LGBTQIA Rights

Content type
Collection

Lesléa Newman

Lesbian feminist writer Lesléa Newman made history in 1989 with her controversial children’s book, Heather Has Two Mommies. Inspired by Newman’s friend, a lesbian mother who complained that there were no children’s books with families that looked like hers, the book sparked national controversy. Newman has written countless books for children, adolescents, and adults on homosexuality, Jewish identity, eating disorders, and AIDS.

Achy Obejas

Writer, translator, and activist Achy Obejas was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1956 and moved to the United States with her parents six years later. She is known for stories with characters and themes related to gender, queer sexuality, Cuban-ness, and Jewishness, as well as migration, displacement, and diaspora.

Aurora Levins Morales

Aurora Levins Morales is an author, artist, activist, and historian whose work as been critical to third-wave feminism, Puerto Rican and Latinx feminism, disability justice, radical Judaism, climate change activism, and grassroots. organizing.

Image of a march at Amsterdam pride: figure holding up sign that reads: "Rainbow Capitalism = Queer Erasure"

The Dangers of Rainbow Capitalism

Liana Smolover-Bord

Is corporate support during June really "Pride," or is it just commodification of queer culture to bolster capitalism?

Irena Klepfisz

Irena Klepfisz is a poet whose legacy is key to the history of Jewish, American and lesbian literature. Klepfisz is also a pioneer of the recovery of Jewish and Yiddish women’s writing, to which she has dedicated translations, research, teaching, and activism.

Mahinarangi Tocker

New Zealand singer-songwriter Mahinaarangi Tocker (1955-2008) was best known as a Maori musician, but her Jewish heritage was an essential component of her identity and her music.

Pearl Hart

Pearl M. Hart was a pioneering attorney, activist, and educator. She devoted her life to defending the legal rights of the vulnerable and oppressed, especially women, children, immigrants, and gay men and lesbians. Her work in Chicago was instrumental in the development of the LGBTQ community there in the middle of the twentieth century.

Joy Ladin

Joy Ladin is the Gottesman Professor of English at Stern College, a prolific poet, and a central figure in transgender theology. Her numerous written works reframe classical Jewish theological questions from a transfeminist perspective.  

Edie Windsor

Before Edie Windsor became an LGBT activist, she was a computer programmer at IBM in the 1960s and a mentor to women in the field. When her joyous 44-year relationship with Thea Spyer ended with Thea’s death, Edie sued the federal government to recognize their marriage. She took her case all the way to the Supreme Court, winning recognition for the marriages of all same-sex couples in the U.S.

Kate Bornstein

Kate Bornstein is a pathbreaking transgender lesbian activist, theorist, and performance artist. She is known for tackling social ills and personal pain with joyful optimism.

Adrienne Cooper

A versatile performer, scholar, administrator, and activist who worked in the fields of Yiddish culture, Jewish music, social justice, and feminism, Adrienne Cooper inspired international audiences with her compelling performances and nurtured a generation of musicians, academics, and advocates.

Jill/Joey Soloway

Activist, director, and creator of groundbreaking and critically acclaimed series such as Transparent, I Love Dick, and others (and writer for series such as Six Feet Under and United States of Tara), Joey Soloway (previously known as Jill) is also a social activist, considered one of the strongest advocates for women, queer, and nonbinary identities in Hollywood. Soloway identifies as nonbinary, and Judaism, feminism, and modern Jewish culture are resonant themes in their work.

Martha Ackelsberg

Martha Ackelsberg is a Jewish feminist lesbian anarchist activist, community leader, and academic. She is a leading scholar of anarchism and of anarchist women’s organizations of the Spanish Civil War. A founder and/or early leading visionary in pivotal United States Jewish developments, Ackelsberg has been a key voice shaping feminist, lesbian, and havurah contributions to twentieth- and twenty-first century Jewish life.

Leslie Feinberg

Leslie Feinberg and the Power of Queer Jewish Memory

Avivit Ashman

After reading Stone Butch Blues, I feel like I finally have a history and a sense of memory as a queer Jew.

Leslie Feinberg

Leslie Feinberg was a self-described “anti-racist white, working-class, secular Jewish, transgender, lesbian, female, revolutionary communist.” She worked at the nexus of trans, feminist, lesbian, critical race, Jewish, and class politics. A speaker and author, Feinberg was a gifted activist and political organizer.

Marshmallows Over a Campfire

Encountering Homophobia at My Jewish Summer Camp for Girls

Judy Goldstein

There aren't outside pressures from patriarchy in the all-girls camp bubble; but that doesn't mean that bigotry is eradicated.

Ritu Weds Chandni Book Cover

Through the Window: Interview with Author Ameya Narvankar

Ambika Sambasivan

As part of the Association of Jewish Libraries’ program Through the Window: A Diversity Exchange, we interview Ameya Narvankar, author of LGBTQ children's book Ritu Weds Chandni.

Composite image of Hebrew and Harry Potter glasses / scarf

How Midrash Helps Me Grapple with J.K. Rowling's Transphobia

Rakhel Silverman

How should we grapple with J.K. Rowling's transphobia? Midrash offers some answers.

Topics: LGBTQIA Rights
Ruth swearing her allegiance to Naomi

"Wherever You Go, I Go": Queerness in the Book of Ruth

Elana Spivack

This Book of Ruth is a clarion call for women loving women.

Judith Butler

Judith Butler is the Maxine Elliot Professor of Comparative Literature and the Program in Critical Theory at the University of California, Berkeley. Butler’s work treats gender, hate speech, the precarity of life, the precarity of one’s position as a Jewish thinker in light of Israeli policy towards Palestinians, alternative kinship structures, non-violence, vulnerability, and other, equally complex and important aspects of human existence.

Joan Nestle

What Does Sex-Positive Feminism Look Like?

Belle Gage

Joan Nestle opened the door to important conversations about women and sexuality. Contemporary feminist activists must continue them.

20th Anniversary Cover for "Stone Butch Blues "

Centering My Queer Ancestors' Stories

Ellanora Lerner

Stone Butch Blues allowed me to hear my ancestors speak, and it gave me a new understanding of what it means to be queer.

Eli Wiesel Banner at the Jewish History Museum in Tucson

Jewish Diaspora in the Borderlands: An Interview with the Tucson Jewish History Museum

Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler

We talk to Josie Shapiro about the Tucson Jewish Museums's role in advocating for immigrant justice in Arizona and creating queer-affirming, feminist Jewish space.

Episode 35: Becoming Abby Stein (Transcript)

Episode 35: Becoming Abby Stein (Transcript)

Episode 35: Becoming Abby Stein

Author and transgender activist Abby Stein grew up in a tight-knit, insular Hasidic community in Brooklyn; she calls it one of the most gender-segregated societies in America. From early childhood, she knew she was a girl, but for her entire life, her community celebrated the fact that she was a boy. In this episode of Can We Talk?, Stein describes her upbringing, her discovery of non-binary genders in Jewish mysticism, and how she parted ways with her community. This is the final episode in our three-part fall author interview series.

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Get JWA in your inbox