credit: Stephanie Keith


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Selected Poems

The Poet Ladin Reads Her Poems

You can read and listen to all the poetry Joy Ladin recited for us during our interview, and an additional piece not featured in the show. Enjoy and share them with others:

» Somewhere Between Male and Female
» You Are Making Me Now
» Letter to My Body
» Sickness and Health

Pertinent Posts from the On Being Blog

In this photo essay, Joy Ladin reflects on how gender is a covenant she has broken "with others and a covenant with myself."

Five questions with the author of Far from the Tree on how families with extreme difference find connectedness in their "horizontal" identities.

Karen Armstrong prefers Hillel's version; Adele Diamond prefers Jesus' variation. Both take away a call to action. Hear them both.

Audio of the revered theologian explaining why the GLBTQ issue has such adrenaline in church communities and why a chance for theological discussion has passed.

Bedridden with an incurable illness, writer Paul Martin on navigating paths of pain and difficulty, and the depth and mystery of joy.


Another kind of contribution to civility, an act of care for "despairing LGBT kids who are being bullied and harassed, kids who don't think they have a future" from syndicated columnist Dan Savage.

About the Image

Joy Ladin plays with her youngest daughter at a playground in Amherst, Massachusetts.

credit: Stephanie Keith

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Trent Gilliss's picture

I hear you you, David. We decided to provide all of Krista's interviews uncut for a variety of reasons: to be open, honest, and transparent about our work; to provide a behind-the-glass experience; to permit aspiring interviewers, producers, and general audiences to hear Krista's approach to interviews and the wandering nature of her conversations; and to allow people access to the sweep of our guest's thoughts and ideas. At the time, doing this was a big risk and a bit of a sea change. When I read your comments, I am heartened to see how hearing these unedited interviews can add to your experience and understanding. Thank you so much for sharing.

Wow my Jewish sister! Outstanding. I have bookmarked for further reading time-permitting. I have a special request. I am Christian who absolutely knows God is very real since the age of 21 when under severe stress as a young Air Force Sgt. God blessed me first with a special revelation followed by a way out of my severe stress which led to my honorable discharge.

I had cried out to the God that I was skeptical was there, as I told God that (1) even though a sinner, I had remained morally pure. (2) reminded him that I was a child no less than Moses, Adam, Enoch, Noah and since they had received revelation so too could I (which I did receive). (3) that he had promised not to give us more than we are able to handle. (4) that I was that lost sheep that the shepherd would go searching for.(5) that His word states that mustard-seed-sized faith can move mountains.

In short, a mountain was moved I believe just for me, as He would do for others of faith. When that happened I went from skeptical to belief to knowledge that no matter what we think about fact God is present somewhere. Growing up, as I read the stories about the Jewish people, their history, their travails and blessings, for some reason I identified with my Jewish brothers and sisters as close as my blood relatives...and still do. I don't know why this...maybe just maybe I have Jewish ancestry, because innately I sense that I do.

My request? As a MtF transgender person of faith, I don't accept that gender correction is sin, given that it is biologically based and we know that because of sin, our bodies are corrupted and often birthed with untold birth maladies, including the hormonal malady behind sex correction reflected externally as "gender." My request is that you please e-mail me information as to how I can become part of the Jewish faith, although I believe in Christ as savior. I believe it is the reformed Jewish sect?

Thank you and look forward to hearing from you!

You are very cool! It's a pleasure to be able to read your story. Thank you for your example and loveliness. =)

Dear Joy, I know you've said people shouldn't read comments, but I'm glad that you do, because now you can read about my accidental stuble-upon. :) I study Linguistics, Anthropology and Judaic Studies here in Zagreb, Croatia. And for my studies I got the task to write a short essay on a book on sociology of a professor Peter Berger. I googled him, got to the page, and saw the Elie Wiesel Centre, I'm thinking, let's give it a try :) And so I got the wonderful opportunity to hear you interview.
I'm sorry you had some tough time in you life, before transition. And I love how you said you were even cheated as a woman. :) I wish you all the best, all the way across the world, and sorry I can't come to your poetry presentation :) Maybe in some other lifetime :)


Voices on the Radio

is Gottesman Professor of English at Stern College of Yeshiva University. She is the author of Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between Genders and has published five books of poetry.

Production Credits

Host/Executive Producer: Krista Tippett

Senior Editor: Trent Gilliss

Senior Producer: David McGuire

Technical Director: Chris Heagle

Coordinating Producer: Stefni Bell