[Unedited] Joy Ladin with Krista Tippett


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For as far back as Joy Ladin can remember, her body didn’t match her soul. In her mid-40s, Ladin transitioned from male to female identity and later became the first openly transgender professor at an Orthodox Jewish institution. She admits the pain this caused for people and institutions she loved. And she knows what it is to move through the world with the assumed authority of a man and the assumed vulnerability of a woman. We take in what she’s learned about gender and the very syntax of being.

Joy Ladin is the David and Ruth Gottesman Chair in English at the Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University in New York. Her memoir is called “Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between Genders.” She’s also the author of nine collections of poetry and most recently published the book “The Soul of the Stranger: Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective.”

This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the

On Being

episode "Joy Ladin — Finding a Home in Yourself." Find more at


. This interview originally aired in June 2013.

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