Janis Ian

Christmas with The Dads

By Janis Ian

The Dads (surely you remember them from previous articles) are worried that their son, Jason, will grow up with no sense of tradition. It's difficult enough parenting as a gay couple, striking new ground with every step; the child needs some sense of continuity. Not wishing to inflict their own religious stereotypes on him and being more inclined to paganism (or priapism) than to regular churchgoing, they've decided to teach him the religions of the world. Christianity seems a good place to start, since many of Dad 1's forebears were Catholic priests. "Besides," they reason, "if we start early, he'll have more time to get over it later on."

Me and my mammogram

By Janis Ian

I am standing with my tit caught in a wringer while a mall-haired technician tells me to relax. I am thinking that if men had to put their testicles in a vise as part of a yearly physical, we would have a cure for the common cold by now. I am very frightened.

The pink slip came as we were leaving on vacation: "We have found what appears to be a routine abnormality..." What's routine about an abnormality? I decide to put on a brave front and joke that in all my life no one has ever called me routine; then I burst into tears. Later on I do the grown-up thing and panic, furtively examining my breasts in the mirror for changes. I'm afraid that if I touch them to check for lumps, I will set something off. I wish they were smaller. I wish they were removable. I wish they were on anyone but me.


By Janis Ian

In a small town somewhere at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains, teachers prepare for the coming semester. Professors grimly consult lesson plans, breaking in new Dockers ("I still wear the same size I wore when I graduated," they brag, bellies hanging over their straining waistlines like blubber off Ahab's whaler). Dormitories are surrounded by troops of exterminators bent on eradicating last year's mess before the health department shows up for a final check. The grounds are infested with newly arrived victims, ready to give the university their all and terrified that anything beyond the boundaries of the parents' homes will eat them alive. If they only knew.

Revenge is sweet for Janis Ian

By Jeff Walsh

Before I was born, Janis Ian was making beautiful music. And with her spare, acoustic recent album "Revenge," the tradition continues. Going into the interview, I was more familiar with her humorous and poignant columns in The Advocate. For some reason, although I had picked her CDs up in stores, I never bought them.

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