Jennifer Finney Boylan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Jennifer Finney Boylan
James Boylan

(1958-06-22) June 22, 1958 (age 61)
ResidenceBelgrade Lakes, Maine
New York City
Alma materWesleyan University
Johns Hopkins University
OccupationAuthor, activist, professor, television personality
Years active2003–present
Known forTransgender activism
Home townValley Forge, Pennsylvania
Spouse(s)Deirdre Boylan (m. 1988)

Jennifer Finney Boylan (born James Boylan on June 22, 1958)[1] is an American author, transgender activist and reality television personality who is a professor at Barnard College of Columbia University and a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times. She is also widely known for her appearances on I Am Cait, a 2015-2016 spin-off of Keeping Up with the Kardashians starring her friend Caitlyn Jenner.

Personal life[edit]

Boylan is a trans woman. Her 2003 autobiography, She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders, was the first book published by an openly transgender American to become a bestseller.[2] She has two children, Zai and Sean, with Deirdre Boylan, whom she married in 1988 before her transition.[3] Boylan began her male to female transition in 2000,[4] beginning with therapy, feminine clothing, and female hormone supplements.[5] While undergoing sexual reassignment surgery, Boylan was convinced that her marriage to Deirdre would end.[6] Today, the couple is still married and lives in New York City and Belgrade Lakes, Maine.[7] Nine years after she began her transition, Boylan published an article for The New York Times stating, "my spouse and I love each other, and that our legal union has been a good thing – for us, for our children and our community".[8]

Early life and education[edit]

Boylan was born as James Boylan in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, and graduated from The Haverford School, a private, all-boys prep school in Haverford, Pennsylvania, in 1976. She graduated from Wesleyan University in 1980, then completed graduate work in English at Johns Hopkins University. Boylan was on the faculty of Colby College from 1988 to 2014.[2][9] In 2000, she was named "Professor of the Year" at Colby College.[10] She moved to Barnard in 2014, where she is both Professor of English and Anna Quindlen Writer-in-Residence.[11]

Work and media exposure[edit]

Until 2001, Boylan published under the name James Boylan.[12] She has written thirteen books, including novels, collections of short stories, and her autobiography. She has also contributed to the op-ed section of The New York Times.[2] Her autobiography, She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders, was praised by Scott Tobias of The A.V. Club, who described it as a "candid and exuberantly funny memoir of self-actualization."[13] Publishers Weekly described the book as "frequently poignant" but complained that it too readily glossed over the difficult prejudice that transgender individuals must face, causing the book to feel "incomplete."[14]

Boylan has made appearances via a variety of media outlets to discuss her life, books, and activism. She has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Larry King Live, The Today Show, 48 Hours, and NPR.[2] She made an appearance on 20/20 on April 24, 2015 in support of celebrity Caitlyn Jenner revealing she is a trans person and regularly appeared on screen and as a consultant on Jenner's reality show I Am Cait.[15]

Boylan serves on the Policy Advisory Board of Gender Rights Maryland.[16]

In 2013, Boylan was chosen as the first openly transgender co-chair of GLAAD's National Board of Directors.[17]

Boylan has spoken on numerous college campuses, including Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Columbia, and Barnard.[7] She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Kinsey Institute for Research on Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. Her memoir, Stuck in the Middle with You: Parenthood in Three Genders, addresses the differences between fatherhood and motherhood. Stuck in the Middle with You: Parenthood in Three Genders received a positive review in the LA Times, which stated, "Boylan remains a role model for her brisk prose and high spirits as well as for her public advocacy and attention to her wife and children."[18]

She plays keyboard instruments, and describes playing in various bands in her autobiography, as well as the zither.[19]


  • Remind Me to Murder You Later (1988) ISBN 0-8018-3728-6
  • The Planets (April 15, 1991) ISBN 978-0671727154
  • The Constellations: A Novel (November 8, 1994) ISBN 978-0679430216
  • Getting In (September 1, 1998) ISBN 978-0446674171
  • She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders (July 29, 2003) ISBN 978-0767914048
  • I'm Looking Through You: Growing Up Haunted: A Memoir (January 15, 2008) ISBN 978-0767921749
  • Falcon Quinn and the Black Mirror (May 11, 2010) ISBN 978-0061728327
  • Falcon Quinn and the Crimson Vapor (May 10, 2011) ISBN 978-0061728358
  • Stuck in the Middle with You: A Memoir of Parenting in Three Genders (April 30, 2013) ISBN 978-0767921763
  • Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource for the Transgender Community (June 10, 2014) ISBN 978-0199325351
  • You Are You (May 12, 2015) ISBN 978-3868285406
  • Long Black Veil (April 11, 2017) ISBN 978-0451496324


  • Sexual Metamorphosis: An Anthology of Transsexual Memoirs (April 12, 2005) ISBN 978-1400030149
  • The Book of Dads: Essays on the Joys, Perils, and Humiliations of Fatherhood (May 12, 2009) ISBN 978-0061711558
  • Love Is a Four-Letter Word: True Stories of Breakups, Bad Relationships, and Broken Hearts (July 28, 2009) ISBN 978-0452295506
  • How Beautiful the Ordinary (October 6, 2009) ISBN 978-0061154980
  • It Gets Better (March 22, 2011) ISBN 978-0525952336
  • Truth & Dare: 20 Tales of Heartbreak and Happiness (April 26, 2011) ISBN 978-0762441044


  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. ^ "Jennifer Finney Boylan Named Inaugural Anna Quindlen Writer-in-Residence at Barnard".
  4. ^ Finney Boylan, Jennifer (May 11, 2009). "Is My Marriage Gay?". Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr.
  5. ^ Leung, Rebecca. "Trapped: Jenny Boylan".
  6. ^ "Interview with Author and Transgender Jennifer Finney Boylan".
  7. ^ a b "Professor Jennifer Finney Boylan".
  8. ^ Finney Boylan, Jennifer (2009-05-11). "Is My Marriage Gay?". The New York Times. Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr.
  9. ^ "Jennifer Finney Boylan -". WCSH6. 27 May 2014.
  10. ^ "Jennifer Finney Boylan".
  11. ^ "Jennifer Boylan Home Page at Barnard College".
  12. ^ "Jennifer Finney Boylan Home Page".
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ "SHE'S NOT THERE: A Life in Two Genders". Publishers Weekly. 2003-04-21. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
  15. ^ Stelter, Brian. "The Reaction to Bruce Jenner is Love".
  16. ^ "Policy Advisory Board". Gender Rights Maryland. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
  17. ^ Reynolds, Daniel (2013-11-08). "GLAAD Appoints First Transgender Cochair". Retrieved 2013-12-05.
  18. ^ "Jennifer Finney Boylan's remarkable memoir about parenting, Stuck in the Middle with You".
  19. ^ Season two, episode six, I Am Cait.

External links[edit]