It’s been a hard few weeks ever since Trump rescinded on the bathroom rights for transgender students in public schools. The decision is clearly a big blow to transgender students and the transgender community as a whole, insinuating that transgender students’ safety is not important enough to protect.
This is why Keshet, Jewish LGBTQ education and advocacy organization, launched their campaign, “Kavod Achshav (Dignity Now) – For the Sake of Dignity: A Campaign for Trans Youth” in partnership with national Jewish organizations serving youth. The campaign’s statement says it all:
“We are living in a time of tremendous vulnerability for trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people, whose rights and basic human dignity are under attack. No one is more vulnerable to these threats than trans youth who are still nine times more likely to attempt suicide than cisgender youth.
We must ensure that trans youth are treated with respect and dignity, are safe from bullying, bigotry, and violence, and are fully embraced in our homes, classrooms, synagogues, and public spaces.”
So, what’s the campaign all about? It’s about action, whether you’re a parent, a teacher, a friend, or a sibling of someone who is transgender–or someone who identifies as transgender themselves. There are a variety of lesson plans and materials parents and educators can use, as well personal essays (like this one from a mom of a transgender daughter). There are also signs to download and display, and a social media campaign with the hashtag#TransJewsBelongHere.
Keshet Executive Director Idit Klein also added that the campaign is about making sure discrimination as a whole isn’t being accepted–even if it means disagreeing with the President:
“When the highest office in the land sends the message to trans kids – ‘you are not worthy of our protection’ – every Jewish community leader needs to tell trans kids, ‘You are worthy. You are wanted. You will be safe in our community.’
We must declare that we are called upon to treat all human beings with dignity and respect, not despite our Jewish tradition but because of it.”