Trans Jews

Say Shalom to the ‘Klezmer-Core Punk Band’ Made Up of ‘100% Transmasculine Jews’

They’re Jewish, they’re trans, and they make music. Allow me to introduce you to Schmekel, a four-member outfit from New York City that writes pro-trans lyrics like these: “Sarcasm’s a shield that you must learn to carry / Even if your chest’s flat and your chin is hairy / Bigots are stupid but they’re also scary / Don’t want to turn into an obituary.

They recently got profiled by The New York Times Here are some of my favorite lines from the article:

  • Their name is a joke about clitorises. “Schmekel means little penis in Yiddish, and is a play on the fact that all four members were born female but now identify on the masculine side of the gender spectrum.”
  • Their latest album is called “Queers on Rye.”
  • Says a Jewish Community Center staffer: “The Venn diagram on musical, Yiddish, and queer leads to a very small shaded area, but they live in it.”