Both Wilderness and Promised Land: How Torah Grows When Read Through LGBTQ Eyes

B’reishit—in the beginning of the Torah, and the beginning of the world—there was God, a very queer God. Unlike other deities described in Iron Age texts, this God didn’t have a form or face or identifiable role in the natural world. In other Iron Age creation stories, deities are action heroes, creating order out of chaos by slaying monsters, other deities, and occasionally their parents. In Genesis, God brings order out of chaos simply by speaking. No blood, no pantheon, no rivals, no triumphs to portray on temple walls, nothing to visualize or imagine.

Once Out of Nature: Life Beyond the Gender Binary

To truly include transgender people within Abrahamic religious traditions, we have to shatter the idol of the gender binary and face the truth that trans people embody—the truth that the gender binary represents neither the nature of nature, nor the nature of humanity, nor the nature of God.

The Stolen Blessing

The Torah has little to say about transsexuality, but it has a lot to say about people who do hard-to-explain and sometimes terrible things in order to be true to themselves. My personal archetype was Jacob. I had never liked Jacob, but even as a child I recognized his life as an uncomfortably apt metaphor for mine.


When I began living as a woman, my children’s world split open. As the truth of my gender collided with the truth of their pain at losing the man they loved, it seemed there was no world we could inhabit together — until love taught us that no matter what gender I expressed, I would always be their father.