Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg writes books about the messy business of trying to be a person in the world, and how spirituality can inform and transform that work. Sometimes that’s about parenting, sometimes feminism, sex, God, justice, or joy. On her Facebook page on and on her Twitter time line, Rabbi Ruttenberg asks some very important questions. We're not going to answer these questions for you here - we want you to take some time to consider these and how you might answer them for yourself. We encourage you to share these answers with your congregants and colleagues, too.
"I've seen a lot of straight colleagues posting about their support for the LGBTQ community this week, and that's important. Your queer and trans congregants especially probably need this from you right now. But--I want to challenge folks to not stop there. Do you have language in your pocket for when a nonbinary person has an aliyah? Do your divrei Torah regularly feature anecdotes of people of all genders and sexualities? (And not just on Pride Shabbat?) Are there ways for queer folks to get involved in your community that don't feel, like, -'great, the young professionals' group is a total het dating scene and not someplace I'm really comfortable'? What can you do to transform your communities--and our culture--to be better?"
Are you able to answer these questions, Rabbis? Are you aware of what your LGBTQ congregants need from you right now? Are you comfortable in what to say to your non-LGBT congregants in order to make your synagogue a more welcoming place for all?
As Rabbi Ruttenberg says,
"Your LGBT Safe Zone stickers are a great start. But they are just a start. Don't congratulate yourself for doing only that. Ask what else."