Queerness and Multireligious Perspectives Interview: Alex Rudy

The  background of the image shows small yellow flowers that look like daisies. The flowers are growing towards the sun, and lens flares blur much of the image. The overlaying text, which is printed in black, reads: Queerness and Multireligious Perspectives Interviews

As part of this series on the intersections of queerness and multireligiosity, I want to offer queer, multireligious people a platform to reflect on our experiences in our own words and on our own terms. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

For this interview, I spoke with one of my favorite people — my brilliant spouse, Alex Rudy — about the intersections of being queer, trans, and growing up as a nonreligious descendent of a Protestant (Presbyterian, PCUSA) and Unitarian Universalist family. Alex is a deeply insightful person (I wouldn’t have married them if they weren’t), and it was very thought-provoking and transformative for me to hear their reflections on the questions I offered. I hope you enjoy reading this interview as much as I enjoyed conducting it!

Esther: I am here today with — full disclosure, my spouse — Alex Rudy, who I’m very excited to talk to about multireligiosity and queerness. I like to start out these interviews by asking my guests to introduce themselves and tell us about who they are. So please, introduce yourself! Tell us about who you are and what you’d like us to know about you! 

Alex: I’m Alex. I use they/them pronouns. My identities: I identify as bi and trans. Trans on a journey: transition in the most literal sense of that. Currently that makes me non-binary, but destination unknown at this point. I was assigned male at birth, and figured out that I was bi on some level fairly early in my life, and figured out that I was trans much later in my life. So there’s been a sort of difference in when I came to those realizations. 

 I think it’s also important to talk about spiritually how I identify, which is that I identify in a lot of ways as a “none” — an atheist. Though, not an atheist who is really engaged in a lot of the communities of atheism. And not a political atheist in the way a lot of atheism is associated with a particular political agenda or bent about the way we separate religion from the state. But I have a slightly richer history around my own spirituality and the way I think about things, and I think a much richer definition than can be captured in just a few labels. 

Esther: That’s really beautiful. Thank you for sharing all of that. 

Getting into the spirituality of it all, one of the things I like to start out by asking is to ask folks to describe the spiritual identities of your childhood and how you were raised. And if you want to get into like, your family heritage, as far as spirituality and religion go… 

Alex: Yeah, I think I would actually start with family heritage and spirituality and religion that existed in my family before I existed. My paternal grandmother was very involved in her churches and was Protestant; fairly liberal in her Protestantism, I would say. But was often like, I think a deacon at a lot of her churches, ran a lot of the programs, was often on the board; was especially involved in both decoration and flower arranging. I think she did all the flower arranging for her churches. But also was the sort of primary organizer behind food pantry efforts and other outreach efforts when she moved to — she moved from Connecticut to North Carolina, and when she moved to North Carolina she again became really involved in her churches there. I remember she started a program to provide library books and libraries to schools and school districts that otherwise had only like, a central library. And so they would go to like elementary schools and provide them with a space that was a library and a system to check out books and stuff like that for districts that couldn’t afford to do that everywhere. 

So she was always incredibly involved and I think largely because of her, although also my granddad was Protestant of some variety–

Esther: Were they Presbyterian? 

Alex: I think they were both Presbyterian. Yes, I think that is correct. On my mother’s side, I think they were maybe also Presbyterian, but I’m pretty sure my father’s side were all Presbyterians. 

And so my father was raised Presbyterian and he certainly maintains an intellectual interest in religion and spirituality and reads a lot about stuff, though he’s not as involved in any church community as even some of his siblings. All of his siblings are actually, his younger sisters are both very engaged in their Presbyterian churches. 

And then on my mother’s side, there was some religion that was passed through. I know that my grandmother was involved not, I think, as heavily, but attended and was a member of a Presbyterian church through whenever she left Pennsylvania.

Esther: And they were Unitarian before that?

Alex: They were Unitarian at points before that and attended some pretty big — like in Buffalo, attended the big Unitarian church that has some history there. I think that may have also come from my grandfather. And grandmother had some Unitarian history there. My grandfather’s family was from Concord, New Hampshire, I think. And so I think there may have been Unitarian history there, which is actually sort of a good segue into my upbringing. Which was, early on, in contact with a lot of Unitarian church spaces. Not attending regularly; I don’t think really at any significant point in my life did I attend church on a regular basis. But I spent the first 10 years of my life outside Boston, Massachusetts, and you can’t throw a stick without hitting a Unitarian church around there. 

So when we would do things like — my parents would like to do things like go to midnight services on Christmas Eve with Christmas carol singing. And that was at the First Unitarian Church in Sudbury. And so there was some contact there. 

At some point in the first 10 years of my life, I also had conversations about spirituality and religion and what I believed, mostly I want to say with my mom as the primary influence there. She always encouraged me to make up my own mind, but also had a little bit of a bias or bent towards atheism that has only gotten stronger as a streak, as she has gotten older. 

But I don’t know that I like strongly identified with any spiritual tradition. It was sort of the mishmash, and we celebrated Christmas a lot, especially in those first 10 years where we would have like, all the relatives come to our house for Christmas and things like that. So there was a thread of cultural Christianity going on in my childhood. 

And I would say I became a lot more secular as I went through middle and high school. Though there were occasional moments where either my parents or the various things I was involved in in school would bring some element of spirituality back in. There’s also like, education about world religions and stuff like that, and understanding what Christianity is, but also what Judaism and Islam and Buddhism are. But I’m not talking about that. I’m talking more about, there was a period where my parents decided that it would be good for us to be exposed to religion on some level. And so we went to a… evangelical might be too strong of a word for it, but evangelical-adjacent church for expats. I don’t even think we went every weekend, but like, for several weekends, for several months kind of thing. Until I think my brother and I were like, “Why are we doing this? Can we not?” And then we didn’t do it anymore. 

I was also exposed to religion as a Boy Scout through a bunch of places. And scouting has a pretty serious strain of religiosity, but I was a little bit better about holding my own ground there. It was important to me that I never misled or lied about the ways that I thought about religion and spirituality and that I didn’t — at that point in late high school, I think I was strongest in my convictions of like, I do not believe in a God. And I didn’t really have a lot of definitions of spirituality that went much further beyond like slotting into a major religion that I was aware of kind of thing. 

I made myself promise that like I would not say that I believed in God or anything like that. And I had to get a, like, religious reference as part of the like final stage in my scouting career. And I remember getting a religious reference from a religious youth leader who knew I was an atheist and didn’t believe in God, and thought that a lot of evangelical Christians — including him — were pretty hypocritical in the way they treated people. I had that conversation with him before he wrote the reference for me and I still got away with it. And I think he still wrote a nice reference! So I guess I picked an okay person to do that. But I was definitely of that bent at that point.

And since then, I think my own understanding of — maybe not religious tradition as much, but spiritual tradition and spirituality has been broadened, definitely in concert with Esther’s education — with your education– but also through my own reflection about the process and recognition of some things.

Something that I come back to a lot is that for me, there’s something quite spiritual about being in a really dark place and getting to see the Milky Way. And that was something that I did a lot as an astronomer; I went to graduate school as an astronomer. But also even before that, just traveling to remote places and being out to look at the stars. I think that post-high school, I started to broaden my perspective in that way and incorporate that as an element of my own spirituality and worldview. It’s maybe not organized religion, but it’s also not pure scientific-logical-something. 

Esther: There’s a lot of juicy stuff to get into there. I’m curious to hear from you about how your understandings of queerness, whether that is related to sexuality and desire or to gender, related to what you learned about religion growing up: from your family, from these spaces that you were occasionally a part of, from Scouts… did queerness come up in those spaces? And if so, how was it talked about?

Alex: We’ll take this in two sections. There’s the section when I was a young child and living outside Boston and interacting with the Unitarian Universalist spaces. And I think at that point I was young enough that I didn’t have a deep understanding of queerness and the way that relates. I had a sort of a surface-level progressive set of teachings and values from my parents about wanting to treat people equally and that things like marriage equality should be the law of the land, and that there are places with different sets of progressive laws and values. 

I think this also borders on this like — any conversation about choice and reproductive rights in my household was never really a debate because my mother is both very strongly a Second-Wave feminist and also an OB-GYN. And so she really has no quarter for that even being a discussion. So that sort of colors that first half.

And then the second half, I think there are more interesting questions. Because there were real questions about, like, how sexuality was talked about in spaces and queerness was talked about in spaces. A couple things color that for me: one is that among my friends, we had some notion that some of us had a certain level of spirituality or religiousness that existed, that was either more or less than others. But we were also all pretty adamant that queerness was okay pretty quickly. And it was never a moment of discussion, because my friend group from high school is fairly queer in a lot of ways and pushed around a lot of gender norms and boundaries in ways that I think are maybe not super common to a lot of people’s childhoods. But it meant that, like, that was never a question among my close friend group. 

It definitely manifested in scouting and it also definitely manifested in the church space and the youth leader I talked about. In scouting, I think that’s where it’s probably easiest for me to talk about. A couple of things: at that point, scouting official policy was vaguely “don’t say gay” kind of thing. Like, we will turn away and not look at it. The policy of the troop that I was a part of was actually trying to be more aggressively inclusive on some level, in that we would openly talk in meetings and in conversations with the leader of the troop about what he talked about as the “3G problem with scouting,” which is Gays, God, and Girls. And the ways in which we could imagine trying to change that and trying to change the structure. I think the way that conversation happened was maybe not as good as it should have been, and if I were raising a child, I would think carefully and probably not have them participating in scouting as that organization exists. But I think conditional on already being a part of that organization, the way that conversation happened was good. There were other Scouts who were maybe less accepting on some level, or were at their middle-school stage at a time and an era when a lot of middle schoolers made really inappropriate jokes about queerness and sexuality. And that happened. Those people tended to not be people that I enjoyed spending time with and being friends with. And one of the ways that I survive scouting was curating a very small group of people that I spent any time with and keeping everybody else pretty damn far away. So I think that influenced how that part of the conversation went. 

Then there’s the whole church and youth group thing going on. They had very few conversations about queerness. I don’t think queerness was really something that they could even comprehend and accept. And they did a lot of things to try and like, basically emotionally wear people down and bully them into having a literal come-to-Jesus-moment. And that was not good and was something that I pointed out, but more often quietly and to my own friends. Really my voice and ability to stand up for things more aggressively was not there as strongly in that space when I was a high schooler. I think my voice was there more strongly say, at my own school where I felt like I had more power and could impact more change. But at my own school, queerness was something that was part of the fabric of the institution. Our headmaster, Moira, was openly gay and brought her wife to a lot of school events. Moira had a lot of faults. I know a lot of people who opened a bottle of champagne when she left the institution. So there were a lot of problems, but visibility of queerness was not one of them. She was very visibly queer on campus. And I think that sort of propagated throughout the school that like, it was okay to be visibly queer and lots of people are visibly queer. And I don’t think that was necessarily the problem. 

Esther: It occurs to me that you’re the first person I’ve talked to thus far who ever had any kind of visible queer representation at school that was a positive thing, or that the school was okay with. When I was talking to Justin, he was telling me about how he found out that one of his favorite teachers was gay, but then that teacher quote unquote “voluntarily” left the school. And it’s maybe not clear if it really was voluntary. But it certainly wasn’t a welcoming place. And Fai was talking about how there was just no mention of queerness at her private Islamic school. So I think it’s kind of remarkable that you had a model of queerness at school who, maybe she had faults as a leader, as a headmaster, but was able to provide this very visible representation of being queer. And that it was okay to be queer. 

Alex: And I don’t think she was the only queer teacher. I don’t know the relationship details of a lot of the teachers who I was not super close to. But I don’t think she was the only queer teacher.

And the queerness of my friend group, like, was honestly pretty clear from the beginning and only got more queer over time, when I think about the people that we added to it and accreted onto the group of friends. 

Esther: If you’re okay doing so, tell us about how you realized you were queer?

Alex: One piece of context to that is that I think a lot of the way that I think about and understand the world is to question the set of rules and the way things are and try to understand them. And that goes from everything like tiny, like, tiny mechanical things I will happily take apart and try to figure out what’s going on inside them, the whole way up to why systems of power exist in the way they do. And so for a long time, I also had those questions about why we have the models of sexual attraction and relationships that we carry in the world. And whether those make sense in some cases, all cases, or really no cases. And one of the things that I felt pretty early on was that at least defining the kind of person you could be attracted to before having met all the people felt pretty silly to me. 

Which I think is — that’s not to say that nobody can have a sexual orientation that’s not broad and open to everybody else. But certainly to me, it felt really natural pretty early on to not feel super constrained. The flip side of that is that for a long time, I also didn’t really feel like I was in a place to claim queerness. And I think a lot of that, too, is around the invisibility of bisexuality and especially the invisibility of bisexual people who have not been in a non-straight passing relationship on some level. So I didn’t feel super comfortable claiming that.

And I didn’t have — it took me a little while later, until like, the middle of high school to start realizing that I had not just an openness to considering anybody as a potential candidate to be attracted to, but like, active sexual fantasies about some of my friends who at the time presented gender in the same way that I did. And that was definitely a thing that happened. 

Even then, I didn’t claim it’s super aggressively. For so long, it felt to me like something that… who I was sexually attracted to really mattered if I was going to have sex. And if I wasn’t about to have sex, it did not matter a whole lot to me. I’ve always been, I think, trying to be cognizant of the way I take up space and the way I present in things. And it felt a little bit to me, like, well, if I can’t figure out the immediate impact right now, maybe I don’t need to say anything about it. I certainly felt that way, and then ended up in one fairly long-term straight passing relationship. At which point it was even less of a priority in a lot of ways for me to claim that. 

And I think there’s also something there about [the fact that] I had a lot of really queer friends in high school, but my friend group was pretty small. The high school I was at was really small as well. I mean, my graduating class was 27 people, so that doesn’t give you a whole lot of people to be friends with. And we didn’t — we had models of queerness existing, and I had friends who were very openly queer. But we didn’t have community that was formed on the basis of queerness. And so I think that left me, I don’t know, just not seeing modeled super well how to claim an identity like that when it’s not like, my ex and my current partner are of different presenting genders, right? 

Esther: So, when did you really start to claim it? 

Alex: I think I felt more comfortable claiming it towards the very end of college in a lot of ways, though I don’t know that I had a ton of people that I was outwardly claiming that to. But I think my internal story about it was more rock solid. For a long time, I was in a position of like, I could be attracted to anyone, but if somebody asked me “Are you bisexual?” I would have had a moment of like, “Uh, computing, computing, not sure.” 

And then I started to come to a point of like, no, I know how to answer that question now. That was also around the time where I could then start to put together a lot of the other missing pieces going back, and being like, oh, these things all add up over time. So sort of towards the end of college and then the year we spent together in Taiwan; that was also, I think, a part of that. And I think too, a lot of that was some of the early times when there were more communities around queerness that were observed.

I think one of the things that the Claremont Colleges Queer Center struggled with a lot was that it was a little bit sort of hidden away. And there was an element of like, oh, it’s a nice private, secluded, safe space that makes for. But there was also an element of like… personally, I can be oblivious about a lot of things, and I could have used accidentally walking into queer spaces more to make me realize it. And I just didn’t accidentally walk into that kind of queer space. And yet, most of my friends intentionally did walk into that kind of queer space. I was surrounded by queer people, but… 

Esther: So let’s get back to atheism for a moment. Can you describe — have you, at any point, been a part of atheist spaces that are coming together specifically to bond over shared experience or create shared meaning? Like Sunday Assemblies, that kind of thing. What was the role that atheism played in making community in your life? And how has that shifted over time? 

Alex: Yeah. So I was never really a part of any in-person atheist communities. I think a lot of them were sort of in early germination stages at the point where I was maybe at the height of thinking that that was a community that I would like to leverage. But I was a member of various online spaces, like a couple of online forums and some blog comment sections where I felt like more of an atheist community going on. But so many of those communities can end up pretty toxic pretty quickly. And so I don’t feel like I spent a long time there and it was never a strong source of community for me. That was like, kind of late-ish high school. After that, I don’t really feel like I made a lot of community that was centered around atheism, and sort of drifted away from a lot of it, honestly. 

Esther: Circling back around to more present times, how would you describe yourself as identifying now? What is your current spiritual identity or identities? 

Alex: So I think the first thing that comes to mind is to just say: not religious, and leave the rest as a little bit of a blank canvas. To not circumscribe specific things. I think that, to get more nuanced about that, I think that I have a very flexible spongy definition of spirituality that can encompass a lot of different things. Rather than picking up specific labels, I find myself more in conversations starting to figure out the ways in which my own definition might help somebody else broaden their definition of what counts as spiritual and the ways in which that might work. 

Esther: Maybe before we get to some questions about multireligiosity and how we talk about theology and queerness, do you feel comfortable sharing about your gender journey? 

Alex: Sure. So my gender journey is shifted much later than my sexuality journey in a lot of ways. Though, when I really go back and dig and think about things, for a long time I have at the very least felt pretty uncomfortable in masculinity. And I think one of the things that I referenced earlier was that I had a group of friends in high school who, together, all pushed gender bounds, norms, queerness. I think that that was both a piece of my experience and a way in which I always felt really comfortable. Going back and thinking about it, I very rarely felt comfortable — in fact, I usually felt really uncomfortable in explicitly gendered spaces where I was explicitly gendered as masculine in some way. And I felt way more comfortable in spaces where I either didn’t feel specifically gendered or where there was some level of contravening the gender assignment of masculinity in some fashion. 

That journey, though, led me to a place through college where basically I became pretty disinterested in a lot of ways. I think I wasn’t yet ready to like, take a leap and go somewhere else. I was more just like, I am here in masculinity; I don’t really like it, but also if I don’t think about it, I don’t have to care about it that much. Which is only sort of true, right? But I think there’s only so many things that one can process at one time. And so it took me a lot longer to come to terms with the idea that — why stay put in an identity I’m not happy with? And yeah, I think it did take me a lot longer to feel comfortable doing that. 

And it took me also seeing and talking to people and meeting people who had other interesting journeys. There’s a little bit of a Catch-22 in the importance of representation and visibility, in that when representation and visibility are really important, that tends to bias us towards the people who most strongly feel that they wish to be represented and visible. And that often leaves out some of the people who have maybe a more winding path to get where they’re going. Towards the end of my time in grad school, I started to be like, “Oh, I think I kind of identify as genderqueer in some way. That was a way of me saying “Okay, I want to identify specifically with questioning gender, but I don’t really know where this is going.” 

Something that really gave me a lot more confidence was actually meeting a couple of people who didn’t exactly have the same journey, but meeting people and knowing people who were really positive influences, but were also like, “I tried transitioning and going on hormones and actually decided it really wasn’t for me and stopped.” And talking to them about that, and them basically being like, “Personally, I have zero longterm effects and zero regrets about that. It was a really great experience. I learned a ton. It was really fascinating. It was really cool. I would do it again/ recommend it.” And realizing that there are so many more winding paths out there. It gave me a lot more confidence to be like, my own path can be very wind-y and that’s okay. And if I end up back where I started, that’s part of going on a journey sometimes, is ending up back where you started. And that’s totally fine. 

But I think that for so long, I didn’t see models of that in the world. Most of the representation of people who have experimented with their gender and then ended up in a different place are negative cudgels used by bigots to argue for loss of rights. And that’s not, you know, it’s not appealing to turn myself into that in any way. 

Esther: I think there’s so many parallels with what you’re describing with a lot of people’s experiences of multireligiosity where it’s like, this pressure to be one thing. And if you are not one religion, then you must leave that religion to be another. There’s not always a sense of multiplicity and of multiple belonging at the same time. It can be boiled down to this very binary “You must be this or this, but you can’t be both at once or, heaven forbid, more than two things at once.” And I think there’s so much beauty in the journey of being like, I can go on this winding journey. Maybe I have roots here and branches here and then some leaves over here, but I’m experiencing it all at the same time, and it’s all valid, and it’s all a part of my devotion or my meaning-making. I’m noticing parallels of what you’re talking about with, I think, experiences of multireligiosity. 

Alex: Yeah, I think there’s a parallel there between my experiences of my own gender journey and in a lot of ways, my own journey and identification with sexuality. And my journey with respect to religion and faith and spirituality. 

Early on in life, I was very much of the mindset of like, I must pick a side on some level, pick a particular camp. I think I’m much more comfortable now with both it being a journey, it being an exploration, and at least in my own conception of spirituality, having a whole bunch of questions that I haven’t answered. And that are maybe interesting to think about, but not actually important to answer. 

Esther: Is spiritual community something that interests you? 

Alex: I want to twist that question a little bit. I think something two things that really interest me: one, are spaces that use ritual for meaning-making. I think there’s a real importance to how we ritualize things, and that’s something that I’ve learned greatly through you and your time at Starr King but also have seen in plenty of other places. Like, ritualization can be really helpful and it’s helpful in my own life and what I do, and providing me with stability. 

And then at the same time, spiritual exploration. And I like groups of people that I feel like I can explore things with spiritually. But I’m not necessarily looking for a specific spiritual community as I am looking for people who might provide interesting experience and learning that we can share amongst each other. And I think that can happen in a lot of ways that are not necessarily like, spiritual community first, but still end up being spiritual community in some way. 

Esther: I love that. That’s beautiful. So one question that I’ve asked before that I’m really curious to hear your take on is: does it matter that religious communities or spiritual communities, and the intersections between those two, talk about queerness, whether queerness of gender, or queerness of desire and sexuality. Does it matter that those things are explicitly spoken about in religious spaces in an affirming way? Does it matter that we queer theology? 

Alex: Yes. I think that we have to be cognizant of the legacy and leaning of a lot of specific theologies and religious spaces and to actively work against that anywhere where we want to put our values forward. Putting values forward intentionally matters a lot. And I think with queerness, a lot of that is visibility. A lot of that is incorporation in some way.

For my specific understanding of spirituality and queerness, there is a very strong connection between spaces that will let you transgress social norms, ask weird questions, and be different that are appealing to me. Queer spiritual spaces, even if we only mean that in the sense of queering spiritual spaces, are way more appealing to me than ones that aren’t. And I think if you don’t talk about it and explicitly, you let people fill in a set of defaults and that set of defaults is what culture more broadly normatively imposes. 

Esther: So I think you’re kind of getting at this in the answer — and now I’m really curious to hear an even more specific answer to this question — what does it mean to be queer? And what does it mean to queer something, to you personally?

Alex: Yeah. I wanted to caveat this with “to me personally,” because I am not a scholar of this field and I’m sure there are many scholars who have wonderful definitions and understandings here.

I come back to some level of transgression of social norms that surround queerness. That there is, in queering a space, you are going against the grain a little bit, making something a little bit different in a way that is — that’s not to say that you are disrupting, necessarily. I think it’s often a joyful process of queering a space. But it’s claiming something that we normally wouldn’t allow to be — or that by default would not be — claimed and sort of opening that up. And I think there’s a lot that can be said for queering spaces, queering theologies, queering communities that is about broadening our window of the way we operate and move through the world. And not being quite as constrained by the way things were done before, for whatever definition we want to have for before. So I guess I define a lot of queering and queerness in opposition to normativeness in some way. 

Esther: I love that. I think that’s actually a very deep definition and you would do the scholars proud. 

I’ve asked you questions that I very much enjoyed asking and you’ve given beautiful answers. As we conclude. I always like to give people the opportunity to say something, if there’s anything you’d like to say that we didn’t really get to that is coming to mind, or to ask me questions back if there’s anything you’d like to ask me. 

Alex: I think there’s one piece of expansion on the stuff that we’ve already talked about that is worth bringing up here, but I think it’s a nice thread through all of this. Queerness as being the opposite of normativeness, but also the way in which that can be, and is, unsettling. And I feel like there’s so much of my own story of a journey through faith and a journey through queerness that is about unsettling myself from places that were, you know, maybe convenience defaults in some way. I remember very early on starting with answering the question of like, do I believe in God? But that was definitely a like, Christian God in that spot. And I’ve slowly unsettled myself to have a much broader definition of what I think of faith and spirituality, and the way that works. I think there’s so much value in doing that unsettling and broadening one’s field of what’s possible. And that’s also true of my own gender journey and my own journey through sexuality, of just wanting to question and learn to be comfortable in a lot of the more ambiguous spaces. 

Esther: What it seems to me that you’re getting out there is also that queerness is — not necessarily inherently, but it can be if engaged in intentionally — a decolonial act. Like, we unsettle ourselves from colonized notions of binary gender and sexuality, and maybe the queerness even unsettles us from settling land if we think about our relationships to land and how we got there, and what that means. 

Alex: Yeah. I think in this conversation where we’ve tried to talk a lot about the intersection between queerness and multireligiosity, these are all things where we’re starting to pull out those threads of what is normal and starting to unsettle those threads. And if you pull on them far enough, you come to other ideas that I think are really interesting to think about, like, what land are we on? And how do we consider concepts like ownership of that land? But also, how do we think about things like community on a broader level than local community, and think about nationalism and ethnicism and things like that. And starting to unravel that thread and unsettle the way we think about that, it gives us the opportunity to potentially build something new. 

Esther: What a powerful, powerful notion to offer us as we wrap up. Thank you. 

Alex: Thank you. This was a lovely conversation. 

Esther: Thank you for having this conversation with me. Was there anything else that wants to be said? 

Alex: I think I’m good. 

Esther: Wonderful. I love you. And maybe let’s think next about what we want for dinner?

Alex: Yeah. That sounds wonderful. 

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