Please Help Me Update My Gender Workbook

Dear Hearts,

I’m thrilled to write that I’ve been asked by Routledge Publishing to update my fifteen year old book, My Gender Workbook. We struck a deal, I’ve got the green light, and I’ve begun writing My New Gender Workbook. I’m so excited!


I’ve been in touch via Twitter, my blog, and YouTube with a lot of people who regularly read and use My Gender Workbook both in class and daily in their lives. It turns out that people really like the principles of the book—but that many of the cultural references and contexts—even the way some quiz questions are phrased—are out of date, and this sometimes gets in the way of grasping the important stuff. So, an update would involve a page by page combing out of outdated references. For example…

  • There’s much more awareness of intersections of oppression and marginalization.
  • There’s a much more sophisticated understanding of & experience with the Internet.
  • The geopolitical world has grown vastly more polarized since the book came out.
  • In a few places in the world, reat strides have been made in sex-and-gender freedoms.
  • At the same time, many ghastly practices of policing sex and gender have been uncovered.
  • Sex-and-gender activism has become globalized, and shuffled into the deck of social activism.
  • Young Female-to-Male has replaced Middle-Aged Male-to-Female as the face of transgender in the world.
  • Sex and Gender activism & awareness has become increasingly polarized along lines of class, race, and age.


As in the original book, I’ll be looking for a great many voices other than my own. In the original, there were hundreds of voices other than mine, appearing in lists, text boxes and call-outs.  In the new version, I’m aiming to include even more voices. My idea is to maintain a running commentary of multiple voices all through the book. 


All submissions for the workbook should be in the form of tweets, or at most double tweets—that is to say, all submission should be no longer than 140 to 280 characters, including the mandatory hashtag: #MNGW (My New Gender Workbook). Why so short? The very best voices in the original workbook were short, articulate, and right to the point. 


Any gender-related topic you damned please.

However, over the course of the next 4-6 weeks, I’ll be asking specific questions on this blog and on Twitter. There’s going to be a new question every couple of days. But you don't have to wait for the questions. If you’ve got anything to say in 140-280 characters, I WANT TO READ IT, and I promise I will.


The best way is to use Twitter. Remember, two tweets maximum. All submission tweets must include the hashtag #MNGW or they very likely will slip through the cracks and we most certainly do not want that!

You can also post your answer on this blog. If you do, make sure you give us a way to reach you if we need to. 

Or, you can email your submission to: mynewgenderworkbook at gmail dot com. 

Please note that we will use no one’s words without their express permission. 

Finally, there's no promise that your name will appear next to your words, or that your words will be used. Everyone whose words are used will be credited with the name of your choosing in the acknowledgements.

There’s only one more rule for submissions: don’t be mean. 


What’s your gender?


I cannot WAIT to see your kickass smart answers to this simple li'l question.

Please do retweet and repost and link to this blog to as many places as you can—even the surprising places.

Thank you in advance for all your help and support.

Big love,

Auntie Kate




Trans Pride — Talking Points, Toronto 2011

Trans Pride Cherub I was invited to Toronto this year to speak at Trans Pride. I don't often get invited to speak at Pride events, so not too many people have heard or read what I think about LGBTetc Pride, and more specifically Trans Pride.

A lot of what I said at Toronto Trans Pride is part of a book I'm working on for Seven Stories Press, called No Votes For Bullies: Democracy For The Rest of Us. If all goes according to plan, the book should be out in September, 2012—a couple of months after my memoir, A Queer and Pleasant Danger, comes out from Beacon Press in June, 2012.

So, here are the talking points I used for my talk on Trans Pride, delivered to some hundreds of lovely gender anarchists and sex positive, sex inclusive outlaws at the post-march Gender Revolution stage in Toronto on July 1st, 2011.

Click to download Talking Points PDF file

Okey dokey, then. I'm still writing the first draft of my memoir, It goes to the printer at the end of August and I have miles to go before I sleep.

Happy Summer!

kiss kiss



There’s No Fun in Fundamentalism

Eyes in Door Too many people kill themselves for no other reason than their religion says they're better off dead than queer. I'm so sorry if someone is telling you that. It's just not true.

You probably already know this already, but I don't hear it said nearly often enough: It's not "the Christians" who go after gays, lesbians, transgender folk or bisexuals. It's not the Christians who walk calmly into church and assassinate abortion-providing doctors. It's not the Christians who wanna re-build the Berlin Wall across the southern border of Texas.

It's not the Jews. It's not the Muslims. It's not any of the wondrous sects and denominations that evolved from these world-class religions, becoming world-class religions in their own right. Those are not the folks who are keeping us in our sex and gender closets. 

Sure, as sex-and-gender freaks, we might make some Christians, Jews and Muslims uncomfortable. They may not wanna hang out with us. But it's not them who threaten, harass, rape or kill us. It's the people who follow the fundamentalist canon of any religion, sect, or cult.

Fundamentalist canon is easy to spot, because it's all written with the linguistic trick of either/or. That's how it gets its strength. Fundamentalist canon says this is good, that is evil; this is right, that is wrong; this gets you into Heaven, and for that you'll go straight to Hell. Fundamentalist canon is unquestionable, unswerving, and unashamed of the violence committed in it's name. Fundamentalist canon says My way or the highway. We are damned if we don't go along with them.

If you're some sort of sex-and-gender outlaw and you're living in that kind of a world, get out of there as fast as you can! Find yourself another denomination of Christianity, Judaism, or Islam, or any number of other faiths that have more wiggle room than an either/or morality. Google around… you'll easily find yourself a congregation of people who know that God loves you just the way you are. has a whole page of alternative denominations who welcome LGBTQetc outlaws. That's good news, but that doesn't mean they're necessarily going to welcome you as a sex worker, pornographer, adult entertainer, sadomasochist or polyamorist. Some modern denominations of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam may indeed welcome you as a more radical sex and gender outlaw—but you might have to become the person who opens them up to the idea. For the latter sort of sex and gender outlaw, you might find more solace and support in Goddess-based religions.

Religion is fine and dandy. Religion saves lives. What the LGBTQetc movements need is more religion. What no one needs more of is bully fundamentalism.

Now go, stay alive. Play nice with God.

kiss kiss

Auntie Kate


What Does Mean Mean?

Grinch_santa-703762 People have been asking what I mean by mean, meaning what does mean mean.

I’m sorry. I couldn’t resist writing that sentence. OK, it's out of my system. So, really… what does mean mean? What does it mean to say Don't Be Mean? 

I’ve been telling people for nearly four years that the only rule in life they need to follow is don’t be mean. It's not even a rule. “Don’t be mean” is a value, meaning it's something you can apply to every choice you’ll ever make for the rest of your life. If one rule can cover that much ground, I think that the rule deserves to be called a value. 

So, we’ve got a value of don’t be mean. 

So what, because what does mean mean? 

And what did I mean when I wrote the damned thing in the book?

And why didn't I simply write, be kind. I almost did.

But people have ruined that word by calling for a kinder, gentler nation and then effecting a nation that's very close to the opposite. Another example: someone could consider truthfully that they're being kind to you when they stop you from being a homosexual… because then you won’t go to hell. It's become too easy for people to convince themselves that they’re not being mean when they simply call themselves kind. Nope, the word kind can be stretched way out of shape. So, be kind couldn’t be the rule.

But… don’t be mean? Aw man, I thought I’d nailed it. I thought everyone knows what mean is, right? Mean old man, mean girls, and hey… you’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch. But those are all pop culture constructs, not real meanings. And that brings us to the dictionary. You’d think the dictionary would provide some definitive clarity. Nonsense. Go ahead, look up mean in the dictionary. Mean can mean so many mean things, it’ll make you mean dizzy.

Failing to come up with a simple, satisfactory answer to the question, what does mean mean, I did what I always do when I don't know something… I asked my twibe on Twitter.

RT @katebornstein: Twibe: re "Don't b mean," peeps hv bn asking what mean means. Thoughts? Must it include intent to harm/steal/enslave? Hashtag #mean pse.

Here, click to read through this sampling of responses from my twibe. See what you come up with.

Pondering many points of view on the word mean helped me realize that mean is undeniably subjective. Nonetheless, we know what it feels like when someone is mean to us. Mean is a word we all learned as kids. It’s a word that holds a great deal of emotional power and history.

So, I don’t think it matters what mean really means in order to embrace the value, don’t be mean. I’m thinking now that it's enough that we care enough to ask the question, what does mean mean. I don't know for sure, but I'm willing to bet that mean is something we spend our entire life learning what it is… if for no other reason than to stop ourselves from being mean.So, until it runs out of juice, I’m going to stick with using the word mean. And I'll say it once again:

Please… do whatever it takes to make your life more worth living. Anything. Anything, my darling. Only one rule to follow—only one value you need to embrace—to make that blanket permission work: Don’t be mean. 

Yep that works just fine for me. And it'll work for you. I promise. There's no need to fry your brains, trying to figure out mean. It's enough if we all just try not to be mean. Eventually we’ll all get a better handle on it. And I think that’s about as much as anyone can ask for. 

Now… go, play nice with your friends.

Kiss Kiss

Auntie Kate


Don’t Be Mean? Really?

Do whatever it takes to make your life more worth living. Anything at all. It can be illegal, immoral, unethical, self-destructive… anything at all if it makes your life more worth living. There’s only one rule to follow to make that kind of blanket permission work: Don’t be mean. 

HCW_coverI’ve been telling people that for 4-5 years now, first in my book Hello, Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks, and Other Outlaws—and more recently in my post for Dan Savage’s YouTube project, It Gets Better. 

Since posting it up on YouTube, I’ve received a great deal more feedback. It’s the nature of the medium. Most people don’t write back to books. But they do write back to blogs, vlogs and tweets. Many of the responses to my It Gets Better vlog have been along the lines of thank you very much, and to that I’ve been saying you’re very welcome. But there have been many questions about this notion of Don’t be mean, and that’s what I’d like to address here.

What can you do when you are mean?

Being meanAs much sense as it makes to embrace the value of don’t be mean, the bottom line is we’re going to be mean to people. 

We’re human. We have tempers. We have buttons that other people push. We have off days when we’re cranky and prickly. Sometimes, we have to deal with people we don’t like, or people who’ve been mean to us… and sometimes we act or respond meanly ourselves.

All of us—even though we know better—we’re mean. And when that happens, the very best we can do is take these 3 steps: 


1) We forgive ourselves, cuz we're just plain human. 

2) We apologize and/or make amends if we possibly can. 

3) We try to do better the next time.

By doing those three steps—over and over, every time we’re mean—we learn how to not be mean. And we’ll go for a longer stretch time before the next time we are mean. And we will be mean again, whether it’s intentional or not. The deal is we try not to be mean. Good intentions count for a lot. 

That old saying “the road to hell is paved with good intentions” is bull poop. The more good intentions we embrace, the closer we get to heaven. Never mind the inevitability of being mean later on down the road—once we’ve intended to not be mean, we get better at it. Embracing the intention to not be mean is in and of itself an act of self-betterment. 

Can you be mean to yourself?

A119 make it bleedFolks have asked if being mean to yourself counts as "being mean." 

Nope. You can be as mean to yourself as you need or want to be. Most of us are, anyway. I’m meaner to myself than anyone has ever been mean to me. 

Sometimes being mean to myself is the only thing that allows me to go on living for another couple of hours, or day or weeks. I beat up on myself. I cut. I starve myself. I self-medicate with little thought to the consequences. Those are all ways of being mean to myself, and I do them more then I’d like to. But, by trying to not be mean to other folks, I’ve slowly been learning how not to be mean to myself. 


What if just being who you are is hurtful to someone else?

Oh pleaseI’ve heard this one far too frequently: “If I come out as (fill in the blank), it will really hurt my (parents, friends, siblings, team, etc.).

Sometimes the very action or identity that can make our lives more worth living can seem hurtful to someone else. THAT’S NOT YOU BEING MEAN.

It is NEVER mean to follow the kind joy that lives in your heart. NEVER. If someone can’t handle the fact that you’re quirky by their standards, it’s on them. 

And lastly, this question has come up more and more:

What if God just plain loves you… so you're not going to Hell?

Then you are a very lovely and lucky person indeed, and your God is super!

You can keep your Get Out of Hell Free card around for laughs.

Hope this helps.

Love & respect,


It Gets Better

It's been a terrible couple of weeks. Stories of LGBTQetc youth killing themselves have been hitting the web, it seems, every couple of days. It's been so intense that many, many people have begun talking about queer youth suicide. People have been railing about it, howling about it. Well bless everyone who's been doing that. And bless Dan Savage for starting up the It Gets Better Project on YouTube. This is my contribution to that project. 



In my video, I promise folks that they can come to this blog and get yourself a Get Out of Hell Free card. Well, click here to get your card. You can print it out and carry it around with you. Heck, you can even make copies and hand 'em out to your friends. 

Here's how it works: you do whatever it takes to make your life more worth living. Anything. Anything at all. It can be immoral, unethical, or illegal (can't help you if you get caught on the illegal stuff). It can even be self-destructive. I often do self-destructive things because it seems to me—when I'm really down in the depths—that only the self-destructive stuff is gonna make life more worth living. 

So… you do anything it takes—anything at all—to make your life more worth living. There's only one rule that makes that sort of blanket permission work: Don't be mean. That's the only rule you ever need to follow to make sure that your life is gonna get better.

If you're not mean, you can do anything it takes to make your life more worth living. And if you get sent to Hell for doing something that wasn't mean to someone? Hang on to the card. Give it to Satan. I'll do your time for you. Yep. I told Satan I'd do that, and Satan agreed that'd be a fun thing to do for all of us. 

It takes true courage to follow your outlaw identities and desires in the world. Doing that nearly always ends you up with less worldly power. But I promise: you can always do something to make your life better every single day of your freaky geeky life. 

Go do that, right now. Please.

kiss kiss

Your Auntie Kate

Restrictions? We’re too damn pretty for restrictions!

Femme2010_webillo I've just returned home to New York City from this year's Femme Conference in Oakland, California. The theme was "No Restrictions." My head is still dizzy and swirling. I met wonderful people, connected with many dear friends, and found myself a whole new set of dangerous dreams and damned desires to consider. 

I didn't finish writing the address until the night before I delivered it to over 500 beautiful femmes, and those who love and celebrate us. I was scribbling notes on my notes until half an hour before I stood up. I told my twibe on Twitter that I'd make a copy of the text available for download, so I've integrated all the versions, and here it is in PDF format: Download KB_keynote_Femme2010

Okay, it's late, Mercury is in retrograde, I'm exhausted and exhilarated and I'm missing my femme family. I hope you enjoy the keynote address and that it helps make life more worth living for ya.

kiss kiss, yer everlovin' Auntie Kate

Open Letter to LGBT Leaders Who Are Pushing Marriage Equality

To the leaders, membership, and supporters of The Human Rights Campaign, The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and state-wide groups supporting marriage equality as your primary goal,

Hello. I'm Kate Bornstein, and I've got a great deal to say to you, so you deserve to know more about me: I write books about postmodern gender theory and alternatives to suicide for teens, freaks and other outlaws. I'm a feminist, a Taoist, a sadomasochist, a femme, a nerd, a transperson, a Jew, and a tattooed lady. I'm a certified Post Traumatic Stress Disorder survivor. I'm a chronic over-eater who's been diagnosed with anorexia. I'm sober, but I'm not always clean. I've got piercings in body parts I wasn't born with. I'm also an elder in the community you claim to represent, and it is with great sorrow that I must write: you have not been representing us.  



Let's talk about a love that unites more people than have ever before been united by love. Let's defend some real equality.

The other day, New York State's lesbian and gay bid for marriage equality went down in flames, enough flames to make people cry. Thousands of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people and their allies spent a lot of money and heart-filled hours of work to legalize marriage equality, with little to show for it. That sucks, and I think the reason it didn't work is it's because marriage equality is an incorrect priority for the LGBTQetc communities. 

Marriage equality—as it's being pushed for now—is wasting resources that would be better deployed to save some lives. There are several major flaws with marriage equality as a priority for our people:


  1. Marriage as it's practiced in the USA is unconstitutional… if you listen to Thomas Jerfferson's interpretation of separation of church and state. The way it stands now, if you're an ordained leader in a recognized religion, the US government gives you a package of 1500-1700 civil rights that only you can hand out to people. And you get to bestow or withhold these civil rights from any American citizen you choose, regardless of that citizen's constitutionally-granted rights. The government has no constitutional right to hand that judgment call over to a religious body.
  2. Marriage equality—as it's being fought for now by lesbian and gay leaders who claim they're speaking for some majority of LGBTQetc people—will wind up being more marriage inequality. Single parents, many of whom are women of color, will not get the 1500-1700 rights they need to better and more easily raise their children. Nor will many other households made up of any combination of people who love each other and their children.
  3. When lesbian and gay community leaders whip up the community to fight for the right to marry, it's a further expression of America's institutionalized greed in that it benefits only its demographic constituency. There's no reaching out beyond sexuality and gender expression to benefit people who aren't just like us, and honestly… that is so 20th Century identity politics.
  4. Marriage is a privileging institution. It has privileged, and continues to privilege people along lines of not only religion, sexuality and gender, but also along the oppressive vectors of race, class, age, looks, ability, citizenship, family status, and language. Seeking to grab oneself a piece of the marriage-rights pie does little if anything at all for the oppression caused by the institution of marriage itself to many more people than sex and gender outlaws.
  5. The fight for "marriage equality" is simply not the highest priority for a movement based in sexuality and gender. By simple triage, the most widespread criminality against people whose identities are based in sex and gender is violence against women. Women still make up the single-most oppressed identity in the world, followed closely by kids who are determined to be freaky for any reason whatsoever.

Lesbian and gay leaders must cease being self-obssessed and take into account the very real damage that's perpetrated on people who are more than simply lesbian women and/or gay men, more than bisexual or transgender even. Assuming a good-hearted but misplaced motivation for all the work done on behalf of fighting for marriage equality, it's time to stop fighting on that front as a first priority of the LGBTQetc movement. It's time to do some triage and base our priorities on a) who needs the most help and b) what battlefront will bring us the most allies. 

I'm asking that you to fight on behalf of change for someone besides yourself. Please. I promise the rewards of doing that will revisit you threefold. Who needs the most help is easy: women. To lesbian and gay leaders, I ask you to ally yourselves with the centuries-old feminist movements and their current incarnations. You want to get a bill passed through Congress? Take another run at the Equal Rights Amendment. Unlike gay marriage, the ERA stands a better chance of making it into law, given the Obama Administration and our loosely Democratic majority in congress. 

Stopping the violence against women and freaky children, and backing another run at the ERA have got the good chance of creating national front, lots of allies. On the home front of sex and gender, there's plenty of room for change that doesn't require millions of dollars and thousands of hours.

Looking into the community of people who base their lives on sexuality and gender, there's a lot of door-opening to do. Beyond L, G, B and T, there's also Q for queer and Q for questioning. There's an S for sadomasochists, an I for intersex, an F for feminists, and another F for furries. Our community is additionally composed of sex educators, sex workers, adult entertainers, pornographers, men who have sex with men, women who have sex with women, and asexuals who have sex in whatever manner they define their asexuality. You want to create some real change? Make room for genderqueers, polyamorists, radical faeries, butches, femmes, drag queens, drag king, and other dragfuck royalty too fabulous to describe in this short letter. 

There are more and more people to add to this ever-growing list of communities whom you must own as family and represent in your activism. You cannot afford—politically, economically, or morally—to leave out a single person who bases a large part of their identity on being sex positive or in any way a proponent of gender anarchy.

That's what I have to say to you. That and thank you for the good hearts you've clearly demonstrated in your activism. I'm asking you to open your hearts further is all. 

You're welcome to leave comments on this blog, but the best way to engage me in a conversation or recruit me to help is to contact me through Twitter. I look forward to talking with you, and I hope we can work together on the terms I've outlined above.

Warmly, and with respect,

Your Auntie Kate 

What’s Important To Know About People In Your Life?

New peeps  I sent this tweet out this morning:

Twibe: What r some of the most important things u want 2 know abt a new person in yr life? (whether a love/sex interest or not). 

By day's end I got a whole slew of answers and I think they're important enough to share with you.

kiss kiss


@danseparc:  I want to know zir dreams, zir view of the world, zir passions, zir joys, and zir sorrows. What inspires zir to DO-FEEL-LOVE.

@queerfatfemme:  Their reputation for being an ethical member of our community. Have been burned in life & love by people w/ a scorched path.

@whateversusan:  I'd want to know what a person loves, I think… and what they remember. But I'm so bad with people, I don't know

@eugenetapdance:  I need to know that they're kind and that they don't believe in being willfully ignorant.

@gnesbitt:  i would want to know how open-minded they are, and whether they have a positive attitude about the world in general

@Wylddelirium:  That they have a hungry sense of curiosity, a drive for adventure, a developed sense of ethics, and is kind to most.

@AmalgamGlass:  are they honest with me & themselves.

@glitterbomber:  I want to know if they act more out of compassion than anger cause that's the soof person for me.

@Mollena:  I need to know that 1) they are compassionate 2 …they can listen, and *hear* me. 3) …they love red velvet cake.

@AliceSinAerie:  I want to know if they have a sense of humor, integrity & what they enjoy in life

@scoutout:  Whadda I wanna know bout nu person? Do people I respect respect them? (aka are they changing the world?) If so, cool.

@steph_infection:  Can I trust them? (And that's not always easy to figure out, sadly.)

@lilithvf1998:  I'd want to know how they perceive the world and what makes them feel alive. People are boring outside of these nuances. 🙂

@adamfishpoet:  it's old-fashioned, I know, but I always like to make sure they're not armed. srsly, I always check that ppl are smart & have a sense of humour. 

@kwalsham:  I'm with @firefaunx – how they react to/treat those society deems inferior

@jaymgates:  I want to know if they are willing to take their life into their own hands and make their own dreams come true.

@sandykidd:  Do they read for pleasure? I can connect with almost everyone who loves to read. Bonus question: Love science? Lol

@LuciaBlowPop:  the more i know the better in almost every circumstance

@ammre:  what is important to them. That shows where their motivation in life is

@polerin:  If they laugh, and if I'll have too keep my mouth shut (about social/political issues)

@NJrugger45:  want to know are they compassionate, do they care abt social justice, what do they read, who do they call family?

@firefaunx:  how they treat animals and old people, mostly.

@SheIsAnarchy003:  i want to know their level of tolerance, meaning i can be tough to love sometimes and i need to know if they are patient. i also need to know what their police record looks like..haha

@nikolasco: Favorite board games. Seriously.

Has Germaine Greer Become A Ghastly Parody?

GermaineGreer_cJonathanRing  I’m feeling pretty damned good about ground gained in western culture by transgender people. I was there at the beginning of this loosely-knit yet somehow united movement, and things are a whole lot better for trans people today in Western culture than they ever have been.

There are many people who are claiming and living lives far beyond man or woman. There are many people who live fluidly gendered lives.  There are many people who know the dangers of gender when it plays itself out as an unconscious social binary. 

It’s not Mission Accomplished, not by a long shot. But talented trans people are scaling the walls of political power and artistic genius. There are deeply compassionate trans people who are religious scholars and clergy. Transdora's box is wide open and we're never going back. I am tranny, hear me frakking ROAR! 

And then along comes Germaine Greer—genuine warhorse and goddess of feminism—on 20 August, 2009 with an Op-Ed piece in The Guardian she calls Caster Semenya sex row: What makes a woman? In this new piece, Ms. Greer refers to transwomen—me and my brave sisters and mothers and daughters—as “ghastly parodies” of women. 

I’m not going to talk about Caster Semenya’s dilemma beyond saying that she’s being treated with intolerable rudeness and disrespect by the media. It’s the same savagely uncaring journalistic strategy used against Dr. Renée Richards when she was so rudely outed to the world in the 1970s and 1980s.

Yes, yes. Ouch. It hurts to be called a ghastly parody. And that kind of talk feeds transphobia across the world. So, shame on The Guardian for printing these hateful words. But who is Ms. Greer to be hurling these invectives, and why? Greer is no one to dismiss as an idiot or complete jerk. Through her relentless work, Ms. Greer has raised the volume of women’s voices in the world. She got people around the world to start taking women more seriously. 

And here's the problem: all the time she was doing that great social activism, Greer believes to the core of her being that woman is an essential identity. The gender battleground on which Germaine Greer fought and learned her political strategies was gender-as-man-and-woman-only. On that battlefield, it's easy to attack transgender people as freaks.

The good news is that Germaine Greer's transphobia is more the exception among todays scholars, artists and activists. They work as tirelessly as Greer herself on issues of gender rights, freedoms, parameters, and dignity. Postmodern gender theory has been taught in colleges and universities around the world for over fifteen years. It's over-spilling the walls of academia. The battlefield/playground has shifted. Nothing is essential any more. 

Germaine Greer's tragedy is that she has not considered as even possible the theory of gender fluidity. For her kind of activism to work, MAN and WOMAN can and must be essential as well as easy to tell apart from each other. Greer is a fierce warrior, but to nail down the gender binary, she concludes her op-ed piece by saying,

“People who don't ovulate or menstruate will probably always physically outperform people who do.” 

Ms. Greer is claiming that biology is, in fact destiny.

The price of being a writer of vitriol is that it reveals your most private fears, which you've penned in the form of an attack on someone else. And sadly, that makes Ms. Greer a ghastly parody of herself. What she wrote was painful and destructive. But the loss of her fierce presence on the front lines of feminism is more to be mourned than scorned.

And the point of all this is to assure you: it really has gotten a lot better for transgender people. There's a long, long way to go. But it's much, much better. I promise.

Kiss kiss,

Your Ever-Loving Kate