I mean, years of learning about identity and the construction of the self thanks to Toronto's trans community, years of enjoying Toronto's rich Jewish culture and gradually developing an emotional sense of belonging, finally (finally!) cracking the puzzle of my partial Jewish family history, and then, then! finding there is a community that welcomes atheist and secular individuals within a framework of cultural Jewishness and a humanistic ethics? There was only one option - unabashedly surrendering to one's willful and unconscious becoming of oneself.*
*I took a long time to decide to publish this post. As I was happily crafting it, the current horrible situation in Gaza developed. And then worsened. Fearing this was terrible timing, I left it as a draft, unpublished. I kept quiet. But that felt like hiding, like feeling shameful of something that had made me very happy. But stealing inspiration from some powerful words from a friend's post today, I can say there is nothing to be ashamed of by identifying as a humanist Jew who believes in freedom, social justice, and human happiness guided by critical thinking, abundant compassion and radical empathy, which are even more important than ever at this moment. So there.