Jennifer Finney Boylan: A Front Seat to Trans History



So i want to jump into the book in many ways. I think good and bad in the media. We perpetuate this narrative that trans lives only begin with transportation and everything else is off limits. And i think that the book was really necessary reminder that trans people's lives actually star at birth and that transfer very like valid childhoods and youths. Also i want to be very careful when i talk about translates and my own life in terms of the language that i use but that i mean that i'm aware that there are many transgender women who would not refer to the first part of their life as boyhood and it's really important to respect that having said that i can tell you so. Look i came out publicly as trance. When i was forty. It is a fact that i've always been the same person in my heart. But i did have lived experience in which my way being the world was very different. Maybe i don't need to apologize for the way. I view the world. But i'm going on like this because they're one of your respectful of transgender women who reject the idea of talking about their boyhood and i don't mean to be disrespectful to my sisters. I hope it's okay for me to say that the way i look at the first half of by for the first two thirds of my life. There was a time when i experienced boyhood and experienced manhood. It wasn't something that i was particularly good at or something that i particularly wanted but i did experience it and it seems like a long time ago. Now jeffrey. it's like. I mean it's at least twenty years in the past and i'm sixty sixty one now. In fact what does it mean to be. A middle aged woman who had a boyhood at least as far as other people are concerned. How do i make peace with that child. When that child seems to be so different from the person i became. What are the lessons of boyhood that i took with me. Not every lesson that i took with me from boyhood was necessarily a bad one and i think that looking at the trans movement. You really got your star in it when were still educating the public about what trans meant and i think that we've now entered the phase of it for now in the phase where we are talking more about how every trans story is different and not everybody experiences being trans in the same way. Yeah and it's it's different generation. Only my daughter's trans and no one was more surprised than i was when she came out to me. I think she will be the first person to tell you i was. I was not the perfect transgender parent poster child at that moment. I was really concerned for her. There was a lot of work ahead to be done and most of it by me but one of the things that i really learned in that experience was that being trance for someone coming out twenty years later than i did and almost twenty years younger than i am is. It means something different and so. Here's what i mean by that. When i came out as trans i felt like i had to spend a couple of years explaining myself. Educating people around me. Because i was the first trans person that a lot of people ever heard of a lot of people thought that made the whole thing myself. You know for my daughter's generation. It's a whole other thing being transferred means that you can celebrate. You can be happy you can be and you can be trans exactly as you feel like. That's really interesting. And so twenty years ago celebrating. Being trans wasn't even part the conversation. I felt like i had to be apologetic. I felt like i had to say. I'm so sorry but this is who i am. I hope you'll understand me now. If you read. She's not there continues to be book. I'm tremendously proud of but there's the faint aroma of apology about some parts of that book and that is not how how many people experience being trans now it. Forgive me one of the reasons. I think people feel better about being transferred more. Celebratory can i say this through the work. That's been done by a lot of writers including me. There's been a lot of people doing the work. And there are people who've had a bigger influence than i have but it does mean that sometimes there's a bit of melancholy for me that the world which seems to be more forgiving and there's that word again forgetting a world would which is more understanding and celebratory is a world that has even though i helped bring about. It's still a world that has come a little bit too late for me.

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