A transgender woman Monday (5 January) was barred from both the male and female sections of the Western Wall in Israel, the country with the most progressive trans policies in the Middle East.
Stylist Kay Long from Tel Aviv visited Jerusalem with a friend from Madrid, but was refused entry to the female section of the wall by a ‘modesty volunteer’ who said she was not a woman. She was then yelled away from the men’s area.
The Western Wall, or Kotel, is the only remaining part of the Temple Mount and is the holiest site in Judaism.
Long visited the wall in a black dress and is two meters (6’7”) tall ‘without heels.’
‘From an early age we are taught that if we place a note at the Kotel our prayers might be answered,’ she wrote on Facebook.
‘All that’s left now is to take a picture and say a prayer from afar with the hope that it will be answered. Because God is everywhere and loves us all.’
Elinor Sidi, director LGBTI community center Open House, said Long’s experience was not unique.
‘Gender separation at the Western Wall is harmful for transgender people. This is not the first story that we know of with transgender religious people that wanted to go to the Western Wall and pray and couldn’t,’ she told the Times of Israel.