For Rabbi Becky Silverstein, the issue of gender rights and Jewish teaching is personal—and increasingly political. As a trans man and ordained rabbi, Becky applies his Jewish values daily to questions of identity and rights. On Nov. 6, Massachusetts residents will be asked to vote on trans rights on ballot Question 3, an initiative that asks if voters wish to uphold non-discrimination protections for transgender people in public spaces, including restaurants, parks, shops and even medical facilities, or repeal the existing law granting those protections.

Rabbi Becky Silverstein. Photo by Jordyn Rozensky.
Rabbi Becky Silverstein (Photo: Jordyn Rozensky)

Rabbi Becky talks to us about his own journey of self-identity and the very real threat of discrimination and bias he and many other trans people in the state will face if the initiative fails to be upheld. In fact, as Becky notes, what voters decide here could have implications for trans people all over the country.

Find more information about Question 3 here, and the full text of the ballot initiative here. For information on how Keshet and other organizations around Massachusetts are organizing to support trans rights, click here.

Edited by Jesse Ulrich, with music by Ryan J. Sullivan.

View the full transcript here.