The New York Times has a weekly column by Randy Cohen where he addresses ethical questions submitted by readers.
A few times the questions have been specific to the Orthodox Jewish community, but I think that this week’s question takes the cake.
I am a straight woman, and I was set up on a date with a man. We got along well initially, but I grew concerned about how evasive he was about his past. I did some sophisticated checking online — I do research professionally — and discovered that he [sic] is a female-to-male transgender individual. I then ended our relationship. He and I live in Orthodox Jewish communities. (I believe he converted shortly after he became a man.) I think he continues to date women within our group. Should I urge our rabbi to out this person?
NAME WITHHELD, N.Y.
Makes me wonder how common these types of issues are.
I actually know of at least two transgender people who are (or at least were) Orthodox Jews, although both were male-to-female individuals, so they couldn’t be the person described in the letter.
Interesting question of Lashon Hara – if you knew of a transgender person “Shidduch Dating” (for want of a better term) without telling their date that they were once of a different gender, is their an obligation to make the situation known publically, or at least inform people who have been set up on dates with the person?
Transgender people also raise interesting questions of where they should sit in shul (which side of the Mechitza), Kol Isha, and whether they should be allowed to teach at YU, But I’ll leave those questions to the Halachic authorities.