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LGBTQIA Rights

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.

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.

Leslie Feinberg

A working-class lesbian, transgender activist, and communist, Leslie Feinberg became an important voice for lesbians of her generation with the publication of her powerful 1993 novel Stone Butch Blues.

Jeanne Manford

In 1973 Jeanne Manford’s fierce love for her gay son in the face of national condemnation of homosexuality led her to create a support network for other families, Parents of Gays, later known as PFLAG.

Amanda Simpson

A skilled pilot and aeronautics engineer, Amanda Simpson made history in 2010 when she became the first openly transgender presidential appointee, as senior technical advisor to the Bureau of Industry and Security.

Harriet Perl, 1920 - 2013

Like everyone who took Harriet Perl for English or American literature at Hamilton High School in West Los Angeles, I never forgot her. She was a gifted teacher who gave the job great stature. What came back most vividly when I thought of her was her smile—radiant and affirming—and my joy in getting an A on a book report.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "LGBTQIA Rights." (Viewed on January 20, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/lgbtqia-rights>.

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