I became a fan of Joy Ladin when I first met her and heard her speak. Joy shared one of the most stimulating, honest, painful, insightful and eloquent accounts of what it means to be a transgender woman. She has a unique way of telling her story with unsparing honesty and a sense of humor – both when she describes the practical, everyday aspects of transition and gender presentation, as well as when she wrestles with the larger moral and spiritual questions.
An award-winning poet and writer, she has received an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship and a Fulbright Scholarship, among other honors. Joy made headlines a fears years ago when, after years of teaching literature at Yeshiva University as Professor Jay Ladin, she transitioned from male to female. She describes her personal journey in the moving and beautifully written memoir Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey between Genders.
Mazzoni Center was honored to have Joy as our Shabbat speaker at our 2012 Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference, and I also had the opportunity to interview her as a special guest speaker at one of our local synagogues.
It is a pleasure to share this video of Joy Ladin's “TEDxBeaconStreet Talk” on trans identity. Please take a few minutes to watch and I know you will become a fan, just as I did.