Jennifer Finney Boylan

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Jennifer Finney Boylan
Born (1958-06-22) June 22, 1958 (age 56)
Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, United States
Residence Belgrade Lakes, Maine
Nationality American
Alma mater Wesleyan University
Johns Hopkins University
Occupation Author, activist, professor
Known for Transgender activism
Home town Valley Forge, Pennsylvania

Jennifer Finney Boylan (born James Boylan, June 22, 1958)[1] is an American author and political activist. In 2014 she joined the faculty of Barnard College of Columbia University as the Anna Quindlen Writer-in-Residence, having previously been professor of English at Colby College in Maine. She is a trans woman. Her 2003 autobiography, She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders, was the first book by a transgender American to become a bestseller.[2]

Early life[edit]

Boylan was born in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. She graduated from The Haverford School, a private, all-boys prep school in Haverford, Pennsylvania, in 1976. She graduated from Wesleyan University in 1980 before completing graduate work in English at Johns Hopkins University. Boylan was faculty at Colby College from 1988 to 2014 .[2][3]

Work and media exposure[edit]

Boylan has written a total of 13 books, including novels, collections of short stories, and her autobiography. She has also written contributions to the op-ed section of The New York Times.[2] Her autobiography, She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders, was positively reviewed by Scott Tobias of the AV Club, who described it as a "candid and exuberantly funny memoir of self-actualization."[4] Publishers Weekly was more critical. It lauded the book as "frequently poignant" but also said Boylan too readily glossed over the difficult prejudice that transgender individuals must face from others, and this caused the book to feel "incomplete."[5]

Boylan has made appearances in a variety of media outlets to discuss her life, books, and activism. She's been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Larry King Live, The Today Show, 48 Hours, and NPR.[2]

She also serves on the Policy Advisory Board of Gender Rights Maryland.[6]

In 2013 Boylan was chosen as the first openly transgender co-chair of GLAAD's National Board of Directors.[7]

She is also the author of the popular "Falcon Quinn" series.


  1. ^ She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders, Broadway, 2003.
  2. ^ a b c d "Professor Jennifer Finney Boylan (Maine) (May 2011 – Present)". GLAAD. Retrieved 2012-12-26. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Tobias, Scott (2003-08-26). "Jennifer Finney Boylan: She's Not There: A Life In Two Genders | Books | Book Review". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2012-12-26. 
  5. ^ "Nonfiction Review: SHE'S NOT THERE: A Life in Two Genders by Jennifer Finney Boylan, Author, Richard Russo, Afterword by . Broadway $24.95 (300p) ISBN 978-0-7679-1404-8". 2003-04-21. Retrieved 2012-12-26. 
  6. ^ "Policy Advisory Board". Gender Rights Maryland. Retrieved February 4, 2013. 
  7. ^ Reynolds, Daniel (2013-11-08). "GLAAD Appoints First Transgender Cochair". Retrieved 2013-12-05. 

External links[edit]