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from the Philadephia Inquirer: JB Goes Home

from the Philadephia Inquirer: JB Goes Home
December 9, 2010 Jennifer Boylan

Posted on Thu, Dec. 9, 2010

by Diana Marder

Jennifer Finney Boylan is at ease now in the living room of the Devon home where she spent her boyhood.

She has not always been comfortable in this place.

When she lived here as 13-year-old James Richard Boylan Jr. and had the whole top floor to herself, she did her homework with the dead bolt on the bedroom door, wearing the bra and sweater she kept hidden behind the room’s faux wood paneling, and trusting she’d hear the stairs creak if anyone approached.

Now a professor of creative writing at Maine’s Colby College since 1988, Boylan, 52, is a visiting prof this semester at Ursinus in Collegeville. Staying in Devon has allowed Boylan cherished time with her mother, while driving to Maine once a month to be with sons Zach, 16, and Sean, 14, and her wife, Deirdre Grace.

Their 1988 marriage weathered Boylan’s 2002 sexual reassignment surgery and they are together still as loving, if not entirely intimate, partners.

Jenny Boylan is a tall, slender blonde who often gets hit on by men heedless of her wedding ring. And she is happily married, buoyed by the pleasures of parenting, teaching, and writing.

Her groundbreaking memoir, She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders (Broadway Books, 2003), was the first best-seller by a transgender American.

It landed her on Larry King Live twice, a Barbara Walters special, the Today show, the History Channel, CBS’s 48 Hours, and Oprah Winfrey (four times). She played herself in two episodes of All My Children, and Will Forte played her for a skit on Saturday Night Live.

She got, still gets, tons of letters. Some from… (read the rest of the story in the INQUIRER here.)

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  1. Darwin Ward 7 years ago

    They did a nice job with the article. Hope you’re pleased with it. Too bad about the comments section…but such is the internet.

  2. Margie 7 years ago

    Most people never “go back” or even try to. A lot is said that you can’t but I’ve always believed it’s up to the individual. Jenny could and did, I can only imagine how you felt Jenny! It had to be a wonderful experience.


  3. MeriB 7 years ago

    Nice piece. Very nice.
    My favorite line is “…where she spent her boyhood”
    Interestingly enough, this doesn’t sound odd to me at all.

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