Tonight, I was reading an article about how a supposed travel writer of the NYT would never wish to visit Israel. For me, as a “new Jew,” this is something very hard to understand the sentiments behind. Not only is Israel the center of the religion to which I am drawn, but aside from that in entirety, the country is a cultural gold mine, literally representing the cradle of the Christian and Jewish faiths, and thus, some of the best recorded history.
In as much as I have been lucky enough to be part of a family, in some ways, I don’t feel that I really am in that family. On one side, I have a group of people who have completely rejected me, and whom I have rejected, and on the other, a group that mostly accepts me, but in some ways would trade me for a rookie with some head issues and a limited pitching repertoire.
For me, I came to realize that what Israel represents to me is much like what most people get from their family. A history and legacy. The stories of the old country, the ancestors, the claim to the rights that brings with it. Perhaps I’m disaffected in some ways, but I just don’t feel any heritage. I love my family, but I’m often left feeling an outsider. As a trans woman, and as someone who was just sort of absorbed into the family, I feel like all too often, everyone is aware of both of these things, and I am loved for neither.
More than that, though, in Israel, I find a level of acceptance I don’t get from my own friends and family. Not all of them, of course, many are in the same or worse positions that I am. Some of my family I know loves me as deeply as I love them, and I would truly be lost without their love and support, but I just know that I am not what they want.
Will I get to go find that family and history? Who knows? I do know that I want to, though.