Transgender Boy Wants to be Girl Scout (5-Minute Video)

Transgender Boy Wants to be Girl Scout (5-Minute Video)

I watched this thoroughly bizarre news story and felt two totally conflicting feelings.
1. Oh my Gosh, America has gone TOTALLY INSANE! Israel can be a pretty crazy place to live, but not THIS crazy. Thank God I don’t live there anymore!
vs.
2. Maybe this boy really is biologically sort of a girl because of a hormone imbalance or something like that. Maybe it’s a good thing that he’s able to freely express himself this way?

My inner Chana vs. my inner Jenny.
The Orthodox Jew I am vs. the secular tie-dyed liberal I was.

JewishMOMs, what do you think about this news story?

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14 comments

  1. Dear Fellow Jewish Mom,
    Transgender children aren’t born only in the United States. I guaranty you they are in Israel also, albeit, hidden because many would consider this a shanda. No one knows why some children are born identifying with a different sex than their genitalia, but this abnormality occurs like many others…during development in the womb. Are you familiar with “Cher”? Her daughter, Chastity, had a sex change operation to become a man. It’s not insane or crazy, it just is. Patience, understanding, love, and kindness is what these children needs from their families and society. Given so, they will grow up and find their way in life. Denied this, they grow up in pain and suffer greatly.

    Shalom.

  2. Israeli Eema

    Sorry, I agree with sentiment #1. The place for “children with boy parts” [as described in the article] is in BOY scouts, not girl scouts. Even if this boy’s problem is caused by a hormonal imbalance, the answer is not to allow him to “be a girl”, it is to treat the imbalance. I am sure that there are cub scout merit badges that this young boy could do that would satisfy his interests and needs.

    Hashem knows what He is doing when He decides what gender each human being will be. He doesn’t make mistakes. It is modern secular society that has caused this problem of gender confusion and it is only growing.

  3. When I first saw this piece, I thought that the major issue here is not whether or not this child is transgendered, but that of letting him hear and the word “no.” The Girl Scouts have rules, and he needs to learn to accept them, just as he would the rules of his house, school, library, shop or any other organization, club or institution.

    I don’t know what to comment on the transgender issue, since I don’t know much about it. I am not saying the issue should be avoided completely if indeed there is an issue; however I don’t think that being completely permissive about letting the child dress as a girl and so forth is the correct thing either.

  4. This child is just being who he is. It is highly unlikely that his parents persuaded him to choose to identify as a girl. I think it’s unfair to deny that being gay or transgender is an actual reality for these people and not just some disorder that can be ‘cured’. It seems likely that it has a strong genetic component, as even young children like this boy already identify so naturally as the opposite gender. I disagree with the opinion that he should just join the boyscouts. Would anyone let there daughter join a boys club. This little boy feels in every way like a girl and it would be cruel to force him to deny his nature. I know it is conflicting as a religious person to come to terms with this, I have questions about it too and I have not heard a satisfying Torah perspective about it. My gut instinct tells me that sending a child or adult for ‘treatment’ to help solve the ‘problem’ is simply not realistic. I don’t think this child is the result of liberal America; only that a little liberalism is letting him express himself publicly.

  5. Sharon Saunders

    And if, G-d forbid, you child is born with a hole in his heart, then you let it be and don’t operate, because after all, ‘Hashem doesn’t make mistakes?’

    It happens that very young children, as early as 3, feel that they belong to the gender not conferred on them. It does happen and gay “queens” are a reality. Now the question is whether, because we now can, do we do something about it in childhood? How early, because complete gender reassignment should start before puberty. If we don’t, we’d better accept our gay child or what place in the world does this person have?

    In medical Halacha it has long been the practice in cases of ambiguous genitalia to test biologically whether the child is more one than the other and then identify the child as such, including surgery, if necessary (read Rabbi Dr. Moshe Tendler). Many doctors and rabbis wait awhile until the child shows a preference.

    All that said, I think there are a lot of parents out there now, who think gender is totally biological and not informed by patterning.I think you still have to raise your child from infancy with the idea that they are of a gender.

    Let’s pray that none of our families are tested like this and that if we are, we act with informed guidance and an open heart.

    • I would be very wary when using quotes.

      Are you confident that the quote of Rabbi Dr. Moshe Tendler was within the original intended context and not mis-applied?

      This is especially important in a delicate issue such as the one being debated here, as the general populance are not aware of the Halacha in these matters.

  6. wow, i am shocked at the way you framed this issue. this is a huge nisayon for this child and his family. this has nothing to do with “orthodox” or american, this is a human issue. they deserve every ounce of sensitivity and kindness that anyone can give. they do not need to be judged. the Tzitz Eliezer z”l – the major medical posek of the last century and the rav of sharei tzedek hospital in jerusalem – ruled that when a person undergoes a sex change then they are totally accepted as a new person as a woman or man. were you around a few months ago when 2 teens committed suicide in one week in america b/c of teasing b/c they were not “strait.” How can yoube on the side of those who deny the humanity of people who differ from the normative strait lifestyle? Please reconsider your approach.

    • My husband has gone through the teshuva of the Tzitz Eliezer and that’s not what he says. He was talking about a specific different case than what this boy is going through. Please look it up so you don’t misquote a big talmud chochom.

      • could you be more specific? the tzitz eliezer speaks abt someone who goes through a sex change opperation (this would need to be an adult) not what is going on with this boy. but i stated that in my comment. i will also try to pull out the tshuva but could you also be more specific if you have read it over in the past few hrs that is more recently than I.

    • hi ali,
      wonderful to hear from you…it’s been a few years since we’ve been in touch:) Where are you and Asher living nowadays?

      About your comment, I find it remarkable how you succeed in integrating the worlds that you are a part of. You’re a real inspiration for those of us who feel the conflict more intensely than you do.

      I’ve given it a lot of thought (which is why it’s taken me a few days to respond to your comment) and have decided to leave the post as is for two reason. First of all, what I wrote really does reflect the conflict which I feel. And secondly, I’ve learned that in the medium of blogs, it’s better to be open about what I feel precisely because that enables people like you to come in and share their thoughts.

      with best wishes:) jenny

  7. Essentially the Tzitz Eliezer is talking about a case where a person has both genitalia. He speaks whether the sex change would define what he is and whether it’s permitted or not. Everyone agrees that it’s an issur dioraisah to change from one to the other. Except for the case of what the Tzitz Eliezer is talking about.

  8. My husband is a rav who specializes in contemporary issues and he explained to me that the Tsits Eliezer actually DOES talk about sex change operations (in addition to the teshuva Sara mentions about people born with both male and female genitalia). But he mentions sex changes only in the context of a theoretical halachic case: if a man who has a sex change operation can give a divorce to his wife, since only a man can give his wife a get, and he is no longer a man. My husband said he could imagine the Tsits Eliezer tugging on his beard, and contemplating this tricky halachic issue.

    But it would be a big mistake, my DH emphasized very strongly, to draw any conclusions from this teshuva about the Tsits Eliezer’s general attitude towards a person who has undergone a sex change, which is clearly forbidden. He was just discussing a theoretical halachic issue.

  9. Has anyone else heard that once a man undergoes a sex change operation he is still counted in a minyan? I seem to recall hearing that a few years ago…

  10. I like how you framed it – your inner Chana vs. your inner Jenny. Well put. Can relate.
    What is it about the words “we can’t judge” that freezes my blood…

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