“FAMILY IN TRANSITION”— Staying Together

“Family in Transition” (“Mishpakha BiTrans”)

Staying Together

Amos Lassen

“Family in Transition” is about the family Tzuk from Nahariya, Israel, (a couple and four children), from the time the father (Amit) suddenly decides to share his secret desire to become a woman. Amit’s wife, Galit, needs time to understand what is happening and she understands
that with the change Amit is about to undergo, she has to make a decision – whether to stay or to leave. She decides to give it a chance.

Despite personal difficulties and social stigmas, all of the family members insist on staying together. They believe that love will overcome all difficulties yet when it seems that Amit’s gender journey has finally reached its destination, it is Galit, the supportive partner that threatens the relationship.

Nahariya is a small city in northern Israel and probably has never had an experience like this. Transitioning is not a decision that is made easily, and it is not  without risks.  There are  the people that transitioning means possibly losing .  Losing her wife is a risk that Amit makes by coming out as a woman.  While their marriage ultimately ends in divorce after 24 years, Galit did hold on for as long as possible.

Nahariya is close to the Israeli-Lebanon border and the  town is less accepting of the Tzuk family.  As free as Tel Aviv is, that is not true of the rest of the country. This is the challenge of living as an openly transgender person in Israel.  Acceptance and rejection come from family as well as from the community. If one is rejected by the community, he/she has to move. you, you have to move.

Together, Amit and Galit have four children and having children together also means having to push through transitioning without losing their family.  Early on, it appears that Amit had the full support of her wife.  It looked as though they survived Amit’s surgery but then something happened.  Mentally, Amit didn’t quite recover quickly enough following surgery and his mental health took a turn for the worst.  Galit had enough and decided to ask for a divorce.

Amit’s transition led Galit to ask important questions like who she is and what does she want from life. She and Amit were married at a very young age. were married at such a young age.  Divorce in Israel is a very problematic issue. The Ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) rabbinate has a stronghold on religious law.  Amit would not grant Galit a divorce or get.  In some religious interpretations, a get is no longer required following a medical transition.  In any event, Amit is recognized as a woman under Israeli civil law, but religious law still views her as a man.

When Amit comes out at 42 years old, one of the big concerns is the children.  We see and hear them talking about being teased in school because of Amit coming out.  Galit stayed with Amit for as long as she could.  In many instances, the spouse leaves almost immediately.  The fact that they have four children shows the urgent need to make it all work and when  things ultimately did not work out, it wasn’t for the lack of trying. The documentary was directed by Ofir Trainin and features Amit Tzuk, Galit Tzuk, Yuval Tzuk, Yarden Tzuk, Agam Tzuk and Peleg Tzuk.

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