Clare Malone: So how did you come to this position?
C: I’ve always felt pretty strongly about it. Just my personality must be one of being hyper-aware of inequality, and that’s why I’m in HIV research. When I was in my 20s and early 30s, before everyone I knew started having children, I was very much pro-public school. And then as some of my friends who are more well off than others decided on private school, there was a huge divergence in thinking. Some parents feel it’s their job to do only what’s best for their child in a vacuum, and then there are other people who feel what’s best for society is what’s best for my child. It was very stark when that started to happen. I didn’t lose friendships over it, but it made me see some people who I was very close to in a different light.
CM: What would you say your social class is?
C: It’s complicated for me. I’m not married to my boyfriend, but we have been dating and together for more than five years and we live together in a a renovated brownstone that’s all ours. Are we the richest people in New York City? No, because we don’t work in finance. But we are extremely lucky and extremely well off. So I would say that we’re on the low end of upper class.