If we look at the core books of Jewish Law, the Torah and the Talmuds, don’t we see that they judge everything by their outward appearance?
The sun rises, sets, and cycles the earth. A boy is a kid that looks like a boy.
In Jewish life, deeds speaker louder than creeds. We do say “The intention is the essence,” but that is only after the (f)act.
An animal from 70% pig DNA and 30% cow DNA, is it kosher? That only depends on outer signs: does it rechew it cud and have split hoofs?
The Talmud famously tells us about an oven that looked like one piece on the outside but consisted of loose parts on the inside. G^d Himself said it was in essence, not one unit. But the Rabbis ruled: G^d gave us to rule and we humans see one unite and that’s how we’ll rule. And G^d conceded.
There are countless examples like that. Jewish Reality apparently (pardon the pun) is not about what something is deep-down but what it looks like.
So, doesn’t that mean that there cannot be such a thing as a homosexual or transgender identity? After all, on the outside, there is no distinguishing or telling apart homosexuals or transgenders from their more-frequent counterparts. Do you see this problem?
But, I will give you a list of examples that dispute the above and then explain how there is no contradiction.
If all the best doctors around swear that you can safely fast on Yom Kippur and you don’t think so, then, for Jewish Law, you are not allowed to fast. No one knows you as well as you.
If you are left-handed, your left hand is like the (majority’s) right hand. There is no difference to be seen on the outside, but that’s still the Law.
We believe and value whom people (don’t) want to marry, what their passions in life are, though you can’t see these things on the outside.
So, that seems to open the door to claims like: When you feel you fancy or have the other gender than the regular one, that is the true you.
But, how can this be? We saw at the top of this article that what determines reality for Judaism is what it looks like on the outside.
Well, apparently, the criterion is not what something looks like on the outside but what it looks like to a human observer. In cases like our health, handedness, partner choice, professional ambition, sexual preference, and gender, these observations need to come from the inside! But that way too, human observation still is the decisive factor, not ‘objective’ facts.
Just like there is no outer difference between Jew and Gentile, Cohen, Levi, and Israel, Royal and commoner, and a Prophet and the rest of us.
The cherry/icing on the cake is the Torah encouragement to be on the outside what you are like on the inside.
That doesn’t mean that if you have a mean streak, you should act it out, Heaven forbid.
Rather, we should internalize saintly lessons that fit our Souls. To get there, we are encouraged to act virtuously to actually become virtuous on the inside.
But, it does mean that we shouldn’t show off good qualities instead of trying to develop them. Don’t be a hypocrite, a fake saint.
However, this also seems to say, show on the outside what is your gender or sexual preference (if you can do so safely). Closets are for skeletons.