On September 21, author Jennifer Finney Boylan came to Austin Peay State University to read an excerpt from her book, She’s Not There, and to have a general question and answer session.
After Jennifer was introduced by an Austin Peay student, she came up to the podium with a flourish and immediately began with humor. As people drifted in after the program started, Jennifer would call to them to “come in and take a seat; there is plenty of room for everyone.” It was obvious that her goals were to make everyone feel as comfortable as possible, considering her uniqueness. After a short introduction given by her, she commenced the reading of her book. The excerpt read revealed that the book is a very personal account of some of Jennifer’s experiences as a male child. She read of some of her early feelings of feeling “different” and not “being meant for the body she was in”. She went on to describe events that happened during a hurricane, all having to do with her feelings leading up to her decision to change her sex.
Jennifer was an excellent speaker. She spoke loudly and with perfect enunciation. She often made eye-contact with the crowd, giving everyone a more personal feeling. When reading her excerpt, she caused laughter from the crowd as a result of her vocal imitations of some of the characters in her book.
As far as the actual substance of program, it was mildly informative. A person with no knowledge of transsexuals would leave with a somewhat better understanding of the reasons someone might have for the change-but Jennifer gave hardly any information about the actual medical procedure, which many were obviously curious about. The question and answer session really was not all that informative. Jennifer seemed to give somewhat vague responses to some of the questions. For one of the questions, Jennifer even seemed to get a bit hostile in giving her answer-even though at the beginning of the question and answer session she did say that the audience should “feel free to ask questions”. During her conversation she also described actually why the students don’t want to write their own research paper and why they are searching for cheap thesis papers writing service online? This did shed a negative light on her.
As a whole, though, Jennifer did present a good program. She was a great speaker-it was her lack of sharing a good overview of the medical aspect of her change that caused the program value to go down. Out of a scale of one to five, I would give the overall program a three. Jennifer did succeed in sparking enough of my interest to make me want to give her book, She’s Not There, a try.