For appearances (related to GOOD BOY, dogs & gender): Christine Mykithyshyn at Macmillan Publicity:)

For appearances (related to She’s Not There, Long Black Veil, She’s Not There, I’m Looking Through You,  Stuck in the Middle With You, Long Black Veil, and/or other gender, human rights & education issues:)
Kathryn Santora at Penguin Random House:

For press inquires:
Kris Dahl at ICM

To contact Jenny directly:


  • Blog

    I’m Looking Through You– now on iTunes!

    - by Jennifer Boylan

    looking-again Thanks to my friend Mary Rae who forwarded me the info that my book, I’M LOOKING THROUGH YOU: Growing Up Haunted, is now available as an audio book on iTunes! This is the version I recorded back in January of 2008, a grueling experience actually– it was about a week in the studio, most of which was fixing all the little flibs and flubs. Still, here’s the audio version of this book, with me doing all the voices of the characters just as I hear them.

    I’m very proud of ILTY; I think it’s a better book than SNoT, not least because it tells a more difficult story. It also rejoins the story of the Boylans a good few years after transition, answering the question so many readers had about She’s Not There– did you two stay together? Did you work it all out? I hope that ILTY shows the answer is yes, although “working it all out” is a difficult, and lifelong process.

    Above all, ILTY asks about the connection between the people we have been and the people we become, the bridge between the past and the present. What does it mean for a woman to have had a boyhood? What does it mean for the people that love you to have that history changed? ILTY looks at these questions as they affected life in the various haunted houses in which I’ve lived, and talks about what it means to be “haunted.” And it recounts the story of my relationship with my sister Lydia over the course of a long life.

    ILTY didn’t get the same media ride that SNoT did, more’s the pity, because it reached fewer readers as a result. I”m hoping that fans of She’s Not There will check it out. If you’re an iTunes user, all you have to do is head to the iTunes store and type “finney boylan” into the search window, and bing, there you are.

    There’s lots more material regarding I’m LOOKING THROUGH YOU on this site, and I hope folks who are curious will seek it out on the ILTY wing, under the “books and writing” tab above. I’ll be looking– through you!

  • Blog

    Rest in peace, Mike Penner

    - by Jennifer Boylan

    christine_daniels Rest in peace, Mike Penner.  The L.A. Times reported the sports writer died, apparently a suicide, this week, at age 52. Penner came out as trans at the Times in 2007, and began writing under the byline “Christine Daniels.” But this life was too hard, and she returned to being Mike Penner in 2008.

    I met Christine in Atlanta in 2007, and she was dignified, gentle, sweet, and gracious.  I was so impressed by her.  She was a really good writer, too.  When I heard the news today, I thought of the closing lines of E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web:  “It is seldom that someone comes along who is a true friend and a great writer. Charlotte was both.”

    I’ll miss her.

  • Blog


    - by Jennifer Boylan

    Yesterday, without warning, I made my students waffles in the midst of my English class. My son asked, “why? Why would you do this?” I asked him why he thought I would make waffles in English. He thought about it, then said, “To show them that you love them.” Yes, I told him. Once again, you have crystalized my thoughts.

  • Blog

    Support for Same-Sex Marriage by State and Age

    - by Jennifer Boylan

    I saw this on Helen Boyd’s blog, under the heading “The Waiting Game.”  Remarkable.


  • Blog

    15 Things Kurt Vonnegut said Better than Anyone Else Has, or Will.

    - by Jennifer Boylan

    This is a cross-post to a site called A.V. Club, but well worth passing on.  Text by By Scott GordonJosh ModellNoel MurrayTasha Robinson, And Kyle Ryan


    1. “I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.'”

    The actual advice here is technically a quote from Kurt Vonnegut’s “good uncle” Alex, but Vonnegut was nice enough to pass it on at speeches and in A Man Without A Country. Though he was sometimes derided as too gloomy and cynical, Vonnegut’s most resonant messages have always been hopeful in the face of almost-certain doom. And his best advice seems almost ridiculously simple: Give your own happiness a bit of brainspace.

    2. “Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.”

    The whole post is here.

  • Blog

    first look at interior sketches for Falcon Quinn

    - by Jennifer Boylan

    a very rough, preliminary set of sketches for the inside of Falcon Quinn and the Black Mirror.  Art by Brandon Dorman.

    Falcon_interior4_2 SketchFalcon_interior1_2 SketchFalcon_interior2_2 SketchFalcon_interior3_2 Sketch

  • Blog

    Beware of the Blob

    - by Jennifer Boylan

    blob-poster-782025 Each year at this time I fall off of a cliff.  One minute I’m walking with my family through The Apple Farm, out in Fairfield, bathed in golden autumn light.

    Then,  a minute later, all the leaves have been blasted out of the tree by a Nor’easter,  and it gets dark at four in the afternoon and there are guys in the woods with shotguns.

    And there’s no more baseball.

    The only thing that raises my spirits is the thought of the blessed holiday season ahead.  Christmas, you think?  Nope:  Halloween.

    Sometimes it seems as if Halloween and Christmas have swapped places.

    I don’t mind the fact that Halloween is getting more Christmasy all the time; that’s fine with me.  But the way in which Christmas is getting to feel more like Halloween?  I’m less crazy about that.

    I have one neighbor who puts more effort into his Halloween display than his Christmas one.  He places a Grim Reaper in his front yard, complete with scythe.

    At Christmas, he puts one austere yellow light in his two upper windows.

    Last Saturday I went over to my friends Tom and Laura’s for the all-night jam in their barn.  I wore a gorilla suit for the occasion, which was hotter than you’d think.  We all sang songs together, and then we took “a cup of kindness, yet.”  For Auld Lang Syne.

    On Tuesday night, I was up at Colby, just as I have been each October 31st for the last 19 years, reading ghost stories for the students with my friend Charlie Bassett in  Lorimer Chapel.  This year, in addition to Charlie and me, there were a number of singing groups, who joined me in a group performance of the theme song from The Blob.

    Beware of the Blob! It leaps and creeps

    And glides and slides along the floor

    Beneath the door, it’s over on the wall

    A blotch, a splotch, Be Careful of the Blob!

    By the morning of All Saints, the Boylan household was exhausted from a month of disguise and celebration and the ingestion of a mountain of Kit Kats and Mars Bars and Chunkies.  We love Halloween.

    Christmas, meanwhile, is a macabre holiday when the dead come back to haunt us.

    It was Dickens, of course, who most famously observed that Christmas is the most haunted of holidays, and the older one gets, the more haunted it gets.  It’s impossible for me to set up the tree in my mother’s house, for instance,  without thinking of the Ghosts of Christmas Past—the father who isn’t there, the sister who doesn’t speak to me any more, all the memories of being a child, back in the prehistoric 1960s, when virtually all of my Christmases were Christmas Futures.

    It’s become a cliché, now, for people to speak of their depression at Christmas, but it’s true.  So many of us at this time of year,  wind up  haunted by the ghosts of our younger selves, laid low, as we approach the end of another year, by a sense of the speed with which time slips through our fingers.

    The only thing missing from Christmas, sometimes, is a Grim Reaper in your front yard with a scythe.

    I love Halloween, and I love how happy my children are at this time of year.  Their wild energy makes me feel young again.

    But is it too much to ask of this season, that Halloween return to October, and let Christmas be a season of light instead?    Would it be so crazy if this year, Christmas was a time of joy, of looking forward, of people celebrating peace, and love, and singing songs together?

    It’s a nice wish.  But I have a funny feeling I already know what carol I’m going to hear, when I start, once more, to decorate the tree.

    Beware of the Blob! It creeps and leaps

    And glides and slides along the floor

    Beneath the door, it’s over on the wall

    A blotch, a splotch…

    Be careful of the Blob.

  • Blog

    Thirty Seconds Over Wesleyland

    - by Jennifer Boylan

    060203wesleyanuniversitycon1. Woke up this morning amid the green fields of Yale University, where I’d performed my one-woman show, “The Porcupine Woman” the night before, and then went out with friend & writer Dani Shapiro, and husband Michael.  Drink, as they say in Ireland, was taken.

    2. Got in the car and drove to my alma mater, Wesleyan University, in Middletown, CT, where I had breakfast at O’Rourkes Diner.  Owner Brian O’Rourke comes right up to me and says,  “I remember you. Class of 1980?” I said yup.  He asked after my friends, as if it had been last week, instead of years and years ago, when last I had pie and coffee in the middle of the night at his diner.  I had eggs over easy, bacon, home fries, Irish soda bread, and truly fine coffee.

    3. Then walked in a wide circle around the campus.  Down the old brownstone buildings of college row, over to my freshman dorm, back through the Science Center, where I paused for just a moment in the big lecture hall, where Psych 101 was in progress.  I stood at the back and remembered being a student in that room, remembered hearing people such as my own innocent, young self discussed during the class on “Abnormal Psychology.”

    4.  Walked into a cafe and got a latte, where the woman behind the counter also claimed to remember me from 1979.  She said the school was richer now, but it had lost its “esprit d’corps.”

    5. Walked up Foss Hill and sat down just by the observatory and watched the brown leaves of autumn swirl around me. And thought:  A)  Oh how happy I was here and young;  B) Oh how sad i was here, and young; C) Oh how I wish I were 20 again; D) Oh thank god I am not twenty again;  E) How lucky I was, to go here, then, when I did, and to know the people I did; and F) How lucky I am now, to be where I am now instead, here, in this life, at this moment.

    6.  Walked through the Arts Center, into the old music building, downstairs to the practice rooms, where a dozen different people played a dozen different pianos. I pulled into one of them and played an F chord, and then a B flat.  Noodled.  And remembered noodles of long ago, same piano, same room.

    7.  Got back in the car, got outta there, drove up to the big cemetery and looked all around at the blustery autumn, and remembered how beloved that graveyard was by dear, departed John Moynihan, my friend who used to appear out of nowhere, wearing a pirate costume, hand you a treasure map, and just as quickly disappear.

    8. And then headed north, to Maine, and my family, and the days to come.

  • Blog

    Today, we get this.

    - by Jennifer Boylan

    Passed a fellow as I walked up the hill to work a couple days ago. Out of nowhere, he said, “True! We suffer all winter. But today, we get THIS!”

    True that.
    “The Mountain” trail above Belgrade Lakes, October 2009.

  • Blog

    How Beautiful the Ordinary

    - by Jennifer Boylan

    9780061154980-1 It’s publication day for HOW BEAUTIFUL THE ORDINARY, a collection of stories of identity for young adult readers. My own story, “The Missing Person” is about being trans, and how it affected my life, and that of my family, when I was young. The collection contains work by lots of good writers, including Gregory Maguire of WICKED fame. Michael Cart, the editor, is a lovely man, a YA author and editor his own self. I haven’t seen any reviews of the collection yet, but I’m hoping the book gets around; it would be beautiful, and ordinary, if these good stories got through to young people in the midst of asking themselves the age old questions: Who am I? Why is love so hard? What is this world? What is this life?

  • Blog

    JB in Martha Stewart Living

    - by Jennifer Boylan

    I wrote this piece for Martha Stewart’s Living magazine, and it appears in this month’s (October) issue. It’s about the graveyards of new england, and the “art” that appears on the headstones. If you’re having a hard time reading the text, I believe you can double-click the images, which will take you to flickr, where under the “all sizes” tab, you can select “large,” and read’em that way.  Happy Halloween!


  • Blog

    A week in October

    - by Jennifer Boylan

    mass_bay_comm_college Well, with the Red Sox collapse complete, it’s time to head out on the road for two short talks this week. I hope anyone who’s interested in hearing me tell the same old jokes will consider coming on out. I’ll be doing a mix of new and old material at these two events, reading from my work and talking about civil rights for trans people– and everybody.

    Richmond_Virginia-751407First one’s at Mass Bay Community College, tomorrow (Tuesday), from 11-12. Mass Bay’s in Wellesley Hills, Mass. The second one, on Thursday night, is in Richmond, VA, from 7 to 8, for the Richmond Human Resources Council. I’m not certain that the VA one is open to the public, so if you’re interested in this one, email me and I’ll see if I can make provisions for you with my sponsors.

    IMG_0198Then home for dinner with Colby trustees, and dinner with friends on Saturday featuring a lord-of-the-rings trivia game. Plus, on Wed. night, during the 5 minutes I’m back between Mass. and Va., I’ll be in the audience watching my older son strut around the stage at his school for opening night of his play. Another action packed week.

    Fall is peaking up here, the skies blue, the trees orange and yellow and red.  (Photo above is of Long Pond, just in front of the summer place, now pretty much sealed up unitl spring.) I spent part of the weekend splitting wood, and the smell of wood smoke is heavy in the air. Took out the screens from the windows. Walked the dogs up a mountain and looked down on all the colors of the world.

  • Blog

    If I had a Hammer: on Peter, Paul, and Jenny

    - by Jennifer Boylan

    B72369I know this is last month’s news, but it’s funny to me how moved I was to hear of the death of Mary Travers. I gotta be honest and tell you I hadn’t hauled out any Peter, Paul & Mary records for, oh, about a jillion years. Probably the last time they were on my radar was when my kids were little and we sang Puff the Magic Dragon.

    But there I was in the days after the news, cruising the old clips on Youtube, and finding myself terribly moved. Probably just that old passage of time thing, I guess. But look: there I am in 1965, at my aunt’s house in Potter county, Pennsylvania, and there’s my cousin Dave, about to get drafted, arguing with his dad about serving in Vietnam (he eventually got C.O. status); there’s my cousin Peg playing the guitar and singing, with her long hair hanging down. A few years later I was given that guitar, a Stella. And she also gave me a bunch of P,P, & M 45 singles: Blowin in the Wind; Puff; The Lily of the West, and so on. Years later, that first P, P & M record was the first record I ever bought. I remember it had Lemon Tree on it, and This Train is Bound for Glory. There was something on the liner notes of the record (remember “liner notes?”) about how “maybe innocence is coming back!”

    What can I tell you– among the many things I knew back then was that I wanted to be someone like this Mary some day, as idiotic a dream as that seemed. I know 1000s of women, of course, many of them trans, but I am the only person I know who, from the earliest age, dreamed of being a beatnik. When I went through transition, I really did have to pass through the “60s hippie” stage of my fashion and deportment, followed by the “70s hippie” stage, followed by..etc. I think scientists call this process “Ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny.”

    In 1987, I drove from Baltimore to Nova Scotia with a heavy heart, trying, as I used to put it, to “solve the ‘being alive’ problem.” I had a crappy old version of the Warlocks singing “In the Early Morning Rain” on the tape deck, which I listened to, all haunted. “I’m a long way from home, and I miss my loved one so. In the early morning rain, with no place to go…”

    Anyhow: here we are, 2009. I’m the one who plays coal mining songs, and protest tunes, on my Oscar Schmidt autoharp now, and I’ve got that long straight hair, right out of 1965. You see this video of young Mary Travers? I look like that now, except, you know, deformed and old. But you could do worse, than to want to spend your life singing songs, and fighting injustice.

    Remind me again: What’s so funny about peace, love and understanding?

  • Blog

    Colby podcast: JB & “The Porcupine Woman”

    - by Jennifer Boylan

    imagesHere’s the colby podcast for this week, which interviews Herself about 21 years at Colby College, about the one-woman show, “The Porcupine Woman,” and about all things There from Here. Click on this lovely link to find yourself magically transported to the podcast.

  • Blog

    In Nonsense is Strength…

    - by Jennifer Boylan

    from today’s New York Times:

    How Nonsense Sharpens the Intellect


    In addition to assorted bad breaks and pleasant surprises, opportunities and insults, life serves up the occasional pink unicorn. The three-dollar bill; the nun with a beard; the sentence, to borrow from the Lewis Carroll poem, that gyres and gimbles in the wabe.

    06mind-190An experience, in short, that violates all logic and expectation. The philosopher Soren Kierkegaard wrote that such anomalies produced a profound “sensation of the absurd,” and he wasn’t the only one who took them seriously. Freud, in an essay called “The Uncanny,” traced the sensation to a fear of death, of castration or of “something that ought to have remained hidden but has come to light.”

    At best, the feeling is disorienting. At worst, it’s creepy.

    Now a study suggests that, paradoxically, this same sensation may prime the brain to sense patterns it would otherwise miss — in mathematical equations, in language, in the world at large.

    Click here to read the full article.

  • Blog

    Star of the Day: 10/25/69

    - by Jennifer Boylan

    Grateful-Dead The dark star of the day comes from this concert at Winterland, performed just a few days shy of forty years ago.  A nice, meditative, somber-at-times version, that gives way to a particularly joyful development about halfway through. To partake of these licks,  you’ll want to hit the play button on the player below, and if you don’t hear anything, hit the “forward” button once.

    A pleasant piece with which to stare into the fires of early autumn, as I am doing at this moment in Maine, a cup of warm cider in hand, dogs on the floor, and the future all ahead of me with all its mind-numbing mystery.

    and with thanks to the band, and to the folks who run, for the gift of the music.

  • Blog

    The Country of the Two Headed Woman

    - by Jennifer Boylan

    © 2009 Jennifer Finney Boylan

    The weather in Maine for the last two weeks has been a little schizophrenic, gorgeous autumn sunshine alternating with grey, cold days that prefigure the darkness ahead.   Still, there are times when that’s just the way we like it—too much beautiful weather tends to make people a little full of themselves, a little too blissful, and the next thing you know you have a whole state full of people acting like Californians.

    Speaking of schizophrenia, I guess it’s fair to say we’re all a little worried about Mrs. Vespucci, who lives down on Maine Street by what’s left of the Venetian pulp mill. Until about twenty years ago– I think it was about the time of the Clarence Thomas hearings on TV– Mrs. V. was known for her florid complexion, a color you might call purple.

    It was 1991 or 2, though, when the second head appeared.  It looked just like her other one, except for the fact that it was blue.  Her original head,  for its part, turned bright red.

    To be honest we were all kind of freaked out the first couple of times we laid eyes on it, but then after a while we realized that we’d seen worse things over the course of our long lives, and this was just one more.

    The thing is, though, it’s not the fact that Mrs. Vespucci has two heads, one red, one blue, that worries her friends.  It’s the fact that the heads don’t get along, and in fact, for the last year or so, they won’t even speak to each other.

    For a while—this was back when Ross Perot was running, a third head—a tiny green one– started sprouting, and from time to time you could hear its annoying little voice saying things like, “Here’s the deal, see,” but then the green head fell off and we haven’t seen it again, except for four years ago, briefly, when Ralph Nader came through town.

    The blue head, if you ask it, says that there wouldn’t even be a red head, if not for that occasional green one, but to me this is just the kind of doom and gloom we’ve come to expect from the blue head.  The red head, on the other hand,  says that the blue head is a socialist, and that if the blue head got its way,  the red head would be hauled in front of a “death squad” and forced to speak French.  Sometimes the red head head claims the blue one wasn’t even born here.

    In our town we tend to respect people’s privacy, but quite honestly, we all liked it better when the two heads talked to each other, when they treated each other with respect.  I didn’t even mind it when the heads fought with each other, going at it tooth and nail.  But now that they’re giving each other the silent treatment, or worse, one head shouting “you lie!”  when the other one is talking—it’s depressing.  I liked it better when Mrs. Vespucci had talking heads.

    I liked it better still when she just had one head, back when the woman got along with herself.  Maybe I’m old fashioned.  But if you ask me, two heads are worse than one.

  • Blog

    from the Powell’s Books blog… Eight odd questions for JFB…

    - by Jennifer Boylan

    Powell’s Books is one of my favorite independent bookstores in the country. They did this deranged Q&A with me a little while ago in the run-up to my reading in one of their stores.   You can, and should, visit their blog here.

    Jennifer Finney Boylan is Professor of English at Colby College and the author of the bestseller She’s Not There, as well as the acclaimed novels The Planets and Getting In. A three-time guest of The Oprah Winfrey Show, she has also appeared on Larry King Live, Today, and 48 Hours, and has played herself on ABC’s All My Children. She lives in Belgrade Lakes, Maine.

    ÷ ÷ ÷

    Describe your latest project.

    I’m Looking through You is a memoir about growing up in a haunted house — and an examination of what it means to be “haunted.” In addition to the traditional ghosts — a woman who appeared in a mirror; a mysterious “conductor” who walked the halls; clouds of moving mist and footsteps in the attic — the house had other spirits beneath its roof. My diffident, wry father and my complex, unpredictable sister became ghosts, in time, as well. In the end the book is about making peace with all our ghosts — between the people we have been and the people we become; with our loved ones; and with the uncanny boundaries between men and women.

    What’s the strangest or most interesting job you’ve ever had?

    IMG_1632As a journalist for Condé Nast Traveller magazine, I got to go to Easter Island and see all those mysterious big heads. On the way down from the volcano, my Rapa Nui native guide began to flirt with me. He asked a question which sounded like, “Juliqee Tombettee?” Which turned out to be, “Do you like Tom Petty?” Then he saw the ring on my finger and asked, “Ju married?” Thinking quickly — and not really wanting to go into the whole sex-change thing — I said, “I kept the ring. Got rid of the man.” My guide, whose name was Senga, thought this over, then smiled broadly and gave me the double thumbs-up sign.

    Offer a favorite sentence or passage from another writer.

    I like the story of James Thurber, who met a woman at a party in Paris. She told him how much funnier his work was in French, and he said, “Yes, I know. It does tend to lose something in the original.” Somehow, this strikes me as the perfect metaphor for thinking about transgendered people.

    How do you relax?

    I’m a member of a not-so-terrible rock-and-roll band in central Maine, Strangebrew. I play the keyboards — organ and piano. This puts me in lots of crappy bars in rural Maine, where guys often like to buy me drinks like the Warsaw Waffle (Maine maple syrup with a shot of vodka) or the Fart in the Ocean (tequila and 7UP, served with a prune). On the whole, men generally like that I’m “one of the guys,” that I am a woman who likes to tell jokes and play loud music. At least they like it until someone tells them I used to be a man myself, at which point they look kind of like a boy who realizes that the thing he’s just purchased as “sea monkeys” have really turned out to be brine shrimp.

    Have you ever made a literary pilgrimage?

    I have found myself at a number of writers’ graves — Thurber‘s, Keats‘s, Shelley‘s, Poe‘s. But my most interesting pilgrimage might be to Jan Morris‘s old house in Venice, which you can see just off the Accademia Bridge. Morris — then James — used to stand on the balcony of the Palazzo by the Grand Canal and wave to “his” children as they crossed the bridge. I stood there and looked at Morris’s old house and then I waved. I guess my feeling was that, in a way, I am one of her children, too.

    Dogs, cats, budgies, or turtles?

    Dogs. I have two black Labs. I am sorry to tell you they sleep in the bed with me and my partner. Recently we realized that there wasn’t enough room in the bed for two adults and two grown Labs. So we did the logical thing. We got a bigger bed. Edward Albee, who at one point owned seven Irish wolfhounds, claims that he once got six wolfhounds into a king-size bed with himself and his partner. I would like to have seen that.

    In the For-All-Eternity category, what will be your final thought?

    Everyone on this earth deserves to be treated with love, and the things we all have in common are more important than the things that make us different.

    Make a question of your own, then answer it.

    Q: Jennifer Boylan, is there anything you miss about being a man?

    A: Yeah. Pockets. Women’s clothes never have pockets. I miss pockets. Other than that, not much.

    Recommend five or more books on a single subject of personal interest or expertise.

    Five or six memoirs about gender and gender variance:

    My Husband Betty and She’s Not the Man I Married by Helen Boyd

    Whipping Girl by Julia Serano

    Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs

    Cherry by Mary Karr

    Queen of the Black Black by Megan Kelso (graphic novel/memoir)

  • Blog

    “and drunk the milk of Paradise…”

    - by Jennifer Boylan


    A late breaking Thursday-morning update… alert readers have written to me pointing out that clearly the creature pictured next to me is actually the THING, not the HULK, a distinction so obvious I’m mortified to have failed to comprehend it.  Thing, all rocky;  Hulk, green.  The Times regrets the error ….and to be serious for just a fraction of a second, this THING is actually one of my favorite gentlmen in the world, Ox Freeman, who is a stalwart of SoCo as well as the trans community, and I have tremendous respect for him.  Ox needs no disguise to pull off superhero status, not in my book anyhow. …also, please note the just-arrived photo of Mara Kiesling and herself at the bottom of this page, taken at the NCTE reception. … more photos as they arrive.

    Original post: Okay, so I’m back from Atlanta, where the PORCUPINE WOMAN show went just fine. Very different to perform that material for a trans audience. Felt like a home game, as opposed to, say, an away game. A few photos of the whole debacle are now trickling back to me from friends. Above, for instance, observe my dear friend, The Incredible Hulk, who always only wanted to be a girl. To the Hulk, what could I say, but, Man. I know exactly how you feel.

    Later, I was drafted at the last second to sub as the co-host of the talent show, a duty I performed at the behest of one Mara Kiesling, head of the National Center for Transgender Equality. Here we are, in the photo below right, on stage together, moments before singing “You are my Sunshine” in two part harmony, with me on autoharp.

    10517_164993950959_755325959_3635562_472479_n Southern Comfort is its own deranged, delightful world, a place where I spend the first ten minutes thinking, whoa, this is really strange, and the rest of the time thinking, Ah, if only the world were like this. There’s a lot of hope, and jubilation, and fear, even, in the air there, and I always leave deeply moved. The most poignant moment for me is always Sunday morning, when I see all those trunks and suitcases going by, being hauled by men (and women) of many sizes, none of whose private selves you might guess at from looking at them. And you realize that in those trunks and suitcases are so much of what these good people value, and is kept secret from the world. What’s the Paul Simon line? “People singing songs, that voices never share.” I feel lucky to live my truth out in the open. But I know that this comes at a price, and I do not expect that everyone need, or even ought, to pay the price that I had to pay, or that my family did. And does. Anyhow. All of this notwithstanding, it’s a gas. And I send my love out to everybody who said hello to me, or who was touched by anything I managed to say, or do, or, uh, sing.

    DSC_5403I left SoCo with Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan” upon my brain– “In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure dome decree.” That poem, famously, is the story of a vision of an enchanted place, but which fades when the vision is broken. But were we able to summon back that song of the dulcimer, we might build that dome in air. Those caves of ice.

    And all who heard should see them there,
    And all should cry, Beware ! Beware !
    Weave a circle round her thrice,
    And close your eyes with holy dread,
    For she on honey-dew hath fed,
    And drunk the milk of Paradise.

    10328_1228057670525_1501569217_30647149_4290220_nWednesday, 9 PM….And now, another late breaking photo– here’s Lindsay Nowak, along with herself and her fabulous Oscar Schmidt 21 chord autoharp.

  • Blog

    Southern Comfort next stop…

    - by Jennifer Boylan

    Southern Comfort, next stop.

    Marci Bowers, Donna Rose, Jenny Boylan, Eden LaneI’m off to Atlanta bright and early in order for my annual headlock with the southern comfort gender conference. This year I’m doing my one-woman show, The Porcupine Woman, on Thursday night, around 9 I think, as well as a seminar the next day.  If you’re there, please stop in.  Remind me who you are if I look confused; sorry for the constant aphasia, but I really do want to make a connection with readers, so bear with me until the synapses spark.

    It’s my understanding that Atlanta is underwater right now. Hate that.  I’m going anyway.

    The lovely photo you see herewith is from SoCo two years ago, I believe.  The cast includes the lovely Marci Bowers, (far left); the cyclonic Donna Rose; Old Neon Nose herself, and on the far right, Ms. Eden Lane in all her fabulousness.  Let a thousand flowers bloom.