Boylans on Oprah

The Oprah show that my family and I were on last spring re-runs today, Monday, I believe. You could check it out if you wanted.

The good news is that we were among “Oprah’s Most Memorable Guests.” The bad news is that the other “memorable’ guests included lying Ted Haggard, the Texas Polygamist Wives, the husband of the woman who drowned her children, a mom with no arms and legs, and a 700 pound man. So, you know. “Memorable” in this instance has a particular meaning.

We’re on about a third of the way into the show, for a single segment, Skyped in from our home. Caveat emptor.

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  1. Hannah
    Posted August 10, 2009 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    I’m sorry, but unfortunately, being a transitioned man>female in society is considered as “freaky” as the woman with no arms or legs and the 700 pound man. Certainly, you have some sympathy for these people as well. Lord knows you also have a cross to bear in the same vein.

  2. Bennie Andrews
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 4:25 am | Permalink

    Howdy from El Paso, I caught the Boylan’s interview on Oprah’s Show this afternoon. As usual, Oprah didn’t have a clue… I mean, wouldn’t you think she’d wanna learn a little somethin’ about the issues facin’ her Transgendered guests & their families so that she could conduct her interviews with compassion & sensitivity, and appear knowledgeable to her viewers? But nooo, Oprah relied on the standard reaction shot closeups of disapprovin’ audience members as well as her own shockingly comedic expressions to try to turn the interview into a “freak show!” Her “penis” reference was especially idiotic! Grrreat comeback, Jenny!

    The Boylans are to be commended for their honesty & courage. I only wish more families of Transgendered people would come foward to show their support. Oprah Winfrey missed a wonderful opportunity… she blew it big time!

  3. Posted August 11, 2009 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Hello Jenny,

    I happened to catch your interview on Oprah the other day. After watching the show, I immediately went to and downloaded your book “She’s Not There…” onto my Kindle. I’m now 61% through reading it (according to the little ‘locations bar’ across the bottom of the screen) and I’ve just read the email from Russo where he so truthfully speaks of his struggle to redefine his friendship with you. I must admit that I have been in tears several times throughout your book, but nothing brought so much emotion as his explanation of what was going on in his mind while trying to process all the he needed to process. While I am unable to understand completely transgendered individuals and all that they live through (how could I?, not being a transgendered individual…) I believe I am able to understand the implications of how your decision affected so many. (just based on an experience which happened in my own life of which I will not divulge in this comment…) At any rate, I applaud you for having the courage to be true to yourself. I pray you and your family are well and happy and I thank you for writing your book. Now if you’ll excuse me, I must continue reading to see how it ends! (Although I guess it never really end, does it?)
    God bless you,
    Deborah Erskine

  4. Fernanda Rocha
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 1:01 pm | Permalink


    I watched Oprah last week too and totally agree with Benny Andrews.

    I’ve been reading your book (She’s not There”) ever since and have been delighted with your story.

    For Christ’s sake, there’s nothing freaky about you. It’s wonderful to know that the beatiful woman that had been inside you for so many years broke through against all odds and succeeded – BRAVO!

    You’ve got such an incredible family and it filled me with joy to see you guys together, happy and united by love. That’s the only thing that matters.

    God bless you all.

    Fernanda Rocha

    No doubt it was meant to be.

  5. Darwin
    Posted August 28, 2009 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Saw it. You guys must get so tired of answering the same asinine questions all the time. Thanks for putting yourself out there so that someday we might not be so memorable anymore…or at least so that we might be memorable for a different reason.

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  • The Boylan Family, summer 2010

    DSC_0063 "You hang around our family, you learn all kinds of stuff."
  • Will Forte as Jennifer Finney Boylan on “Saturday Night Live”

    WiFo-Jennifer Finney Boylan-1
  • Jenny with Barbara Walters, December, 2008

  • Jenny atop Maine’s Mount Katahdin

    2036947979_34bfbec240 August, 2002.
  • Surrounded

    boylanWith President Clinton and Maine's Governor John Baldacci, fall 2006.
  • JFB and Edward Albee


    Edward had been my teacher at Johns Hopkins in the winter of 1986. He visited Colby in fall, 2007. As we took our leave of each other, he kissed me on both cheeks and said, "We have done well. You and I."

  • Jenny and her teacher, the great John Barth


    Jack was my professor at JHU when I did my thesis, back in the day. After many years, I can now confidently say I finally understand his definition of plot. Which is, of course, "the perturbation of an unstable homeostatic system and its catastrophic restoration to a new and complexified equilibrium."