Re: Openly gay students attending day schools
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Re: Openly gay students attending day schools

December 09, 2018 06:11PM
I'd actually like to expand this out a little bit more because in addition to the specific halakhic and hashkafic questions hinted at by Shmuel, the underlying question combines multiple categories of biological sex, gender, and sexual orientation/attraction as if they were one single thing...

So if you will indulge me for a few moments I'd like to clarify some terms...

Sex is assigned at birth and refers to one’s biological status as either male or female. This is primarily associated with the physical attributes of a person (e.g. their chromosomes, and external and internal anatomy [i.e. does one have a penis or vagina]).

Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for boys and men or girls and women. These influence the ways that people act, interact, and feel about themselves.

Sexual orientation is the emotional, romantic, or sexual attraction that a person feels toward another person.

Within a Jewish halakhic context this gets further complicated because chazal basically assumes that gender and biological sex are the same (see for example conversation on the tim-tum in the Mishnah) but essentially modern medicine and psychology assumes these three categories are distinct entities....

So to break down the original question, there are actually three different questions implicit in it:

1. how schools are reacting to or treating incidences of students who are sexually attracted to those of the same gender? [gay]
2. how schools are reacting to or treating incidences of students who are talking about one's gender identity not conforming with one's assigned sex? [transgender talk]
3. how schools are reacting to or treating incidences of students who are wearing clothing that is traditionally or stereotypically worn by another gender than we assume that student is identifying as. [transvestite (cross gender dressing).]

It should be noted that questions 2 & 3 are not necessarily indicative of the sexual orientation of the student in question... e.g. We don't question whether a male student is a homosexual if he dresses up as Vashti or Esther haMalka on Purim, or assume that every girl who wears pants is a Lesbian.

I'm sure the answer to these varies dramatically from school to school and as Shmuel notes in beginning to address question 1, there's significant questions implicit within the details of the further questions vis a vis whether or not someone is violating halakhah or not etc etc....

So I want to actually focus on two other questions:
1. As Abie points in referencing Chief Rabbi Mirvis' document, presumably these policies (like others in our school) should be guided by the values and middos that ostensibly drive our schools and our teaching...
2. Is the issue here about halakhic/hashkafic norms, or about our general discomfort at discussing these issues more broadly? Why is it as Abie suggests (quite correctly I believe) that "few Orthodox day schools would be willing to share their positions on this question in an open forum like Lookjed"

Ok -- now that I've soapboxed -- here are several organizations doing this work that may have resources that are helpful to you:

1. Keshet: [www.keshetonline.org]
For those in frummer schools, some of this content may not be hashkafically sound, but they are one of the more established groups in this space:

2. Eshel: [www.eshelonline.org]
Orthodox focused group trying to make space for LGBTQ folk inside of the frum community. They have a high school specific initiative ongoing currently: [www.eshelonline.org]

3. JQYouth: [www.jqyouth.org]
NY based drop-in center and other programming to support LGBTQ Youth with a special focus on teens and young adults from Orthodox, Chasidic, and Sephardic communities



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/09/2018 06:12PM by mlb.
Subject Author Posted

Openly gay students attending day schools

Rochelle Brand November 27, 2018 08:21AM

Re: Openly gay students attending day schools

Abie Zayit December 05, 2018 07:31AM

Re: Openly gay students attending day schools

Shmuel Silberman December 05, 2018 07:34AM

Re: Openly gay students attending day schools

Russel Neiss December 09, 2018 06:11PM

Re: Openly gay students attending day schools

Eliyahu Teitz December 09, 2018 06:15PM

Re: Openly gay students attending day schools

Shmuel Silberman December 12, 2018 07:13PM

Re: Openly gay students attending day schools

Miryam Kabakov December 16, 2018 08:12AM

Re: Openly gay students attending day schools

Tzvika Kanarek December 18, 2018 07:44AM

Re: Openly gay students attending day schools

Jessie Fischbein January 21, 2019 06:45AM



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