LECH LECHA (GEN 12.1-17.27)
What this parshah reads like to me, every year, is a man (Abram) asking a woman (Sarai) to lie, and risk everything for him to keep his ass out of trouble. For her to risk herself for him. She does it, presumably getting raped and who knows what else (because women’s storylines are pretty much never mentioned) in the process, and then, oh ok. Fine. Everything’s fine. He’s ACTUALLY rewarded for it.
The pharaoh (who didn’t know better!) gets punished (sort of?) for it, but not until AFTER he takes Sarah as a wife, so presumably rape. Awful. This story is awful and the use of women as literal property makes it actually hard to read.
In the TQ commentary I learned about the first trans rabbi Elliot Kukla, but why isn’t HE speaking for himself here? He has one essay in this book. (okay 1.5 cuz one is shared ), but again I really get the feeling I’m reading something by a cis straight person.
I do actually think this particular parshah is especially relevant to transgender people because there is soooo much to talk about and think about with the name changes for Abraham and Sarah. (the WTC talks about addition of H meaning the addition of g-d- how's that for becoming whole?!?). When I walked out of the courthouse, with my legal name change document in hand, I felt whole. I felt real. I felt complete in a way that, even wanting to do it as much as I did, I still didn't expect to feel.
Taking and choosing your name as a transgender person is a HUGE personal and monumental step in the journey. It is a gift and a truly intense moment to recognize your own true name that you are meant to have and to see it IN the world, and to see a reflection of this, even sort of obliquely, in the Torah is powerful. Unfortunately, it was clear that the person writing this has not actually ever had this experience.