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What It's Like To Grow Up Trans In An Ultra-Orthodox Community

In the ultra-orthodox Hasidic community of Abby Stein’s childhood, there was no word for what she was experiencing. Then, at the age of 20, she discovered the internet, which was forbidden, and searched for something along the lines of “boy turning into a girl.” That’s when she found the Wikipedia page for “transgender.”

Stein was assigned as male at birth, but she says, “I don’t think there was a month … that would pass by and I wouldn’t, like, have this hope that I’m just gonna go to sleep and wake up the next day as a girl.” Her exposure to the internet set the stage for Abby to leave behind both the Hasidic community and her assigned gender.

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