Fringes Episode 1: Joy Ladin
In the first ever episode of Fringes, I had the immense pleasure of interviewing Joy Ladin. I can't say enough amazing things about getting to talk to her.
Joy Ladin, Gottesman Chair in English at Yeshiva University, has published nine books of poetry and two books of creative non-fiction, Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between Genders, and The Soul of the Stranger: Reading G-d and Torah from a Transgender Perspective. She serves on the Board of Keshet, an organization devoted to full inclusion of LGTBQ Jews in the Jewish world; links to her poems and essays are available at wordpress.joyladin.com.
She did a talk recently, available here: “Shekhinah Speaks: Gender and Divinity.” Hadassah Brandeis Institute. Via Zoom. July 23, 2020.https://ensemble.brandeis.edu/
She's also been doing a weekly JewishLive conversation program called "Containing Multitudes" Tuesdays at 2pm. Recordings of those conversations are here: JewishLive.org/multitudes.
Some definitions and links from our conversation:
Sephardi: A Jewish diaspora population originating from traditionally established communities in the Iberian Peninsula; most were expelled from the region in the late 15th century. They have a distinctive diasporic identity that they carried with them to North Africa, South-eastern and Southern Europe, Anatolia, and the Levant, as well as the Americas, and all other places of their exiled settlement.
Ashkenazi: A Jewish diaspora population of historically Yiddish-speaking people who settled in central and eastern Europe.
Tefillin: Tefillin or phylacteries, is a set of small black leather boxes containing scrolls of parchment inscribed with verses from the Torah. Tefillin is worn by observant adult Jews during weekday morning prayers. In Orthodox communities, it is only worn by men, while in non-Orthodox communities, it may be worn by anyone.
Parashat Sh'lach on MyJewishLearning, the site we were looking at.
Halakhah: Halakha is the collective body of Jewish religious laws derived from the written and Oral Torah. Halakha is based on biblical commandments, subsequent Talmudic and rabbinic law, and the customs and traditions compiled in the many books such as the Shulchan Aruch.
Sukkot: A Jewish harvest festival beginning on the 15th of Tishrei and commemorating the temporary shelters used by the Jews during their wandering in the wilderness
Sukkah: A sukkah or succah is a temporary hut constructed for use during the week-long Jewish festival of Sukkot. It is topped with branches and often well decorated with autumnal, harvest or Judaic themes.
Hallel: Hallel is a Jewish prayer, a verbatim recitation from Psalms 113–118 which is recited by observant Jews on Jewish holidays as an act of praise and thanksgiving.
With any questions or comments, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fringes Podcast Transcript
Transcript by Tim Hipp at www.transcribeyourpod.com
Emma June: Hello, and welcome to Fringes, a no frills kind of podcast where I talk to trans and gender non-conforming Jews about our experiences with tallitot and tzitzit. My name is Emma June, though you may hear me referred to as Emma or EJ, as well. I’m a white trans Jew with a mixed Sephardi and Ashkenazi background. I’m a creator, lover of colorful things, and relevantly, the person who ties tzitzit and does shipping at ADVAH Designs, the small tallit business that is sponsoring and supporting this podcast. After spending so much time with tallitot at work and so little time wearing one, especially because I felt so alienated from the tallis I have and from so many that I’ve seen, I started to wonder how other trans Jews related to this ritual object. I found very little content online on the subject and decided to start asking around. Thus, a podcast was born.
Before we get to the first interview, let’s get some definitions down. First, tallitot. What are tallitot? Tallitot, or tallit in the singular, are prayer shawls worn by Jews that have knotted fringe on each of their four corners. This fringe, known as tzitzit, is tied with a prayer, and is what make tallitot ritually significant, what make them holy. A few other things to know: most traditionally, and for most of history, tallitot were only worn by cis men and boys. This has changed a lot, especially in the last 50 years. While in some Jewish communities, men are still the only ones to wear tallitot, they are now commonly worn by people of all genders.
There are a few kinds of tallitot. There’s the prayer shawl you most commonly see, which hangs over both shoulders. A tallit gadol is a larger tallit that is often worn over the head and down the back. A tallit katan is a small vest worn daily as an undershirt that has tzitzit on its corners. Tallitot can be made of most anything, so long as they have four corners and tzitzit tied correctly. I’m using tallit and tallitot, the Sephardic and Hebrew pronunciation of these words, but you will hear them being called by their Ashkenazi pronunciations, tallis and tallisim, by many of the people that I interview. And with that, I bring you to my first interview. I was so nervous, and she was so gracious and so brilliant. Let’s hear Joy Ladin introduce herself.
Joy Ladin: I’m officially the Gottesman professor of English at Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University, which is an Orthodox Jewish institution, and even though I’m not Orthodox, I am the first, and as far as I know still the only openly transgender employee of any Orthodox Jewish institution. And I’ve done a lot of speaking and writing about trans identities and Jewish identities, and about how they intersect, and published a couple of books where they talk about those things, most recently The Soul of the Stranger: Reading G-d and Torah from a Transgender Perspective.
Emma June: Yeah. I actually have that book in front of me right now. It’s very engaging, so thank you for writing it.
Joy Ladin: Thank you.
Emma June: Well, on this show, I’m really interested to be talking about tallitot and tzitzit. I’m trying to talk specifically about this and these ritual objects because… Well, I work tying tzitzit as one of my jobs, and-
Joy Ladin: Wow.
Emma June: I am trans and I think when I’m sitting there tying, I end up having a lot of thoughts about what’s going on, and who’s wearing them, and how I should be wearing them, or could be wearing them, and what they’ve brought up for me and what they might bring up for other people. So, I guess to start off, I’m curious what your first memories with tallitot and tzitzit are, if those are the same memory, if those are different, just kind of where that brings you back to.
Joy Ladin: Those are different memories for me. I didn’t grow up in a religious household at all. We were ethnically Jewish and part of that for my mother was she wanted us to be a part of the synagogue so that my sister and I would grow with, as my mother puts it, a sense of who we are. And she didn’t grow up with a religious background. Her mother’s family… very religious, but her mother was the non-religious child in a religious family. But they… My mother grew up in the Jewish ghetto in Montreal, and so she felt that that was enough to give her a strong sense of Jewish identity without a sense of Judaism as a religious practice, but she felt that we needed bar and bat mitzvah, and Hebrew school, that kind of stuff.
So, I was attracted to Judaism not because it was important in my home, because it really wasn’t, but because when we went to synagogue, it was the only thing that I’d encountered that was as strange as I was. Judaism is really strange. It’s very old and didn’t fit at all in our really kind of assimilationist middle class white Jewish lives. But it was different in all of these ways that weren’t… were supposed to be socially acceptable, like not even commented upon. So, I had this sense of gender difference that I felt was really problematic. I had to hide it. It wasn’t okay. But this weird Jewish stuff, Judaism stuff, was okay. And so, that was really attractive to me, so my mother, probably because she didn’t care very much about the practice of Judaism, was more about transmitting a sense of Jewish identity to her children, had picked a very strange shul.
It was the remnants of an Orthodox shul that had burned down, and most of the Orthodox members of that congregation had formed a new shul that was Orthodox, but there was a small group of Ashkenazic Eastern European refugees who were elderly and didn’t speak English very well, and they instead joined with the young families like mine, who I guess you would call them reform, but it wasn’t a formal identification. It was just not Orthodox, not too invested in anything except children in Hebrew school and bar and bat mitzvahs. And so, when I… I was really into going to services because I was attracted to the strangeness and because I was also looking for some kind of formulation, my relation… to G-d. But when I got there, there were these old men who were delighted to have anybody who was younger than 70 years old, and they wanted to share their Judaism with me.
And they would explain things to me in great detail, but of course I couldn’t understand anything they were saying. So, nothing that they said to me interfered with the strange idiosyncratic ideas about Judaism I was making up on my own. One of the things that they did was when I was still quite young, they started putting a tallit on me, and I didn’t realize this was something that I was supposed to be doing myself at first. But I remember them wrapping it around me, pointing to… for the prayer, the blessing that you’re supposed to say. And I remember having performance anxiety about it. It was a familiar feeling to me because I always had performance anxiety about acting male. I felt like I was always in danger of not doing it right. But I was also worried that I might do it too well, that if I performed maleness too well, it would undermine my sense of female identity.
So, I don’t think that I knew that putting on a tallit was a gendered act at first, because they couldn’t explain to me why I was doing it. So, I worried about whether I was doing it right, but I also remember really enjoying the physical feeling of it as a garment, and part of my kind of tormented relationship to gender was that I didn’t feel that it was okay to enjoy garments. That was something that to me was like a feminine thing, so it was too dangerous for me to do anything that might express my female gender identity. But that was okay here, and so these tallisim were old, and worn out, and they were just the standard American Jewish synagogue issue. They’d probably been… This was the 1960s. They’d probably been in use since the 1950s. But I liked the way that they felt in the sense of being surrounded, and it was always something that felt related to the forbiddenness of expressing my gender identity. This was a garment that was expressing something about my identity in a way that I usually felt like I couldn’t do.
Later, they would give me tefillin, but they never gave me the tallit katan, tzitzit. That I came to much later and in a very different way.
Emma June: When did the tallit katan enter the picture for you?
Joy Ladin: That was not until… That must have been my 30s. At that point I had… I was married. I’d been married for a long time. Since I got out of college. And had children, and I was a struggling academic. I had a PhD, but not a regular job at first, and I was… Partly because I was getting older, I think, but partly because of having children, I was struggling more and more with not… It was becoming more and more difficult to not express my gender identity, and I would have these gender breakdowns is the way that I thought of them to myself. It felt like an alcoholic binge. I would just be consumed by this desire for transformation, and that’s all I could think about, and it was very painful, and afterward I felt very ashamed and like I’d lost control. Because I carried on my childhood relationship with G-d, this feeling of a personal relationship, after these things, I would feel this sense of what G-d wanted me to do to… I thought of it as penance. I came to think of it in somewhat different ways.
But I remember I was on my way to my very first post-PhD job. I was gonna be teaching at Princeton as an adjunct for the first time, and I had had this gender breakdown, and I realized suddenly that what I was supposed to do, what G-d wanted me to do was start wearing a kippah all the time, and I’d never done anything to identify myself visibly as Jewish outside of the synagogue. I was… I had a Jewish identity. I had a religious identity. But I didn’t wear like a Magen David or anything that would identify me that way, and I always thought, “This is insane.” And I felt very uncomfortable, but I had a kippah and a tallit, because I did use it in daily prayers, and so I put it on.
So, I showed up for my first day of teaching bizarrely dressed. I was wearing a kippah, which I had gone to Princeton for my PhD, but I’d never worn a kippah there before, and wearing shorts, which is not what you’re supposed to do when you teach at Princeton. It’s a very conservative school. And probably really crappy shorts and shirt. I was just… I felt like a fish out of water in every possible way, and deeply ashamed, and on a later gender breakdown, I realized that I needed to start wearing a tallit katan, and I had to order one from the internet and I thought that was very… because I had never known anybody who wore such a thing.
Later, when I was starting to transition, I realized these things that I had thought of as penance were actually the first time that I had chosen to wear clothing that marked me as visibly other, and that expressed an identity that I normally had kept hidden. And I realized that in a way, that was practice for being trans, and that reflects the way that I felt about Jewish and trans identity my whole life, which is that being Jewish was a way of being different that I could express in some ways, and being trans was a way of being different that I couldn’t. And so, being Jewish sort of taught me about being a minority in ways that really were very useful… I started living as openly trans. Sorry, that was about more than the tallit katan.
Emma June: No, but it’s very beautiful to hear. I think the… It brings up for me kind of a question of passing, of where you get to be when you… How do I want to say this? That you can control how you appear to people and sometimes one is safer and hurts more.
Joy Ladin: Yes.
Emma June: And I think… Yeah, I’ve never I guess heard it framed the way you just said, of Judaism being the one that was at least more publicly acceptable. And that’s powerful to me. Do you still wear a tallis?
Joy Ladin: Well, rarely. For a few reasons. So, when I started realizing that I couldn’t live as a man anymore was a long and very difficult process, because so many people’s lives were built around my male identity and there are a lot of issues that are not related to tallisim here, but I had gotten a job at Yeshiva University and I was a very weird artifact to them. Not because I was trans. That’s a way I would become strange later. But because I was a non-Orthodox who was nonetheless religious, and that’s something that was like being a platypus or something. It was a bunching, mixing categories that weren’t supposed to go together in their world. And I was wearing a tzitzit and kippah and I was not Orthodox, so… Which they could see, because I was Ashkenazic, but I was wearing a Bukharan kippah that I was wearing because it stayed on my hair better.
Emma June: They do that.
Joy Ladin: Yes, and I didn’t feel it was okay to wear bobby pins, because part of my neurosis about hiding my trans identity, bobby pins in hair was part of the forbidden things that women do that I couldn’t allow myself to do. So, they hired me with this strange, really queer form of Jewish identity that had nothing to do with gender or sexuality, and as I was… I entered into therapy with a therapist to work on the gender stuff, and in one of our sessions she startled me by saying, “Is it comfortable for you to wear those things? Because aren’t those expressions of male Jewish identity?” And I realized yeah, of course. I was wearing them because I felt like I didn’t have a choice but to live in ways that expressed a male identity, and I took them off, and I immediately felt better. Not because I thought there was anything wrong with them in themselves, but because for me, they were part and parcel of maleness that I was feeling entombed in.
So, I stopped, gradually stopped wearing them, and that was part of my transition. And when I… Of course, I wasn’t ever Orthodox, so I never belonged to any shul in which it wasn’t egalitarian in terms of gender. In all of the shuls that I belonged to, it was normal for women to wear tallisim and kippah. And it was normal for anybody to wear tzitzit, but in services, that was normal. But to me, it didn’t feel comfortable. So, it’s something that I do, like I did it for the High Holiday. I wore a tallit. But, and I have a beautiful one that was given to me as part of a transition ritual. But it has never been something that I’ve been able to make my own as part of my real identity.
Emma June: Yeah. I think that’s something I’m very curious about, is how to grapple with these ritual objects that Judaism has brought us that kind of approach gender, or have been taught to us in such a binary way, and that because we don’t fit into that, it’s either something I think as trans Jews we have to reject or make something new out of. Or you know, find some in between way to engage with it. And-
Joy Ladin: Yes.
Emma June: I’m curious if that… I feel like you started to talk about it, but I’m curious if you have any more thoughts on that with your own practice?
Joy Ladin: Well, the tallit that I had used for most of my life was one that I was given at my bar mitzvah, and so it was really, and I used it all the time, because I prayed every day, and on my own. Usually not in services, but sometimes in services and when I had children, I would hold whoever of the kids was a baby while I was praying in the tallit, so it had little yellow poop stains on it, and it was very dear to me. And because it was bound up so much with my… It wasn’t just… My life as a man was bound up with my life as a parent and raising my children, and this certain of kind of relation to Judaism that was part of my life as a man. So, it’s strange. In general, I had a very binary idea, as many trans women of my generation do, that you’re either your true self or a false self, and it’s all one or it’s all the other, so the idea of having aspects of my life, which is true, like I value, I’m not rejecting being a father to my children. That’s crucial to me.
But I don’t really know how to integrate it into a full sense of who I am, and that tallit that I’ve had my whole life that I still have was part of that. So, I just stopped wearing it. Didn’t… Was kind of a short circuit. It didn’t feel right not to wear it and it didn’t feel right to wear it. So, at a certain point I had been living as myself for a few years and I was with, but not yet married to the woman that I’m married to now, and I felt like I needed some kind of a ritual to consolidate my new sense of who I was, and I worked with Rabbi Jill Hammer to put that… put something together, and my wife bought a tallit for me that was presented to me as part of that ritual, and I was sobbing. Tears were streaming down my face, and the tears were kind of a tallit, and there it was, this vision. It still looks new, because I’ve hardly worn it. The other tallit is so worn. This tallit is so new and it represents a… It’s beautiful, like a vision of a life in which my Jewishness, and my transness, and my gender all completely integrated, but that’s not a life that I have, that I’ve reached yet.
And I think what you were saying before about needing some kind of other relation to this gender ritual object. Obviously, I can’t wear it if it signifies maleness. Because I didn’t grow up female, wearing a tallit is not a liberatory gesture. It’s not an assertion that, “Well, I’m equal to men, therefore I can wear a tallit.” Because I know that according to the most conservative versions of Judaism, I’m still a man, and I should be wearing a tallit. So, how can I wear it in a way that is authentic to me and is not where… When I’m wearing it, I’m not distracted from the work of prayer by the conflicts around genderedness? I haven’t figured that out yet.
Emma June: Yeah, it’s a big question and kind of internal struggle. Yeah. I’m curious. You’ve written a lot about your relationship to G-d and spoken a lot about it, and I know that wearing the tzitzit is a commandment given by G-d in the Book of Numbers, and I’m curious, I guess… So, I’ve been reading your book, The Soul of the Stranger, and in it the way you describe G-d is as somebody who is also on the outside and who doesn’t fit, and who doesn’t have a body that makes sense to the world. And I guess I’m curious if you’ve thought of any ways to read a passage like the one in the Book of Numbers through the lens that you’re reading Torah in in your book?
Joy Ladin: That is a great question. Do you have the verse so I can look at it and not just make stuff up?
Emma June: Yes.
Joy Ladin: Which I’m also good at.
Emma June: Let me pull it up. I had it up and then I… The internet cut out, so-
Joy Ladin: Okay.
Emma June: Let me get it. Okay. Tzitzit fulfill the commandment in Numbers 37, in the portion called Parashat Sh’lach. “Speak to the Israelite people and instruct them to make for themselves fringes on the corner of their garments throughout the ages. Let them attach a cord of blue to the fringe at each corner. That shall be your fringe. Look at it and recall all the commandments of G-d and observe them, so that you do not follow your heart and eyes in your lustful urge. Thus, you shall be reminded to observe all of my commandments and to be holy to your G-d.”
Joy Ladin: That is definitely the commandment, but there is no Numbers 37. The last chapter is 36.
Emma June: That is… Okay. MyJewishLearning is then wrong, which-
Joy Ladin: Not to say fake news, but only…
Emma June: Okay. I’m gonna look again on Chabad’s website.
Joy Ladin: All right. This is saying 15:38, and then Deuteronomy.
Emma June: Okay.
Joy Ladin: Let’s look at 15:38 and see if that turns out to be the right…
Emma June: Well, I’m finding that it’s Numbers 15:37.
Joy Ladin: Ah, okay. Yes. Yes, it is. Okay. Good. Okay, so the context of this is the… It’s horrible. One of the many horrible things that happens in Numbers is in the verses right before that, they… Somebody is found gathering wood on Shabbat, and there’s no instruction about what should be done to them, and G-d says the whole community has to stone the man to death.
Emma June: Ah.
Joy Ladin: So, they do that. That comes right after the… Well, there’s a lot of stuff about… commandments around sin offerings before that. So, the context of this is anxiety about breaking the commandments that G-d has given. And the juxtaposition implies, but it doesn’t… The Torah doesn’t make clear usually the logical connections between things, so it feels like G-d might have said, “Ah, this dude forgot you’re not supposed to do this on Shabbat. I guess human beings need more than just commandments. They need a reminder that they should follow the commandments.” And so that, the commandment about tzitzit seems like an attempt to prevent further errors like the gathering of wood on Shabbat. So, if that’s right, there’s nothing gendered about the fact that it’s a man wood gathering wood on Shabbat. In terms of the way the story is told, gender isn’t a factor, and the community that gathers to hear the sentence, it’s the whole community, so that again is everybody, and they’re all supposed to be stoning him.
So, as near as I can tell, the way this stuff is written, this is before the later gendering rabbinic commentaries and Halakha put on all of these things. At this point, most of the commandments are given to everybody at once, and everybody is supposed to be responsible for following, and speak to the Israelite people, again, it’s not a gender-based thing. It’s not something that would be specific to men and exclude women, and in this formulation, it wouldn’t exclude people who don’t identify either as men or women. It’s just if you’re part of this people, you need to do this so you can… Basically, so that you can say to yourself, “Huh, isn’t that weird? Look. I got this fringe hanging under my garment. What the heck? What’s going on with that? Oh, right! I have to follow G-d’s commandments.” That seems to be the kind of technology that G-d has come up with here. And I have to say in a lot of the Torah, and here I would think this is an example, it looks like G-d is… has an experimental relation to human… Like G-d keeps trying to figure out what will work to set, to create a community in which human beings will actually remember that G-d’s there all the time and act accordingly.
And G-d does not seem to realize that anything that we do habitually, we’re just likely to forget. So, I have to say personally, when I was wearing tzitzit, of course I’m not a Halakhic Jew, so it couldn’t work quite that way, but I would just… I didn’t pay much attention to them. I didn’t look at them and immediately remember all the commandments. It was just like you get dressed in the morning, you put this stuff on, it starts to seem normal, and normal is… I don’t think I ever completely acclimated to it. I think it always felt somewhat uncomfortable to me to be wearing tzitzit. But I don’t think it ever functioned mnemonically to me. But the theory here is that… So, to me it looks like this is G-d trying to use what G-d knows about humanity, human beings are forgetful of what they’re supposed to do. They’re subject to impulses and urges. When they feel an urge, they’re liable to forget what G-d has told us to do. And human beings wear clothes. Hm. What if they could wear a kind of clothing that would remind them to do what I told them to do instead of what they feel like doing?
So, the perspective in my book is focusing on the awkwardness of G-d as a non-human being trying to relate to human beings. And to me, this looks like a good example of that. I’m not sure… The Torah I don’t think records a single example of somebody who’s about to sin, but looks down at their tzitzit and says, “Oh, right. Don’t gather sticks on Shabbat.” In fact, I don’t think it ever mentions it again. I don’t remember any point at which it comes up. So, to me it looks like G-d throwing spaghetti out to see what will stick on the wall. I think later, Orthodox practice develops this and elaborates on it, and makes it a more central thing than…. People build on it, but in the Torah it’s just like, “What the heck do you do to get people to remember that I’m here? And so, you shouldn’t do stupid crap like gathering sticks on Shabbat. I mean, come on guys. That’s pretty simple.”
Emma June: Right. Right. Wow. It’s interesting. It makes me think about like how to approach practice as more what helps me, or whomever, remain in touch with… I mean, I have a… I don’t know what I believe in, exactly, so I think for me it’s a question of engaging with that question. But just like what is it that can push us to remember how to be with our core values, or with our G-d, or with whomever.
Joy Ladin: Yes.
Emma June: And that that’s a really powerful way to approach maybe tzitzit or maybe something else.
Joy Ladin: Yeah. It’s a kind of very focused mindfulness practice. And the idea of wearing mindfulness, or wearing in your case, if you’re not sure what it is, what you’re wearing is a reminder that you should be actively not sure. You should be asking yourself that question and those questions. You should be walking through life clothed in the questions of where are you in relation to G-d, and Judaism, and all of that. I think that’s a really healthy way to think of it.
Emma June: Yeah. And it’s really… I mean, there’s something about it being about being clothed in those things, and how important to me as a gender queer person, clothing is something I do think about every day, and that has really impacted how I choose to move through the world already. It’s an active choice all the time. And I know that’s not true of every queer and trans person, but I do think it’s a somewhat common feeling. And so, I’m curious. Yeah, I guess I’m just struck by transferring that approach to Judaism, that the way that you clothe yourself matters.
Joy Ladin: Oh, I love that. So, it sounds like you can deepen your relation to this aspect of Jewish tradition by looking at what clothes mean to you as a genderqueer person. And then thinking about the similarities or differences in the tzitzit.
Emma June: Yeah. Yeah. I think so.
Joy Ladin: Fantastic.
Emma June: I’m curious. Are there any thoughts left ruminating for you? Or things you want to have said?
Joy Ladin: You know, this is probably neither here nor there, but I’m really, really… On my mind, I think because it’s Sukkot, and some of my most joyful memories of wearing a tallit are on Sukkot. It’s the one time in my life that I probably… will have ever owned a house. We had a small house kind of in wooded hills, basically. The house was a bit of a shambles, but it had a large amount of land, and enough so that for the first time in my life, I built a sukkah, and would build it every year, and then I would say Hallel in the sukkah in the mornings of Sukkot, and I would put on my tallit and I remember holding my baby in the sukkah, wrapped in my tallit, and singing and dancing to Hallel in the sukkah the morning. And it was hard for me to be happy when I was living as a man, but that was about as happy as I could get.
Emma June: That’s so special. Wow. Does your kid know about that now?
Joy Ladin: Nah. He couldn’t care less about my religion or really most anything about me. A very healthy 16-year-old in the difference.
Emma June: Wow. Maybe one day.
Joy Ladin: Yes. A girl can dream.
Emma June: Absolutely. We gotta.
Emma June: Thanks for listening to Fringes, my passion project supported by ADVAH Designs. For more definitions and links, as well as a transcription of this episode, please check out the show notes on our website, ADVAHDesigns.com/Fringesepisode1. That’s A-D-V-A-H-D-E-S-I-G-N-S.com/F-R-I-N-G-E-S-E-P-I-S-O-D-E-1. The interviews I do and the stories I get to share through this podcast cannot possibly capture the breadth of experiences in this world. I’m inevitably leaving people out. That’s what it means to tell a story. That said, this project is growing. If your story feels left out and you want to share it, please reach out to me at Emma@advahdesigns.com. E-M-M-A at A-D-V-A-H-D-E-S-I-G-N-S.com. This podcast is coming out on a biweekly basis. A huge thanks to my producer, Sarah Resnick, and to Home Despot, the musician behind the intro. And thank you for listening. See you in two weeks wherever podcasts can be found.