Paris Review?!

Oh, the sobbing and wailing and gnashing of teeth! Literary hoaxsters awash on The Strand… except that that’s not the way it goes, is it? Instead, James Frey gets more time on Oprah and wait, is that Laura Albert on the cover of Paris Review? Oh, it is! It is!

You want queer memoirists, real ones? Here’s a short list, literary world. I can pretty much guarandamntee that none of these books got the publicity they should have while you were frothing about JT LeRoy (the person Laura Albert pretended to be).
There’s Max Wolf Valerio’s memoir of transition, The Testosterone Files, and Jamison Green’s Becoming a Visible Man, and Matt Kailey’s Just Add Hormones. S. Bear Bergman’s Butch is a Noun is a great memoir of life in the butch lane.
There’s life as a queer girl from Michelle Tea in Rent Girl, Alison Smith’s Name All the Animals, and Fun Home by Alison Bechdel.
Then there’s just about anything by Patrick Califia.
Shoot, you want MTF memoirs? Take She’s Not There, or, for the more sexual side of things, Richard Novic’s tale of his part-time life as a woman, Alice in Genderland.
(Oh, right. There’s me, too.)

Jennifer Finney Boylan's Southern Comfort Speech

Thanks to Ms. Boylan for allowing me to reproduce it here; this is the complete & unedited version.
Hi everybody. Gosh, look at you all. You all look fantastic from up here. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a room before with so many large women.
(improvised joke #1)
(improvised joke #2)
I notice that some of you look a little tired today. Which is not to say, you don’t look fabulous, I’m just saying that some of you seem like you were up kind of late last night. Did you check out the parties last night? You know the one I mean, the theme party—Come as Your Favorite Nude Author?
First time in my life I’ve ever been in a room full of a hundred and fifty nude Kate Bornsteins.
(improvise joke #3)
I have to be honest and say I feel a little bit like a fraud up here today, because I know that there are so many of you who are so much more articulate about these issues than I am. I am an English teacher from Maine, a storyteller— what I’m not is a therapist, or scholar of gender studies, or for that matter, much of an activist. I’ve tried doing some of those things sometimes, because I want to do my part, but I have to say I just so lame at them. I’m grateful that there are people doing all the work around the country that’s being done on behalf of people like us, including the organizers of this conference—our fabulous chairwoman, Kristen, as well as heather O’malley and Cat Turner, and Lola Fleck. I’m just as grateful for all the people who came before me, who blazed the trail that has made my life easier.. I know I would not be here without them, quite literally.
There is an old saying that I find true for me this afternoon—one reason I am able to see so far is because I stand on the shoulders of giants.
Continue reading “Jennifer Finney Boylan's Southern Comfort Speech”

Especially Stripey

She has a tendency to sleep on Betty’s chair whenever Betty isn’t around, and sometimes when she is. I think she prefers it because she looks especially stripey on a plain black background.


I’m currently going over the copyedits of my next book, where the astute copyeditor tells me in her notes that “blonde” is only used for female people, but that the “regular” form is “blond.” Likewise with brunette/brunet.
I had no idea.
I asked Betty if she found the spelling blond and brunet odd, too, and she did as well, which leaves me with only one conclusion: we just don’t refer to men as their hair color. Double standard, anyone?

More About DO '06

What I wrote the other day doesn’t even touch all the other stuff that happened to us, or the people we got to see again, & those we met for the first time, & other experiences we had.
It’s so hard to explain how Dark Odyssey just pulls your skin off and lets you experience things in such a raw, honest way. At one point, during the Cirkus Erotikus, Betty saw that one of the genderqueer types who’d been at the mixer was doing the flogging, and being Betty, stepped right up to be flogged. And she did, and B. and I watched and laughed at the expressions on her face (at least until B. got in line to be next). Internally I felt something in me was about to blow. Not long before I’d run into one of the swingers we’d gotten to know some the previous year, and he told me that he always sees me, in his head, sitting on a golf cart last year watching some kind of sex, and that the expression on my face was “I could use some of that.” It made me sad, and scared, at first. I’m the first one to admit I’m kind of repressed, so when Betty just “stepped right up” to be flogged – I didn’t know she’d met the person at our little genderqueer mixer – something in me just broke.
Continue reading “More About DO '06”


Betty and I passed a huge billboard for a “gentlemen’s cabaret” called Privilege on the way home from DO this year, and I thought – well that’s certainly obvious, isn’t it? To me, that’s more like the name of the strip club in Grand Theft Auto, not the real name of an actual place.