Jenny B., left, at Umass, delivering a short speech after receiving the “Continuing Stonewall’s Legacy” award. Note the bright red academic robes, plus the small Aladdin’s Lamp (a gift from Mom Boylan) on the dias. The wish is granted!
Well, here we are, back from Northampton and Amherst, grades lodged, hanging out on a summer night waiting for the Survivor finale. Somewhere I will write about the LOST finale of Thursday (although what is there, ever, to say about LOST except, Whoa, you’re blowin’ my mind, dude!).
The ceremony at Umass was truly lovely, and it was wonderful to see the graduates and the guests, some of which included some of our own JB.netters. I was taken by my hosts for a lovely dinner on Friday, which included pomegranite martinis and squid and gumbo and popovers and Belgian ale. Debuted the story “Trans” at the Pride n Joy bookstore in Northampton next day, including a few more old friends in the audience, and then screamed on home to Maine, where I have now come to rest for 2009 and am starting to look forward to summer.
I DO have a couple of events scheduled for this summer, atypically for me, but I’ll be doing some readings for the anthologies I”m in– the next of which is at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, on June 9. But between here and there is mostly getting the boat in the water and writing Falcon Quinn II and starting the new grown-ups novel and CHILLIN.
I’ve been thinking a little bit about the thing I do: tell stories, and tell them usually from the first person as a transwoman. There are other people who write in the trans community– Susan Stryker and Julie Serrano and Helen Boyd being three– who might be better considered activists, or at the very least theoreticians. I have always been more concerned with Story than with Theory. And the Stories that I know are the ones that have happened to me. So what I tend to write about is my own life, and that of my family. This might make people think I’m narcissistic, or self-centered or something, but truly, my desire is not to talk endlessly about myself; my desire is to tell stories, since that is the only language I know, and my own stories are the only ones I feel confident about telling.
You’re damned if you do, or don’t, though: if you only write about yourself, people think you’re self-centered; if you try to speak for others, well people rightly say, You don’t speak for me.
Anyway, I have reached a resting point on this spring evening and will look forward to continuing to appear now and again to talk and to tell stories. And when I do, I hope I”ll run into some of you there. IN the meantime, sending everybody love.