A parent stands outside the demonstration area holding a sign in hebrew. (@ronisassover/Twitter)
A transgender student at a school in Israel was reportedly publicly outed without consent, resulting in an anti-trans protest by parents of their classmates.
Parents and students of the religious Morsheth Naria school discovered that the child was trans in early September 2022 through unknown circumstances, according to Ono News. This reportedly caused a mass panic among parents and faculty members, with some choosing to stop sending their children to school altogether.
One mother said: “The administration knew about the story and probably most of the teachers did too, but it dropped on the parents like lightning on a clear day.”
According to JewishPress, 17 third-grade parents sent school administrators a message on 7 September saying: “After discussion with the school and the school’s rabbis, the solution given to us as parents was one of inclusion and acceptance of the phenomenon within the framework of a Torah religious school.
“We, the majority of third-grade parents, are not ready to contain the phenomenon and accept the damage to our spiritual character and the emotional damage that our children are going through and will go through in the future.”
Parents and other anti-trans campaigners then demonstrated in Givat Shmuel, where the school is located, on 9 September, demanding that faculty members “find a solution for us” as though they were facing a natural disaster, not a child simply existing.
In response, the LGBTQ+ religious group Havruta tweeted on the day, condemning the gathering, which it said was “in the service of transphobia,” adding that the group should “go home, make something for Shabbat.”
The group of 17 parents threatened a mass transfer of their children to other schools if nothing was done about what they said was a “situation we have been fighting for more than a week.”
Speaking to News12, former chief rabbi of Ramat Gan Yaakov Ariel said: “This is a sensitive issue that requires caution and care.
“There’s a child here, who needs to be treated with sensitivity and determination,” he continued – but at the same time claiming gender transition is impossible.
“We must handle the matter with sensitivity and delicacy.”
‘No one should be labelled impure’
Despite the claims that religious society cannot possibly accept trans people into society because, as reporters at JewishPress phrase it: “The Halacha refers to them as having a mental disorder that currently is incurable,” it has been done on multiple occasions by more accepting groups.
In 2021, the Hungarian Jewish group Mazsihisz took a defiant stand against an anti-LGBTQ+ “propaganda” law which defined any positive depiction of LGBTQ+ themes as “gay propaganda”.
In a statement, the group said: “The Mazsihisz, as a Jewish group, firmly believes that all people are inherently pure and their emotions do not make them unclean.
“No one should be labelled impure, be discriminated against and certainly not outlawed simply because of their orientation or identity. Such classifications destroy social cohesion and our sense of belonging.”