Five years ago, Joy Ladin, 51 was Jay Ladin, an English professor at Yeshiva University, in Washington Heights.

“I am what we would now call transgender,” she said.

Married with three children, she  planned her suicide to escape this feeling of “being in the wrong body.

When she started to transition in 2006, Ladin was placed on indefinite leave by the Orthdox Jewish university’s administration. After regaining her status through legal channels she became the first trans person to teach at a Jewish Orthodox institute.

Now she feels more alive than ever.