JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli transgender woman said she was denied access to both the women’s and men’s sections of the Western Wall.
Kay Long, a clothing and costume designer from Tel Aviv, wrote Monday on Facebook that she went to the Western Wall on Monday with a friend visiting from Madrid. Long said that when she approached the women’s section, she was turned away by an Orthodox woman patrolling the site who said she is not a woman. She said she was not allowed into the men’s section because she does not look like a man and in any case would not wear a yarmulke.
“From an early age we are taught that if we place a note at the Kotel our prayers might be answered,” Long wrote under the heading “Dilemma” and a photo of her outside the Western Wall plaza with the Kotel in the background. “All that’s left now is to take a picture and say a prayer from afar with the hope that it will be answered. Because God is everywhere and loves us all.”
After hundreds of comments and likes, Long on Tuesday morning posted a clarification saying that she had no intention of praying at the Western Wall during her visit, and believes that it was more important for the Orthodox worshippers to be there than for her to make a scene.
“Inside, I believe that God is everywhere,” she wrote, adding that she believes in a “live and let live” motto.
“The point is, I decided to respect humans wherever they choose to be, and they didn’t respect me,” she wrote.
Western Wall authorities have not commented in media reports on Long’s claims.