May the one who blessed our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah, Joseph, David and Jonathan, Ruth and Naomi, bring blessing and healing to all of us in our community of communities who feel or have felt the sting of homophobia and transphobia.
We have been victims of verbal assault, street harassment, and physical violence.
We have been misgendered – out of malice, ignorance, and accident.
We have been forced to perform and conform to genders that do not match our identity.
We have been denied employment, promotion, housing, and educational opportunities.
We have been made to feel other and unsafe in public and communal settings.
We have been made to feel other and unsafe in Jewish spaces.
We have a rate of suicide among our queer youth almost five times higher than among their heterosexual peers.
We have had our intimate actions criminalized and our unions made illegal.
We have been denied service at restaurants, wedding venues, and bakeries.
We have become estranged from family members and been made to feel unloved.
We have not had access to restrooms and locker rooms that match our gender – or been blocked from using them.
We have been forced to choose to remain closeted or to cover our identities out of fear and discomfort.
We have been erased or silenced in our history and sacred texts.
In times of darkness, help us to recall the words of your prophet: “I am Adonai, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you” (Isaiah 41:13).
Grant us the courage to hold our heads up high, to live into our truest selves, and to love openly, even as we move through our own processes of healing. Help us to overcome the specters of self-doubt and self-loathing that arise from the trauma of hate.
Holy One in whose image all humankind is formed, help to soften the hearts and open the eyes of those who lose sight of the divinity in their neighbor so that we may break the cycles and the speech patterns of homophobia and transphobia that are so deeply engrained in our society.
And let us say, Amen.