Announcing the December Project: Surviving the Holidays with the trans community

I wanted to announce what we’re calling THE DECEMBER PROJECT, a reachout by Dylan Scholinski, Mara Keisling, Jennifer Finney Boylan, and Helen Boyd to raise the spirits of people in the trans community during what can be a difficult time of year.

We are trans activists, homebodies, authors, parents, spouses, artists, and teachers, including a trans man, two trans women, and a loving spouse.  Here’s our pledge to you: If you feel low this December, and need someone to talk to, contact us, and we’ll call you on the phone.  Period.

We want to make clear that we are not therapists, and that anyone in a serious crisis should dial 911, or seek professional help from qualified folks in the helping professions.

On the other hand we are people who may have experienced what you are feeling, and it is our hope that simply having someone to listen or talk to this December will have value.   This project is 100% free and no one involved in it is getting anything out of it other than the opportunity to help.

Trans people– and the people that love them– face unique challenges during the holidays.  Too often we can find ourselves separated from families, from spouses and children and parents.  It’s a time of year that, as Dickens well noted, can be the most haunted of all, a time when we travel in time and feel all too keenly the distance between ourselves and others, when what we most desire is warmth, and community, and love.

So think of us as friends you haven’t met yet.  Want to talk to somebody on the phone?  Here’s what to do: 1) send an email to Jenny Boylan at JB@jenniferboylan.net, and in the subject heading write, DECEMBER PROJECT.  List your name, your phone number, and the time when we can reach you–preferably with a few different choices.  Let us know which one of us you want to talk to.

You can also contact people directly through Facebook– ask to “friend” Jennifer Finney Boylan and then make your request through the Direct Message page, and JFB will forward your request to the person you’ve asked for. (or if you’re friends with Mara, or Helen, or Dylan, you can contact them directly.)

If we can’t reach you, or if the person you’ve requested isn’t available, we’ll let you know that too.  Also, if we get overwhelmed, we’ll also tell you that.

So let us help.  And you don’t need to be in trouble to participate in the December Project.  If you want to celebrate all the good things in your life and share your sense of joy– we’re good with that too.

Who we are:

Helen Boyd is an author of 2 books, including MY HUSBAND BETTY, an account of life with a trans spouse.  She is a well regarded spokeswoman for trans people and the people that love them, especially spouses and partners.  She’s a Lecturer in Gender and Freshman Studies at Lawrence University in Wisconsin.

Jennifer Finney Boylan, an author of 13 books including SHE’S NOT THERE: A LIFE IN TWO GENDERS.  An English teacher at Colby College in Maine, a trans woman, wife to Deirdre Boylan, and mother (or “Maddy”) to two fine young men, Zach and Sean.  Serves on the board of directors of GLAAD and on the board of trustees at the Kinsey Institute.

Mara Keisling is founding executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.  She is well known as a commentator on trans issues; she lives in Washington DC.

Dylan Scholinski was born Daphne Scholinski. He currently lives in Boulder, CO with his beautiful wife and 4 year old son and is the Founder/Witness of Sent(a)Mental Studios as well as a distinguished artist, author and public speaker. His most recent book was The Last Time I Wore a Dress, listed by Out Magazine as one of its Top Ten Must Reads.

We send everybody love, and hope that this month is a time of hope.

Email for The December Project:

jb@jenniferboylan.net

FB: Jennifer Finney Boylan.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted December 4, 2012 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    I love this. I’m an outspoken, passionate ally; if there’s any way I can help, please reach out to me.

  2. Posted December 5, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    This is so sweet! I am always amazed at how family can be so hard to deal with when people transition. And for some reason families often seem to feel that the Holidays are a chance to poke at each other! You’ve got a great way to counter that!

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  • The Boylan Family, summer 2010

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  • Jenny with Barbara Walters, December, 2008

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  • Jenny atop Maine’s Mount Katahdin

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    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."