To say Abby Stein is brave would be an understatement. She is transitioning into a woman, but coming out to her Hasidic family has meant she’s not only outraged many, but is no longer welcome, according to a feature in the NY Post. So while she is finally living her dream, it’s coming with some pretty steep consequences.
In her blog, Stein writes about the difficulty of her transition because of her family’s reaction, but also insists the outcome has been “amazing”:
“In the community that I was raised in, Trans did not exist, neither was it ever discussed. I was therefore convinced that I have to be crazy, and that I have to get this ‘stupidity’ of feeling like a girl, out of my head.
The road is long, but with the support of some amazing friends and professionals, for the first time in my life I feel like I am getting to be my real self.”
Her post has already received more than 20,000 hits in just a couple days. Unfortunately, not all of the reactions have been positive–some have posted hateful messages, saying she is an embarrassment to her community. Apparently, Stein hasn’t heard from her father since she broke the news.
Despite the negativity, Stein says that she’s found support in the secular community. She’s currently a student at Columbia University’s School of General Studies; four years ago, she divorced her wife (who she married at 18), and officially left the Orthodox community. Now her community is based around her campus’ Jewish community and trans support group.
Stein says her main goal is to raise awareness for “people within the ultra-Orthodox community,” because it’s “totally been ignored until now.”
Thank you for being strong, Abby.