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LGBTQIA Rights

The Sound of Silence

A large part of my upbringing was my exposure to progressive education. My middle school was one that nourished not only a love for learning, but a well-rounded approach to diversity in any form it may take, including sexual orientation. However, I learned that even this inclusivity was an extraordinary privilege and not everyone, my own parents included, was raised in such a tolerant community. 

We’re Not In Oxford Anymore

I am one of the biggest grammar freaks that I know. I proudly count myself as a “soldier of the subjunctive,” and I find cartoons about comma placement to be hilarious-- so it may come as a surprise that I was excited when The American Dialect Society voted an ”incorrect” use of English to be the defining word of 2015. The word in question? The singular “they.” 

Denise Eger

In 2015, Denise Eger became the first openly gay president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the professional organization for Reform rabbis.

Betty Berzon

Two years after psychologist Betty Berzon came out as a lesbian in 1971, she won the fight to have the American Psychiatric Association declassify homosexuality as a mental illness.

Judith Butler

Judith Butler transformed philosophy’s understanding of gender and queer studies with her theory that gender is not an inherent quality, it is a repeated performance based on social codes.

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. 

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.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "LGBTQIA Rights." (Viewed on June 25, 2018) <https://jwa.org/topics/lgbtqia-rights>.

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