Hundreds of LGBTQ+ demonstrators gathered outside the Sela Meir publishing office in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Gan on Sunday (28 May) to protest the publication of Abigail Shrier’s Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters in Hebrew.
The book, which was first published in 2020, discusses the idea that gender dysphoria is influenced by a child’s peers and social contagion, a concept that is not supported by any major medical institutions and for which the American author has been chastised.
After activists informed venues about the book’s content, the event was canceled three times and moved to different locations.
The private location in Ramat Gan was eventually revealed to ticketholders, but it was leaked again. Protesters outside the venue waved Pride and Israeli flags, banged on drums, and chanted slogans and phrases.
Ayelet, 17, approached Shrier inside the event before being tackled and dragged out. “We are not a disease, we are not a contagion, we are people,” the teen told the room, which prompted some in the audience to call them ” a disease” and a “freak”.
Following the incident, Ayelet, who reportedly uses they/them pronouns, told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that she attended the event to protest the “cynical exportation of bigotry” from the United States to Israel.
“Israel has its own bigotry to deal with. Within that room, there were about 50 people, mostly Americans. Why? Because no one here cares about it. It’s an entirely manufactured outrage,” the teen said.
“I am a trans person and, as someone who is 17 years old am fully in the right to make choices about my own body. Despite Abigail Shrier’s best attempts, my parents love me and accept me for who I am.”
According to protest organizer Amy Roseman, the book spreads misinformation that encourages parents to reject their trans children.
“It’s a book full of lies,” Roseman claimed. “Inside it, there is an attempt to import ideas from overseas, which are foreign to the political dialogue in Israel. It’s something that has no place here and is full of hate. The book promotes the idea that transgenderism is something that can be cured.
“We speak a lot about conversion therapy. It leads to depression, suicide, mental illness, and a lot of pain that can be prevented if parents accept their children.”
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