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The Public Universal Friend

Published: April 1, 2022


A friend whose interests include women in religion recently wrote a web-sized biography of The Public Universal Friend. In the introduction to this work, its author, Shannon McRae, wrote:

The Public Universal Friend is one of my favorite historical figures. A religious prophet who emerged during the American Revolution, The Friend refused to use or respond to gender pronouns or the name given at birth. Writing an entire scholarly profile without pronouns except when describing circumstances of birth and upbringing, was challenging and made for some clunky writing. But it was also important. Language and custom potentially obfuscate so much of the full complexity of who we are.

Click here to read this biography.

from Barry Hayes, Palo Alto Friends Meeting (3/29/2022)