A lesson from Jacob & Esau – Joy Ladin

For Jewish transsexual teaching at Yeshiva University, no easy path to being a daughter” by Joy Ladin.

[M]y estrangement from the world around me [as transgender] drove me to the Torah. There, I found someone I recognized as the direct ancestor of my own unbearable tangle of love and lies. In a passage I read over and over, Jacob serves his blind, aged father Isaac his favorite dinner as a prelude to receiving his blessing. There’s only one problem with this scene of filial devotion: Jacob is impersonating his twin brother Esau, who older by a moment, is his father’s heir. Esau, a vigorous, hairy, hyper-masculine hunter, is his father’s favorite…

Like Jacob, I wasn’t the boy my parents meant to bless with food, shelter, clothing, love. Under the skins of masculinity — the pants and shirts I hated, the roles and games I forced myself to play — was something too smooth, too soft, too feminine to be loved like the male “twin” I pretended to be. Like Jacob, I found deception heartbreakingly easy. As long as I kept my hair short and wore pants and shirts, no one could see the girl cowering beneath.

But Jacob had something going for him that I didn’t have: a mother, Rebekah, who knew him for who he truly was.

Read the rest here.

5 thoughts on “A lesson from Jacob & Esau – Joy Ladin

  1. Hi,

    Wow. She somehow said this better, than anyone Ai know of. I don’t know why , I said that, except to me this is so.


    …Mary P…. Heimberg., …. .

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Pingback: What is Gender? Part 7: A Personal Plea for Gender Sanity | The Catholic Transgender

  3. Pingback: Giving birth, being adopted, becoming a “transphobe,” hating reality TV, and generally entertaining revelations against my will | Voila Viola!

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