One of the purest, most honest, least judgmental questions I’ve been asked about my situation is, “What is it like?” In the short time that I have been more or less public and forthcoming about my gender identity, I have learned to cherish questions like this because of how blessedly free they are of the false assumption of knowledge. It’s hard to ask a question like this, difficult to muster the humility required to simply ask a question without simultaneously guarding ourself from the vulnerability of not-knowing by hedging it round with assumptions and presuppositions.
Questions like this truly represent the doorway into the realm of the ethical, by acknowledging the limits of the self and opening up a little corner of the shared space we call the world for the Other, a little patch of ground we do not lay claim to so that the they might find a home. In asking questions like this of others, we come ever so slightly to imitate God who, though theoretically commanding an unbounded perspective that embraces the universe in its totality without restriction, nevertheless makes space for hir creations by addressing them with the beautifully open-ended איכה–”Ayeka? Where are you?”
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