Srully Stein grew up in a Hasidic enclave of Williamsburg, New York, the son of a prominent family with strong ties one of Hasidism’s founding fathers. By 18 he was married, and soon afterwards had a baby boy. But impelled by an intense desire to attend secular college, he broke from his community and obtained a divorce. Now, Stein is undergoing a second tremendous life-change: transitioning to a different gender.
Stein now goes by the name Abby, and began hormone therapy several months ago. She runs a blog about her transition, and writes there that she was deeply confused about her identity as a child: “As you all know, 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.”
Stein recently told her father about her transition and has not heard from him since. She has, however, found support among the Jewish community at Columbia University, where Stein is studying political science and gender studies. “[M]y main goal is to raise awareness for trans people within the ultra-Orthodox community,” Stein told the New York Post, and added that the topic has “been totally ignored until now.”
Read the full story at the New York Post.