Image - Jessi Hempel and detail from book cover
Past Event

Jessi Hempel: The Family Outing

Join us for an online conversation with the author of a striking and remarkable literary memoir about one family’s transformation, with almost all of them embracing their queer identities. It might sound like a sitcom plot, but for Jessi Hempel, it's a true story.

Jessi Hempel was raised in a picture-perfect, middle-class American family. But the truth was far from perfect. Her lawyer-father was constantly away from home, traveling for work, while her stay-at-home mother became increasingly lonely and erratic. Growing up, Jessi and her two siblings struggled to make sense of their family, their world, their changing bodies, and the emotional turmoil each was experiencing.

By the time Jessi reached adulthood, everyone in her family had come out: Jessi as gay, her sister as bisexual, her father as gay, her brother as transgender, and her mother as a survivor of a traumatic experience with an alleged serial killer. Yet coming out was just the beginning, starting a chain reaction of other personal revelations and reckonings that caused each of them to question their place in the world in new and ultimately liberating ways.

Don't miss this timely talk.

About the Speaker

Jessi Hempel is a senior editor at large at LinkedIn and host of the Webby-nominated podcast "Hello Monday." For almost 20 years, she has been writing and editing features and cover stories about the most important people and companies in technology. Most recently, she was the head of editorial for Backchannel and a senior writer at Wired. Earlier in her career, she was a senior writer for Fortune, where she co-chaired Fortune’s Aspen tech conference. Before that, Hempel wrote for BusinessWeek, and Time Asia. She has appeared on CNN, PBS, MSNBC, Fox, and CNBC, addressing the culture and business of technology. Hempel is a graduate of Brown University and received a Master’s in Journalism from U.C. Berkeley. She lives in Brooklyn.


This program is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

Bernard Osher Foundation

See more  Michelle Meow Show programs at The Commonwealth Club of California.

Photo by Christine Han.

October 13, 2022

The Commonwealth Club of California
United States

Image - Jessi Hempel

Jessi Hempel

Author, The Family Outing; Twitter @jessiwrites

Image - Michelle Meow

Michelle Meow

Producer and Host, "The Michelle Meow Show," KBCW TV and Podcast; Member, Commonwealth Club Board of Governors—Co-host

Image - John Zipperer

John Zipperer

Producer and Host, Week to Week Political Roundtable; Vice President of Media & Editorial, The Commonwealth Club of California—Co-host