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Trans in the Eyes of God: Part 3
August 23, 2019
Religion isn't always a welcoming place for trans people. We hear the stories of some who have found a place for themselves in Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism.

Joy Ladin. Image courtesy of Joy Ladin
Joy Ladin: A Trans-Jewish Listening Tour of Trump Country August 23, 2019
Joy Ladin, poet and a professor of English at Yeshiva University, decided in the wake of the 2016 election to reach out to people who thought that East Coast, academic types like herself might look down on them. The author of The Soul of the Stranger: Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective, Ladin sought out conversation on the two topics she knows best: gender and the Bible. We also spoke with two transgender rabbis – Ari Lev Fornari and Elliot Kukla – to get their takes on what sacred Hebrew texts teach about gender.
Mesma Belsare
Mesma Belsare: A Dancer Inspired By Hinduism August 23, 2019
Mesma Belsare says Hinduism never left her conflicted about her gender identity. At an early age, she was facsinated by Bharatanatyam, a 3,000-year-old dance that originated in the Hindu temples of Southern India and in modern times is predominantly performed by women. Today, she is a painter and a dancer who expresses herself through her Hindu roots. We also hear from Ruth Vanita, director of South & South East Asian Studies at the University of Monday who explains that Hinduism takes a flexible approach to gender, and offer stories in which gender has no permanent state.
Michelle Brooker
Michelle Brooker: A Buddhist Whose Practice Paved the Way to Transition March 29, 2019 August 23, 2019
Michelle Brooker is an Australian woman who didn't publicly transition until her 60s. Raised Catholic, she came to embrace Buddhism, and credits Buddhist practice for her transition to the woman she feels she always was. We also hear from Carol Anderson, a professor of religion at Kalamazoo College who says Buddhism doesn’t offer a specific answer to what it means to be transgender but does offer stories and theology which seem to accept the fluidity of gender.