The Outlaws Are Coming! The Outlaws Are Coming!

GOTNG Illustrations Only
Dear Heart,

Thank you for your continued or new interest in my work. 

For the past fifteen years, I've been touring college campuses, conferences, and rallies with pieces that have focused primarily on deconstructing sex and gender binaries—and more recently, I’ve added suggestions on how to stay alive once you've done that. I’m adding layers of social justice, coalition-building, and laying open the very real heart connection that can be found in putting queer theory into practice.

With the publication of Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation (co-edited with S. Bear Bergman), up-to-date information on the ever-changing state of gender is yours to study, experience, and have fun with… right now! I understand that this isn't necessarily good news for everyone. It's hard to be the new kid in the clubhouse. What's more, the presence of new identities within a group puts a strain on the group's values and definitions. Oh, what to do!?

By combining what I've learned through writing Hello, Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks, and other Outlaws with what I've learned from all the amazing contributors to Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation, I've been able to come up with a perspective and point of view that fosters inclusion over exclusivity, trust over suspicion, and compassion over bullying. 

To that end, I've put together an all-new touring catalogue for 2010-2011, which includes several new lectures and talks, including my shiny new workshop, The Outlaws Are Coming! The Outlaws Are Coming! with which I hope to co-create with you a safer space for you and other teens, freaks, and other outlaws.You can peruse the PDF right here, right now: 

Download KB_Tour_Catalogue_2010-11.

That's my work these days. That's what I'd like to help you with on your campus, at your conference, in your town, business, or place of worship. I hope to see you soon. 

With love & respect, Kate

Goodbye, Hello? An Apology to Teens, Freaks, & Other Outlaws

My Dear Hearts,

I am so sorry to tell you that it's really hard to find copies of my book Hello, Cruel World.

Last night, I wanted to get buy a couple of couple of copies for friends. I'm watching my budget, so I went to Amazon, who carries the book at the lowest price. I found out that the book is not currently available. Amazon says it might ship in anywhere from one to four months. I tried to buy it someplace else, and this is what I found:

  • Barnes & Noble is carrying the book and say it's in stock… cost is 30% more than Amazon
  • I found about 20 copies at 8 copies are available at cost. 9 copies are available from US$ 26 to US$ 60.
  • 11 copies of the book are available on eBay. 5 are reasonably priced, the rest range from $47 to $122.
  • Borders says it's on back order, and will ship in 1 to 4 weeks.
  • Powells Books in Portland has one copy left.
  • Elliot Bay Books in Seattle has 3 copies.
  • St. Marks Bookshop NYC and Giovanni's Room in Philadelphia say it can be special ordered, time depending on availability.
  • Strand Bookstore NYC has no copies.

My literary agent, Malaga Baldi, and I are working with my publisher, Seven Stories Press to fix this. They publish some magnificent titles, and I'm honored to be part of their stable. But the economy is the economy, and I'm told that it looks like the book will go into it's 4th printing and back on the shelves sometime in the first week of October. In the meantime… 

  • HCW_coverThe book is available at many school and public libraries. 
  • There are also many LGBTQetc centers who keep a copy of the book on hand. 
  • You can download a free four-page version of the book, which I'm pretty sure will do a good job at helping you stay alive for a good year or so.
  • Hello, Cruel World is available as an ebook. It's easy to find. I hate it. It looks ugly. But it's cheap, and all the words and most of the pictures made it into the electronic editions.
  • You can find great tips from me and a whole slew of teens, freaks, and other outlaws by searching the Twitter hashtag #stayalive. I'm sorry, but you will need to set up a Twitter account to search it. But, then you can contribute #stayalive suggestions of your own. Instant interactivity, plus everyone wins and gets to stay alive.

Again, my most sincere apologies for allowing this to go un-noticed. I'll do the best I can to make reasonably priced copies of the book available again as soon as possible. In the meantime, if you know where there's a stash of these books, please post a link in the comments section of this blog. Thanks.



An Erotic Fairy Tale for Your Summer Solstice

Sleeping-Beauty I'm deep-deep-deep in the writing-writing-writing of my memoir, but I wanted to let you know I'm still thinking about you and wanted you to enjoy some fun writing I did a few months ago. Women, Action & The Media asked me to contribute something for their benefit auction. I decided that for the highest bidder, I'd pornographize their favorite fairy tale and cast them in whatever roles they liked. Well, a lovely lesbo couple took the high bid, and asked me to re-write The Tale of The Sleeping Beauty. I spent some time speaking with the winning bidder—she wanted the story as an anniversary present for her partner. This was back in April, and I've heard that both Rachel and Tania enjoyed the story a great deal. So, here it is in PDF format, ready to download for your summer reading enjoyment. 

Download The Tale Of The Sleeping Beauty

kiss kiss and Happy Summer Solstice

Auntie Kate

Out of the Archives: Madness Radio


Three years ago this month, I was turning in the final copy for Hello, Cruel World to my editor, Crystal Yakacki at Seven Stories Press. One of the earliest interviews I did for the book was a 45 minute show out of the Pioneer Valley in Massachusetts. The show is Madness Radio. Will Hall is the host, who's got ties to The Icarus Project, a peer-to-peer support group for youth diagnosed with bipolar and related disorders. I'm a big fan of both The Icarus Project and Madness Radio.

Last night, I had the chance to recommend Icarus to a friend who's going through some hard times, and today I got an email from Will Hall. Oooooh! Synchronicity! Wil was writing to let me know that after three years on the web, the episode just got its first ever comment. LOL! In celebration of this event, I'm opening the vaults. Enjoy the listen.

kiss kiss, Kate

Disappeared Sex Positive, Gender Bent Books On

CensorshipFollow Breaking News on Twitter: #amazonfail

It's been called to my attention that it may not be possible to buy new copies of any of my books on You can find Kindle editions for Hello, Cruel World and My Gender Workbook. Whoopee. And there's no record of my sales record there, either. Dang.

I'm not the only queer, sex positive, gender bent author to have gone missing.  

Thank you, Melissa Gira Grant at Sexerati, who's got the most up-to-date coverage of this weird, weird right wing news of literary censorship. 

Among the MIA (Missing In Amazon): Barbara Carrellas, Dossie Easton, S. Bear Bergman, Helen Boyd, Laura Antoniou, Candida Royale, Julia Serano, Carol Queen, Annie Sprinkle, Lawrence Schimmel. And those were just the first couple I searched for. Holy poop! 
Wasn't Bush voted out of office?? Who is putting this kind of pressure on Whoever it is, they don't know how subversive and queer Judith Butler is. You can still buy her books on Amazon. But I wouldn't. I'd buy all my books elsewhere, until Amazon comes to it's senses.

I'm writing my agent and publishers to see what's up. In the meantime, you can buy my books through your local queer and sex positive bookstore. If you don't live near a queer or independent bookstore and need to buy online, do check out Powell's Books, a fabulous independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon. Or you can find them used at ABE Books.

Petitions and write-in campaigns have already begun. Check with your fave queer authors' blogs and websites and Twitter accounts for more updates. I'll post more when I know more. 

In the meantime, persevere. Enjoy your sex positive, genderbent theory and porn.


How I Met Wendy Chapkis and Why I Love Her So

So okay, is the woman in this picture amazing, or what? 

This is Wendy Chapkis, a mentor of mine and long-time crush. When I was a baby tranny in San Francisco—a two-year old girl in 1988—I ran across a copy of Wendy's book, Beauty Secrets: Women and the Politics of Appearance.  

I was trying my best to be a woman. I was trying my best to be political. I was standing alone, scared, in the feminist aisle of a women's bookstore. I was keeping secrets, and I was obsessed with my appearance. Here was this woman writing proudly about sporting her moustache… what effect that had on her day to day life, and how she dealt with all the bullshit that comes with being a freak of beauty, a beautiful freak.  

Wow! Shivering, I thumbed through her book and I saw it's brilliant theme: women do a lot of things in secret in order to make themselves look beautiful. Things they don't want you to know about, like their moustaches. Like my year-old newly constructed vagina. Wendy Chapkis wrote about how it's time to not keep secrets any more. In 1988, this was an astonishing idea. I left the bookstore with her book in my pocketbook. I felt the beginnings of personal liberation. And I was totally crushed out on this hot, strong babe with a moustache.

I worked selling subscriptions at the San Francisco Symphony. My arts writer pay from the gay paper, The Bay Area Reporter, didn't come close to covering expenses. The SF Symphony phone room was old school—we didn't use computers back then. We called names and phone numbers written on 5×7 cardboard cards. Well, two weeks after I found Wendy's book, there I was sitting in the phone room of the SF Symphony. I was holding a 5×7 card with Wendy Chapkis' name, phone number, address, and musical preferences. Oh. My. Goddess. Score!

I dialed. Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring. Answering machine. Damn! Phone room policy mandated we return any unanswered calls to the common pile, not keep them for calling again later. It was a good policy. It kept folks from hoarding what they thought might be easy sales. But I kept Wendy Chapkis' card with me. I brought that card back to the phone room every day for a week, and was too afraid to call. Finally, I got my courage…  It took two weeks of calling until I finally reached a live Wendy. 

Hello, Ms. Chapkis? This is Kate Bornstein calling from the San Francisco Symphony about your… say-y-y-y-y-y, wait a minute… is this Wendy Chapkis who wrote the book, Beauty Secrets?

Our friendship has grown over the past 20 years. Wendy teaches at the University of Maine. Her partner way back then and to this very day is Gabe. Gabe makes great jewelry and gives great arts and political grassroots organizing. Wendy and Gabe were and still are the outest dyke couple I've ever known. I love 'em to pieces. 

So… why'm I writing about this now? Wendy's got a new book! It's called Dying to Get High: Marijuana as Medicine. I haven't read it yet, but… hello? What an amazing topic. Wendy's coming to New York City to read at Bluestockings Books on Monday, December 1st at 7pm. I'm going. I'll buy my signed copy—I still have that crush—and I'll set that book down on the night table next to my bed for a nightly read. If you're a New York area teen, freak or outlaw, please join me at the reading. And look for me. I'll be the tall redhead looking longingly at the author.

kiss kiss


My Grrlfriend’s Book Is A Big Hit!!!!

UrbantantrabookcoverOh lookee, lookee!!! Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for the Twenty-First Century. It’s an amazing book. Don’t take my word for it… lookit the great review she got in Publishers Weekly!!

"This handy how-to promises mind-blowing, toe-curling, highly spiritual sex for humble beginners, BDSM aficionados and everyone in between. Sex educator Carrellas is on a mission to bring Tantra-the ancient practice of sacred sex, in which interpersonal connection and transformative ecstasy are the norm-to the modern world, to reclaim sex from "messed-up, sexually-dysfunctional, judgmental, and ignorant culture," and to shift the urban sex paradigm from recreational activity to a sumptuous, impassioned way of life. Not that one necessarily needs that kind of ambition: Carrellas offers ways to enhance any old sexual encounter (with techniques like breathing, stroking, prodding and piercing), techniques for solo play and countless uses for a trunk full of toys. Same sex, transgender, and multi-partner play is encouraged (if not highly recommended), and the text is peppered with illuminating, try-this-at-home anecdotes. Pictures and diagrams are whimsical but instructive, making Carrellas’s cheerful descriptions of unusual concepts-"gigglegasms," "rainbow rubs" and "the mushy puss" among them-easy to grasp. A final chapter, on "Sex Magic," examines the power of Tantra to achieve a number of effects, from backpain relief to a happier office to world peace; however far you’d like to take your sex life, this friendly guide will likely show the way."

C’mon, is that great or what? Yay, Barbara!

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Sold Out!!!

Hcw_coverI’m both pleased and frustrated to announce the unexpected and pretty cool news that the first edition of Hello, Cruel World has nearly sold out. There are a few copies left here and there. Seven Stories Press is working as fast as they can to print a second edition, and hopefully it won’t take too long.

If you’re looking for a copy of the book for yourself or as a gift for someone else, please email Seven Stories Press and you’ll receive an email the instant the second edition comes out.

I’ve been getting great feedback from readers, and I’ll be continuing to travel around using concepts from the book in all my upcoming engagements. And by the way… if you’re reading this, you’re part of the reason the book sold so well without an ounce of mainstream advertising. It was all through the very cool network of outlaw blogs and podcasts, and through underground print and AV media. I couldn’t be prouder of our tribe, and that includes you. Thank you, and kiss kiss. Kate

Yes, Santa Claus, there is a Virginia.

Vm_comic_1stpageVirginia Ramey Mollenkott celebrated her 75th birthday a few days ago. You may or may not know Virginia, but the odds are if you’re reading this blog, your life has been touched by her work.
In 1978, Virginia Mollenkott co-authored (with Letha Dawson Scanzoni) the book Is
        the Homosexual My Neighbor? A Postive Christisan Response
God alone knows how many queer lives she saved with that book, which is still on the shelves, revised and re-isued, after 19 years. Yow!
I first ran into this handsome butch spiritual lesbian about ten years
ago when we met at the now defunct A Different Light LGBT bookstore in
New York City. Virginia has written 13 books, but my favorite remains Omnigender: A Trans-Religious Approach, in which she debunks the myth of religious "truth" of two and two only genders, and she does this religion by religion. It’s amazing work.

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it’s about you staying alive

Hello, Cruel World is my response to the incidents of September 11th, 2001; and to the terrifying government that grew up here in the name of national security. That government, and the oppressive culture it’s forwarding, is making life really difficult for a lot of sweet people in the world.

Today, on the 5th anniversary of that day, I’m dedicating the first page of my Hello, Cruel Blog as a safe, respectful forum in which readers of the book can speak, to heal, and to focus on making our freaky lives more livable.

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