The Foundation for
Jewish Campus Life

Humans of Hillel

Owning my identities

Lawrence, Kansas | 2019

“When I came out as nonbinary, I distanced myself from my Jewish community. I wasn’t sure how people would react. Through conversations with Ira Kirschner, the assistant director at KU Hillel, I realized that I can be Jewish and queer. One identity doesn’t negate the other. Now, I go by SD and use they/them pronouns. During one of the first events I attended at KU Hillel, we were asked to introduce ourselves by saying our name and our pronouns. Being asked to say my pronouns as part of a normal introduction completely took away the stigma surrounding my transgender identity. Using they/them pronouns aren’t the typical pronouns people use to refer to themselves, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t valid. When people refer to me as ‘she/her’ and then correct themselves to say ‘they/them,’ it means so much to me because I know that they’re actively trying to value my identity.” — SD Klein, University of Kansas