Rafi Daugherty is profiled by JTA - Jewish Telegraphic Agency, as new transgender "abba"
In January 2016, Rafi Daugherty was profiled by JTA - Jewish Telegraphic Agency, as new transgender "abba" (Hebrew for "father"). The article opens with:
When Rafi Daugherty went to the hospital for the birth of his first child, he posted a sign on the delivery room door.
“I am a single transgender man having my first baby,” it read. “I use he/him/his pronouns and will be called ‘Abba’ (Hebrew for father) by the baby. Papa, Dad, Daddy, Father … are also ok.”
Rafi, 33, wanted hospital staff to be prepared for what they were about to see: a man laboring in bed.
The article goes on to describe Rafi's journey from self-awareness to fatherhood and includes several beautiful pictures of father and daughter.
Rafi, who grew up Orthodox, said he’s been warmly welcomed by Colorado’s progressive Jewish community. One independent minyan organized a postpartum meal train for Rafi, and a large Conservative synagogue hosted Ettie’s simchat bat, or Jewish welcoming ceremony.
The article ends, acknowledging that Rafi and Ettie will be navigating assumptions for a long time to come.
In recent months, Rafi has become accustomed to the assumptions people make when he and his daughter are out and about: that Ettie is adopted, for example, or that Rafi has a spouse at home. (Rafi is single, but open to a relationship; he said he’s attracted to “androgynous to masculine” individuals.)
“I’m getting used to saying, ‘I’m transgender and I gave birth to her,’” Rafi said, “so that Ettie can be empowered to know her story and share her story, and not feel like it’s something embarrassing or weird.”
Read the full article (and see pictures) at Jewish transgender man gives birth and embraces life as a single ‘abba’