein Is a Queer and Pleasant Danger and The Opposite Sex is Neither, Kate Bornstein questions society’s understanding of gender as a binary.

Jamie Lee Curtis

Hailed as the “Scream Queen” for her 1978 film debut in Halloween and her work in other slasher films, Jamie Lee Curtis defied expectations through her roles in A Fish Called Wanda and The Heidi Chronicles.

Kate Bornstein, Seattle, 2010

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Kate Bornstein at Babeland in Seattle in 2010.
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
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Kate Bornstein at Babeland in Seattle in 2010.


Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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Jamie Lee Curtis, 2015

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Jamie Lee Curtis at the 2015 San Diego Comic Con.
Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons.
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Creative Commons (attribution non-commercial share alike)

Jamie Lee Curtis at the 2015 San Diego Comic Con.

Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons.

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Estelle Getty, 1985

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Actress and comedian Estelle Getty (1923 – 2008) in 1985.

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Actress and comedian Estelle Getty (1923 – 2008) in 1985.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "LGBTQIA Rights." (Viewed on May 30, 2016) <http://jwa.org/topics/lgbtqia-rights>.

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