The powerful coming-out story of an ultra-Orthodox child who was born to become a rabbinic leader and instead became a woman and an outspoken voice for gender freedom
Abby Chava Stein was raised in a Hasidic Jewish community in Brooklyn, profoundly isolated in a culture that lives according to the laws and practices of an eighteenth-century Eastern European enclave, speaking only Yiddish and Hebrew and shunning modern life. Deeply immersed within one of the world's most gender-segregated societies, Stein was born as the first son in a rabbinical dynastic family, poised to become a leader of the next generation of Hasidic Jews.
But Stein felt certain at a young age that she was a girl, even though there was no context for understanding this disconnect. Without access to TV or the internet, and never taught English, she suppressed her desire for a new body while looking for answers wherever she could find them, from forbidden religious texts to smuggled secular examinations of faith. Finally, she orchestrated a personal exodus from ultra-Orthodox manhood into mainstream femininity-a radical choice that forced her to leave her home, her family, and her way of life.
Powerful in the truths it reveals about biology, culture, faith, and identity, Becoming Eve poses the ultimate question for a new generation: How far are you willing to go to become the person you are meant to be?