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(light dissonant music)
- I pretty much had an image in my mind
that most people in the world are Jewish,
and most Jews are ultra-Orthodox.
When I was 19 was the first time I got access to internet,
and I was like, okay, I have to check.
I found the right Hebrew Wikipedia page about trans people.
I couldn't read English at that point,
I was only able to read in Hebrew.
My life was never the same after that.
(light ambient music)
I'm Abby Stein, I was raised in the Hasidic Community
in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York.
I identify as a woman of trans experience.
The Hasidic community in Williamsburg
is probably one of the most sheltered communities,
definitely in the US, perhaps even in the world.
Everything is different.
(light dissonant music)
I was raised without internet, TV, movies,
Broadway shows, music, magazines.
I couldn't have a conversation in English until I was 20.
In the Hasidic community, men shave their heads.
I hated that I had to shave,
I would have loved to have long hair.
Now it's just as different as it gets,
at least in terms of facial hair or, like, anything like that.
Growing up, I always identified more
with the feminine part, with the females
in my family and my community.
Every time that I tried to tell myself,
it's not that you're a girl, something else is the problem,
I would start battling with depression.
And it got to a point where I realized,
hey, this is not a life, I have to do something.
When I left the community that I was raised in,
I didn't know how to dress or how to talk to people,
and I had to figure out everything from scratch.
And in some ways that's exactly what I'm doing now
in terms of transition on the gender spectrum.
People tell me a lot, oh, you're so brave,
you're so strong, and I always feel like,
I don't know, I only did what I have to do to survive.
And if there's one thing that I could go back
and tell myself when I was six years old,
12 years old, it's know there are other people like you.
(light ambient music)
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Transitioning to Freedom

78 Folder Collection
許大善 published on September 15, 2019
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