I apologize for letting this site languish. As some of you know, I moved to New York to begin a spring semester as Barnard’s new Anna Quindlen Writer in Residence this spring, and between the business of my schedule (and kinda like, forgetting my password for this site) I haven’t updated a thing.
It’s been a dramatic few months for transgender Americans, as well as for me personally, and I vow to stay in better touch in months to come.
The biggest turn of events was Bruce Jenner’s coming out as trans on an ABC Special with Diane Sawyer. I was interviewed for, and participated in, this project. Like many trans people, I was uncertain how it would all turn out. I admit I was a skeptic, right up until air time. The show reached over 20 million people, however, and the reaction was overwhelmingly, amazingly positive, to my delight. It’s true that many trans folks felt like, WE’VE BEEN SAYING THIS FOR DECADES NOW. And yet, maybe it took someone of Jenner’s celebrity and standing to get it through the heads of many people. As GLAAD’s Sarah Kate Ellis noted, “on Saturday morning, millions of people woke up and finally KNEW someone who was trans.”
NBC announced that Jenner will have a documentary (i.e., NOT a reality show) this summer about the transition. I am a consultant on that show. I have promised not to reveal its contents (or any of the other stuff I know about this story-in-progress), but I can tell you that, once again, I have approached this project as a skeptic and have been won over by what appear to me like the earnestness and good intentions of all involved. I hope that people will see whether, just like the ABC show, the summer series does indeed open hearts.
There will all sorts of other news on this front which I will comment upon as it breaks; I hope you’ll all forgive me for biting my tongue in the meantime, but I made a promise, and I intend to keep it.
Other news? Well let’s see. I published two op/eds in the New York Times this spring. The first, appearing in February, regarded the question of whether the new Pope can bring Catholics (and others) back to the church. The second tells the story of a night in a bar with a friend and some Rock’em Sock’em Robots, and the way we think about the things we have lost in life.
It was a busy spring on the lecture circuit. I spoke at Cal State East bay on February 26; at Arkansas State on March 13; at the University of Vermont on March 27; at my new home in Barnard on April 2; provided the Keynote for the American Society of Journalist and Authors on May 1; spoke from the stage at the GLAAD media awards gala in Neew York on May 9, and was honored by the Women’s Therapy Center Institute on May 15. The links to the ASJA speech and the GLAAD speech above take you to videos where you can actually hear and see my sad little jokes.
Brevity magazine has a gender issue up featuring work by me and Kate Bornstein and others, and you can read my piece from that right here.
That’s probably everything for now, but I promise to be better at updating this site. I’m scheduled to continue my life of travel for another few weeks: off to my 35th college reunion on May 22 and 23rd; from there to my hometown of Devon, PA, right after that; back to NYC for the night of May 27, where I’m being feted along with Anna Quindlen in a tribute for Barnard College; and from there back to California for GLAAD’s May board meeting. I’m doing a road trip in CA after that before finally arriving back in Maine about June 9 or 10, where I hope to spend a large part of this summer sitting on a fishing boat staring at the still, quiet waters.
Sending love to everyone, and with sincere thanks for your ongoing support!