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    Yeshiva University professor discusses transgenderism

    Gillian Seaman

    Issue date: 4/17/09 Section: Focus
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    Every morning, we get dressed and go to class without really thinking about the consequences of our appearance. Every now and then we'll overdress, underdress, or look a bit more outlandish than usual, but it almost never winds up being anything significant. But Joy Ladin, a devout Jewish transgendered woman, must deal with the ramifications of her appearance on a daily basis.

    Ladin is a poet and English professor at Stern College of Yeshiva University who decided to undergo a gender transition in 2006. The Human Initiative Foundation brought her to CWRU Monday night where Ladin read from her memoir, Inside/Out: Woman Caught in the Act of Becoming, describing her transitioning process and its consequences for the people around her.

    According to Ladin, she suffered from severe gender dysphoria as early as pre-school. But despite her feelings that she was not meant to be a boy, she married, had children, and went on to become a professor at Yeshiva University. As Professor Jay Ladin she was a popular and successful. She adopted the façade of a man because of her love for her family and friends, but she stated that there were severe consequences to this masquerade. She stressed the anguish that came with her decision to act as a man. "To save those we love, we endure a lifetime of little deaths," said Ladin.

    Eventually, her gender dysphoria became too much of a burden and she began the transitioning process. She stated that, as a man, she did not feel truly human. "We need to be true to ourselves and do what we need to do to be human," she said.

    Ladin's wife was not able to deal with her transition and they are now in the process of divorce. Her transition has also deeply affected her children, whom she described as confused. However, Ladin said she remains a profoundly committed parent, is working on developing a more cordial relationship with her soon-to-be ex-wife.

    Her transition also compelled many at Yeshiva to confront the controversy that having a transgendered professor at a religiously conservative university may generate. A panel of three students from Yeshiva's male and female campuses answered several questions regarding the university's stance and response to Ladin's choice.
    Continued...
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    In This Issue

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    • Meet the Provost: providing answers to tough questions
    • USG � BRIEF

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    • Spartan Spotlight: Angel Rice
    • Track & Field: Last stop before UAAs: Lynchburg

    Fun Page

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    Opinion

    • Editorial: Study abroad policies need flexibility
    • Eight stages of genocide offer chances for prevention
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    • Misogynistic comments should not be tolerated
    • Students find motivation to serve in local, international efforts
    • Surprising talents abound at Case

    Focus

    • Bat for Lashes impresses with soundscapes on Two Suns
    • Humorous Observe and Report has potential for cult film status
    • The Buzz
    • Winning story from CRAP Board's short story contest
    • Yeshiva University professor discusses transgenderism

    Sex and Dating

    • Letting it go

    Worst Case Scenario

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