Transgendered Author Jennifer Finney-Boylan Returns to Northampton to Deliver Keynote Address
NORTHAMPTON, Ma. ? Colby College Professor Jennifer Finney-Boylan, author of She's Not There: A Life In Two Genders, has a warm spot in her heart for the trans-friendly community of Northampton, where she will attend a transgender conference Feb. 1-3.
Finney-Boylan, whose 2003 memoir was the first best-selling work by a transgendered American, will deliver the keynote address at the New England Gender Conference on Feb. 2, 7:30 p.m. at Smith College?s Wright Hall.
?It was here that my sister-in-law--a lesbian minister from upstate New York-- took me when I first started trying to stumble around in public en femme,? she said.
?Northampton was a supportive place to be for me then, and I am grateful I was able to come here then. So I am trying to return the favor.?
"I speak at about a dozen events around the country each year, on issues of gender and culture, and the importance of telling stories, and I was glad for this event to be one of them,? she said. ?I have a personal connection with Smith, in that my partner Grace received her MSW here, and I spent several happy summers here in the early 1990s while she finished her graduate work.?
She also noted Northampton?s reputation for being ?one of the most trans-friendly places in the country.? ?I seriously fear I won't be able to tell many of the people in the audience anything they don't already know,? she joked.
But she has had plenty of tales to tell. Before 2001 she published under the name James Boylan. Since then, she has been a frequent guest on a number of national television and radio programs, including three visits to the Oprah Winfrey Show, the Larry King Show, The Today Show and she has been the subject of a pieces documentary on CBS' ?48 Hours? and National Public Radio?s ?Marketplace.?
An ongoing contributor to Conde Nast Traveler magazine, Jenny has also contributed articles to GQ, People, Allure, and Glamour. Her column, "There From Here," appears on Sundays in the papers of the Central Maine newspaper chain.
Boylan's first book, a collection of stories entitled Remind Me To Murder You Later, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 1988. She is also the author of The Planets (1991), The Constellations (1994), and Getting In (1997), which was optioned for film by Renny Harlin and Geena Davis, and Jenny was tapped to write the initial screenplay.
A 1980 graduate of Wesleyan University, she was the managing editor of American Bystander magazine, the short-lived "American Punch," founded by the first cast of "Saturday Night Live" and an ad-hoc group of New Yorker cartoonists and SCTV actors and writers. Upon the demise of American Bystander in 1982, Boylan worked in publishing until 1985. In late 1986, Boylan began a master's program at the Writing Seminars of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, where she worked with John Barth, Edward Albee, Doris Grumback and John Irwin. She taught at Johns Hopkins for several years after getting her degree, and then joined the faculty at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, where she has been ever since.
Since 1988, Jenny Boylan has been a professor of creative writing and American literature at Colby College, in Waterville, Maine. Boylan was a visiting professor at University College Cork, Ireland, in 1998-99. She was promoted to the rank of full Professor in May of 2001, and was chosen by students as the Charles Walker Bassett "Professor of the Year" in 2000. At present she is Director of Creative Writing at Colby.
The mission of the New England Gender Conference is to broaden New England-based therapists? and healthcare providers? understanding of the needs of transgendered people, said conference founder and co-sponsor Lisette Lahana, LICSW.
?Transgendered people and others who do not fit conventional expectations for males and females frequently find themselves seeing therapists or healthcare providers who have no knowledge about their specific needs and the resources to help them,? Lahana said. This conference aims to create a larger network of ?transgender friendly? providers in New England, Lahana said.
The conference will serve to help healthcare providers meet each other and create a larger resource network to draw upon when they come into contact with transgendered clients.
?I look forward to a good conference, and to hearing the stories of everyone in attendance,? Finney-Boylan said.
In addition to Finney-Boylan?s own observations on changing gender, the conference will feature presentations and discussions led by leading experts in the field of transgender treatment.
This conference is sponsored by Lisette Lahana, MSW, LICSW, the UMass Stonewall Center and the Massachusetts Psychological Association.
While the bulk of the conference will be open only to registered therapists and healthcare professionals, the Friday keynote address will be free and open to the public. For more information about the conference visit the website:
Lisette R. Lahana, LCSW (Calif.), LICSW (Mass.)
Psychotherapy, Consultation & Training
2512 Telegraph Ave #340 Berkeley CA 94704
Office Phone Number: 1 (800) 928-9085