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Elisha Alexander, left, and his partner, Avi Soffer, recently visited San Francisco and talked about the increased visibility of the transgender community in Israel.(Photo: Danny Buskirk)
Israel's trans community increases visibility

in ISRAEL, 31/07/2013

San Francisco LGBT activists had an opportunity to hear directly from a member of Israel's transgender community for the first time ever during a recent screening of The Man I Am and a discussion about issues in the Middle East country.

About 30 people crowded into a small room at Congregation Shar'ar Zahav July 14 to learn about Israel's transgender community, which has become more vocal in recent years.

Elisha "Shuki" Alexander, a 38-year-old self-identified gay trans boy, and his partner and fellow activist Avi Soffer, a 63-year-old gay man, were on tour of the U.S. as guests of A Wider Bridge, a Bay Area-based organization that connects the U.S. LGBT Jewish and queer Israeli communities.

For many years Israel's transgender community has lived in the shadows and off the radar of the mainstream gay and lesbian community. The transgender community began to slowly become visible in 2008 when it participated in Tel Aviv's LGBT Pride Parade for the first time, said Alexander.

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