Up to Date with Auntie Kate, January 2016

Dear fabulous you,

I’ve been pretty quiet on social media for some time now, and I’ve so much news to tell!!

First off, I’m alive and well. And three years ago I wasn’t sure I’d make it to see 2016. But after two rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, I’m cancer-free now for just over two years! That’s two more years of life than I thought I was going to have. So, huge thank you’s to the thousands of people who contributed to my healthcare crowdsourcing campaign, back in 2012.

In gratitude, I’ve aimed to make this extra alive-time of mine count by focusing on 1) fun things to do that 2) help put an end to suffering for all sentient beings. Here’s what I've got cooking: 

  • A brand-new edition of my first book, Gender Outlaw
  • My first-ever theatrical tour of England
  • My first-ever day-long gender workshop
  • AND I’m gonna reveal some details of my recent secret adventures

I’ll be posting more about all of this over the next couple of days—please come back to see!

big love to you, deep respect for you, and a happy new year to all of us

Auntie Kate

Kate Bornstein Tour — Winter/Spring 2015

Hiya. I'm SO PLEASED that I'm well enough for another round of tours.  Winter is almost fully booked, and my agent and I are still working on spring. If you see that I've got a free day in or around your area, and you'd like to book me for a performance, lecture, or workshop, please contact Jean Caiani through her website at SpeakOut. 

I'll update this page from time to time with new gigs, confirmations on dates currently being held, and/or specifics as I receive them. Please do let me know if you'd like to explore bringing me to see you in April or May. xoxo Auntie

————————— 

Friday, Feb 6: New York City, Athena Film Festival 2015 at Barnard College. Screening of "Kate Bornstein Is A Queer and Pleasant Danger." Audience talkback along with director, Sam Feder.

Saturday-Sunday, Feb 7-8 New York City: Gender Reel Film Festival at NYU. Screening of "Kate Bornstein Is A Queer and Pleasant Danger." Audience talkback along with director, Sam Feder. 

Saturday, Feb 21: San Francisco, CA, UCSF, where I keynote UCSF's  7th Annual LGBTQI Health Forum.

Monday, Feb 23: Portland, OR: My delightful day off with Anna Rigles, who made the following Oregon leg of my tour happen!

Tuesday, Feb 24: Portland, OR: Portland State University

Wednesday, Feb 25: Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University

Wednesday, Mar 4: Los Angeles, CA: Hammer Museum. Screening of "Kate Bornstein Is A Queer and Pleasant Danger," as part of the Brian Weil Exhibit. Audience talkback along with director, Sam Feder. Free to all who want to attend.

Thursday, Mar 5: Claremont, CA: Pitzer College.  Screening of "Kate Bornstein Is A Queer and Pleasant Danger." Audience talkback along with director, Sam Feder.

Thursday, Mar 12: Columbus OH, Ohio State University. Screening of "Kate Bornstein Is A Queer and Pleasant Danger." Audience talkback along with director, Sam Feder.

Sunday, Mar 15: Somewhere. My Birthday!

Monday, Mar 16: Somewhere. Barbara Carrellas' Birthday, AND Alex Gibney documentary film, "Going Clear," premiers on HBO. Pass the popcorn!

Sunday, Mar 22: Pittsburgh, PA, Carnegie Melon University. I keynote the 2015 MOSAIC Conference on Gender, with the theme "Deconstructing Gender: Beyond the Binary."

Wednesday, Mar 25: North Adams, MA, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

Tuesday, Mar 31: Ewing, NJ, The College of New Jersey. Screening of "Kate Bornstein Is A Queer and Pleasant Danger." Audience talkback along with director, Sam Feder.

Thursday, Apr 2: University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh

Thursday, Apr 9: San Jose, CA IMsL 2015

Friday, Apr 10: Palo Alto, HOLDING THIS DATE FOR CA, Stanford University

Saturday, Sunday, Apr 11-12: San Jose, CA. Barbara Carrellas and I are attending IMsL 2015. Plans are in the works for an onstage interview with one or both of us. Admission for paid attendees only.

Tuesday, April 28: New York City, Bluestocking Books, I'm reading at the New York City launch of Changers Book  2, By: T Cooper and Allison Glock-Cooper. I love these books. Look at how much time you have to read (or reread) Book 1! 

Thursday, May 21, London, UK: Hackney AtticMe, Onstage in Conversation with my long time friend and colleague, Roz Kaveny.

On the Road Again!

I’m delighted to write that my lung cancer continues to be officially in remission. What's more, my leukemia has dropped back down to Stage 0. So, here I go… heading back out on the road for a fall touring season. It’s been nearly two years since I was last out and about on a series of tours, performing, giving talks, facilitating workshops, and meeting with students and faculty.

Now, I’m still recovering from those years of surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, so my doctors, girlfriend, and touring agent have all laid down the law as to what I can do and what I mustn’t do. Used to be I could do a classroom appearance, a lecture, a workshop or a performance, a book signing, and meals with students and faculty—all in one day! I’d love to be able to continue with that kind of pace, but I haven’t yet built up enough energy and strength. So, I’m limiting myself to two of those events a day. What’s more, it used to be that I could live on fast food and Diet Pepsi. Now, I eat fresh veggies and fish. No sugar, gluten, or dairy. Lots of water. My presenters for this round of touring are making sure I eat well, and they’ve all built down time into my schedule.

I’m betting on a long-lasting remission, and ever-increasing health, energy and stamina. With all that in mind, I’m currently booking my winter/spring tour schedule. If you want to bring me to your town, please drop me a line at katebornstein at earthlink dot net. Any correspondence sent to this address for any reason other than booking tours, will not be answered. Twitter is still the best way to reach me for any personal reason. I hope to be tweeting updates from the road, as well as posting photos to Instagram. My account name at both Twitter and Instagram is @katebornstein. 

So, here I go! If you can, please catch up with me at one of the following stops.

October 20: New Orleans, LA. Tulane University
October 22: Radnor, PA. Cabrini College, National Body Image Conference
October 27: LaCrosse, WI. U Wisconsin LaCrosse
October 28: Waukesha, WI. U Wisconsin Waukesha
October 29: Madison, WI. U Wisconsin Madison
October 30: Milwaukee, WI. U Wisconsin Milwaukee
November 8: Chicago, IL. U Chicago, conference “Transgender In the Academy and In the Arts”
November 20: Bristol, RI. Roger Williams College, Transgender Day of Remembrance

kiss kiss,

Auntie Kate

GenderFluid, a Weeklong NYC Festival of Performance, Film, and Art

Laverne Cox, Holly Woodlawn, Kate Bornstein & more headline

GENDERFLUID

September 9 – 13 at Baruch Performing Arts Center 

———————————–

PRESS RELEASE

Baruch Performing Arts Center presents GenderFluid, a weeklong festival of performance, film, and art by transgender and genderfluid artists, Sept. 9-14. Featured performers include Emmy-nominated Orange is the New Black star Laverne Cox, performance artist and Gender Outlaw author Kate Bornstein, Andy Warhol superstar Holly Woodlawn, stand-up comedian Ian Harvie, and more. Baruch Performing Arts Center is located at 55 Lexington Avenue (entrance on 25th Street).

Tickets are available at the box office, online at www.baruch.cuny.edu/bpacor by phone at 212-352-3101.

Tuesday, September 9 – Laverne Cox and M. Lamar

Actor and activist Laverne Cox is one of the most well-known transgender women in the country, with a Time Magazine cover, an Emmy nomination, and numerous national television interviews to her credit. She is joined by her twin brother, artist M. Lamar, as they discuss growing up in Alabama, their growing realization of the paths their lives would take, their family, and their careers today. M. Lamar's solo art exhibition Negrogothic is at Participant Sept. 7-October 12; he also played Cox's character pre-transition on Orange is the New Black. This is the first speaking engagement Cox and Lamar have done together. 8PM; Mason Hall, 17 Lexington Avenue. $20; $100 VIP tickets include preferred seating and a backstage photo op with Cox and Lamar. Tickets: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/938829

Wednesday, September 10 – Gabrielle LeRoux and Victor Mukasa

South African artist Gabrielle LeRoux travels throughout Africa photographing transgender individuals. She will show short films she has created about them, as well as many of her photographs, and is joined by Ugandan gender activist Victor Mukasa to discuss the state of transgender issues in Africa. 7:30 PM; Engelman Hall, Baruch Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Avenue (enter on 25th Street). Free.

Wednesday, September 10 – Andy Warhol: Celebrating the Famous and the Unknown

Baruch's Sidney Mishkin Gallery opens this exhibition of photographs and silkscreen prints by Warhol — including many of his genderfluid friends. 5 PM; Sidney Mishkin Gallery, 135 East 22nd Street at Lexington, 646-660-6652.  Free.

Thursday, September 11 – Passing Ellenville

A screening of the short documentary Passing Ellenville, which looks at the lives of James and Ashlee, two transgender teens living in a small, impoverished town in the Hudson Valley. Followed by a talkback with the filmmaker Gene Fischer. 7 PM; Engelman Hall, Baruch Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Avenue (enter on 25th Street). Free.

Thursday, September 11 – Busted! The Musical

Bianca Leigh stars in this funny and moving autobiographical one-woman show about her decision to fund her gender reassignment surgery by working as a dominatrix – a decision that led her to Riker's Island. Original songs by Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q), Taylor Mac, and other theatre notables. Directed by Tim Cusack and presented by Theatre Askew. 8 PM; Engelman Hall, Baruch Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Avenue (enter on 25th Street). $20 ($15 students and seniors) Tickets: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/938455

Friday, September 12 – Kate Bornstein: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us

Kate Bornstein is the original gender outlaw, and this is an evening of her favorite autobiographical spoken word pieces—her most personal stories, her favorite comic and dramatic monologues from over a quarter of a century on the stage with this material. With great love and tenderness, Kate gently guides audiences through a moving, rollicking, and ultimately uplifting journey through sex and gender beyond the binary of men-and-women-only. 8 PM; Nagelberg Theatre, Baruch Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Avenue (enter on 25th Street). $30 ($20 students and seniors); $60 VIP tickets include preferred seating and a backstage photo op. Tickets: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/938556

Saturday, September 13 – Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Hedwig was willing to undergo a sex change to marry the soldier she loves and escape Communist East Germany – but things didn't quite go as planned. A screening of the rock musical film starring John Cameron Mitchell (the play is currently running on Broadway). 6 PM; Engelman Hall, Baruch Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Avenue (enter on 25th Street). Free.

Saturday, September 13 – An Evening with Holly Woodlawn

Film Director Paul Morrissey will introduce Warhol superstar Holly Woodlawn. Holly will be interviewed onstage by Michael Musto about her life and career, and share rare clips from her own collection of her films, TV appearances, and live stage appearances. She'll also perform a few songs live, including the classic "Walk on the Wild Side" – which Lou Reed wrote about HER. A rare evening with a legend.
8 PM; Nagelberg Theatre, Baruch Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Avenue (enter on 25th Street). $25. ($20 students and seniors); $50 VIP tickets include preferred seating and a backstage photo op. Tickets: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/938557

Saturday, September 13 – Ian Harvie: Superhero

You may know Ian Harvie as Margaret Cho’s opening act, a cross-country headliner or a groundbreaking trans comedian unafraid to joke about subjects no other comedian has ever touched. Harvie is hilarious, poking fun at topics from top surgery, to his fear of public restrooms, to his active sex life. Harvie’s unique act queers the traditionally macho, sex-obsessed world of stand up in ways you won't believe, proving that laughter cuts across all gender identities and ultimately unites us all. You can see him co-starring on the new TV series Transparent on Amazon, out at the end of September. 9:30 PM; Nagelberg Theatre, Baruch Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Avenue (enter on 25th Street). $20. ($15 students and seniors). Tickets: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/938464

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Baruch Performing Arts Center is celebrating its tenth anniversary this fall. With four separate theatres, BPAC presents a full slate of theatre, music, dance, lectures, films, and panels throughout the year. Located on the Baruch College Campus, BPAC is under the aegis of the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences. The Weissman School celebrates its fifteenth anniversary this fall.

 

Lambda Literary Pioneer Award Talks, 2014

First, here's a video (shot by audience member, Jim Fouratt) of Barbara Carrellas presenting & Kate Bornstein accepting the 2014 Lambda Literary Award. The text of both their remarks follows.

 

Barbara Carrellas Remarks,
Presenting Lambda Literary Pioneer Award to Kate Bornstein

Imagine with me, please. Imagine a place that is not here and a time that is before now. Imagine a gathering of ancient bodiless souls, all drinking tea and deciding the social priorities for the 20th Century. One gay soul suddenly turns serious. “I am calling for us as a soul group to congregate in the United States in the mid-20th century. Our time on earth will be short. Almost all of us will have died of a plague they will call AIDS before the millennium. Our task? To love and care and fight for each other so fiercely, to become so strong and so visible, that gay men and lesbians in a large portion of the world will have equal rights shortly after our deaths.

     There are gasps of awe and enthusiastic shouts of agreement. “Count me in! Me, too! Me, three!” When the cacophony dies down, one lone, lovely creature speaks “That is wonderful but, it’s not enough. What about everyone who doesn’t fit into the binary of gay or lesbian? Or man or woman? What about every sexual outlaw and freak of gender? Who’s gonna fight for their rights?”

     The thoughtful soul who had proposed AIDS to the group, says, “You’re right. But I don’t see how we can do it all in one go.” “Ah, but I do,” says the lovely one. “I’ll go down with you, but I’ll take another path while you take on AIDS. By the time you’ve finished, I’ll be ready. I need the time, anyway. I have research to do. I’ve been thinking that most of earth’s problems are caused by gender. Gender on earth operates like a evil cult. I need time to explore the nature of cults. I heard yesterday that someone is creating a new cult. I think they are calling it Scientology. I think I’ll check it out.”

     The lovely loner was not alone for long. Many in the AIDS soul group were so taken with the Gender Project that they volunteered to jump back into new bodies right after their AIDS lifetimes. “Wait for us! We’ll be back to join you. You’ll recognize us. We’ll be the cute ones with great haircuts, unrecognizable gender presentations, and creative pronouns. But we’ll need to be caught up to speed quickly. Write us some books we can read while we’re growing up. Books that will help us keep ourselves safe and prepare us to fight for the new gender revolution.”

     And thus it was decided. 

     Albert Bornstein was born in 1948. He joined the Church of Scientology in 1970, and learned cults from the inside for 12 years. In 1986, Kate Bornstein was born.

     If you ask the question, as I recently did on Facebook and Twitter, “What does Kate Bornstein mean to you?” the overwhelmingly most popular answer is, “Kate Bornstein saved my life.” 

     As writers, we have all collectively and individually inspired lots of people. We’ve changed more than a few lives with the power of our words. But how many of us can say that our writing has saved thousands of lives? 

     It is my fiercest pleasure to present the Lambda Literary Foundation’s Pioneer Award to my beloved partner in life, love and art, Kate Bornstein.

*****

Kate Bornstein Pioneer Award Remarks, Lambda Literary 2014

Thank you Lambda Literary, for this wonderful moment of recognition. You are perfect dears to be doing this for me. 

OK—thank you to so many of you in this room. Last year—and again just over a month ago—over 3,000 people around the world joined together to raise more than $120,000 to help me get through cancer therapy, when I was too sick with side effects or recovering from surgeries, to go out on tour and earn my daily bread. What’s more—something I never thought would happen, but your gifts and well wishes completely crushed, once and for all, my low sense of self-esteem. You saved my life. You made me wanna stay alive. Bless your hearts.

Alright now-pioneering. Only a very few people do that solo. I sure didn’t. In the areas of gender identity and expression, I have many colleagues to thank—as well as writers I’ve followed, imitated, and stolen from. Their names will appear on my blog, but I do need to speak some names here, tonight. 

My path as a writer of books has been guided by remarkable publishing houses and editors: 

  • Serpent Tail Press, Amy Scholder & Ira Sliverberg —  
  • Routledge Press, Bill Germano — 
  • Seven Stories Press, Crystal Yackaki & Amy Scholder — 
  • T Cooper for Akashic Books, — 
  • Tristan Taormino for Cleis Press,— 
  • Seal Press, Brooke Warner — 
  • Beacon Press, Gayatri Patnaik— 
  • and Routledge Press again, Erica Wetter. 
  • Love and thanks Caitlin Sullivan, co-author of Nearly Roadkill. 
  • Love and thanks to S. Bear Bergman, outstanding co-editor of Lammy award winning Gender Outlaws the Next Generation. 
  • Thanks to my tour agent, Jean Caiani at SpeakOut. 
  • Thank you Gail Leondar-Wright, for the publicity that first ever got Gender Outlaw out into the world. 
  • I’m forever grateful to my literary agent—I love you, Malaga Baldi. 
  • My friend and mentor for over 40 years is John Emigh—he’s always pushed me into writing what’s most scary to write about.

Finally, the editor who has been looking at all my words for 17 years now is my bubu, my muse, and my dear imzadi, Barbara Carrellas. When we were both souls outside of time and space, and we were deciding our rebirths: what could we do to ease the suffering of queer people? Well, it was Barbara who decided to make it her life’s mission to pioneer ecstatic sex that wouldn’t spread the plague. Thank you, bubu. You’ve brought ecstasy into my life and into the lives of all my kids—and you’ve always been there as an emergency power source all those times when I was nearly a goner. Love you, Miss Barbara.

*******

We live in interesting times. For the first time since anything trans has come to public awareness on this planet, the face of transgender belongs to a woman of color, Laverne Cox. The literary face of trans belongs to a woman of color, Janet Mock. And the pop culture face of trans belongs to a tranny of color, RuPaul.

Interesting times, indeed. For the first time ever, there are three generations of sex-and-gender theorists, artists, and activists, all alive at the same time—each generation has its unique point of view, each with unique experiences and timeline. 

I’m asking that we three generations of sex and gender artists, activists, theorists, and spiritual leaders come together in a pioneer coalition that deals with race and class within our community—for starters. I want we three generations of LGBTQetc to welcome family living beyond those letters, for we are legion.

Our legion of identities has the common denominators of sexuality, sex, gender identity, and gender expression. But because we live in a culture founded by Puritans, it’s shameful to talk about sex and gender. Nevertheless, all of us are here tonight because of terrific sex and/or fabulous gender. Now, Puritanical sex-negativity shames us into invisibilizing our terrific sex and our fabulous genders. And sadly, institutionalized sex-negativity extends into our own community. We shame each other. We’re being mean to each other. We have got to stop shaming, and distancing ourselves from sissies, sex workers, BDSMers, pornographers, sluts, burlesque artists, trannies and drag queens. These are the funnest people in our family—shaming these people and distancing ourselves from them is mean. It’s a Puritanically-generated mix of misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia. I’m asking you as your old Auntie: please stop doing that. Someone, pioneer a queer community that doesn't eat its own… please. 

In this spirit of inclusivity, Dear Lambda Literary people, may I be so bold as to tickle your own fabulous pioneering spirit? Please, Lambda Lit, create award categories for sex education, queer Young Adult fiction, queer spirituality, and one more category for books written by people with sex and gender identities not yet expressed by LGBT.

OK, I’m wrapping up now. Here’s the deal: I’ve got lung cancer and leukemia. I know, I know I might be around for another 15 or 20 years, but just in case I’m not, I wanna say this now: Please, my darlings, all of you, take care of each other. Watch each other’s back. Stand up for each other. Please.

Now, go sissy your walk, children. Please, stay alive. Have good sex, have fun with gender, and write great stuff about that.

Auntie loves you. 

Kiss Kiss

Auntie Kate’s Bible Story & Prayer for Pride

Last night, I was asked to speak at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, my synagogue in New York City. I go there when I'm in need of solace or succor or someplace with peaceful family. Well, it's an LGBTQetc inclusive congregation, and each year they have a Pride Sabbath, and they invite a cool person who speaks to them about pride. This year they chose me.

Every week, on the Sabbath, a different part of the Jews' journey to freedom is read. I asked Rabbie Sharon Klenibaum (upon whom I am secretly crushed out) what portion of the Torah would be read that evening. She told me that every Pride Month Sabbath at CBST, the congregation hears the story of how Noah finally sets foot on dry land, right after a HUGE MOTHER-FUCKING FLOOD has wiped out humanity. But God promises never to drown humanity again. He didn't preclude other methods, but we are definitely NOT going to drown. God makes this covenant with Noah, and to seal the bargain, He gives Noah a rainbow.

My queer Jew people in New York City hear that story every year, and it always gives us goose-bumps, the rainbow part—God's presence as we step out of the closet and onto dry land. So, I was supposed to talk from the bimah for 10-15 minutes—about anything I wanted. I thought it best to stick to the scripture, so I told a midrash—that's a Jew version of a parable, and sometimes even a koan. A midrash is a person's re-telling of some part of the Torah. I wanted to stay on point, so I told a story that I think makes the rainbow an even more important synbol LGBTQetc Pride. Download KB CBST Pride Shabat 2012 I closed the evening with a prayer, and a lot of people have asked me to post it. So, here's my Pride Sabbath Prayer for you. Enjoy being proud. kiss kiss, Auntie Kate

——————

May all your deeds be mitzvahs.

May you find the fulfillment of your Desire in Sabbath.

May your power increase with every shred of power
you use in service to another.

May you realize the goodness in yourself
by admiring the goodness in others.

May yours be the face of your most cherished Deity.

May you come to respect yourself, whether or not
anyone else gives you the respect you wish for.

May you know your own worth to humanity 
whether or not anyone else knows this about you.

May you walk always beneath rainbows where you are met
with radical wonder and radical welcoming.

So say we all… Amen.


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!

WHY AN UPDATE?

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.

WHERE DO YOU COME IN?

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. 

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

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. 

SO—WHAT DO YOU WRITE ABOUT?

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.

HOW DO YOU SEND IN YOUR SUBMISSION?

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. 

ENOUGH ALREADY—HERE’S THE FIRST QUESTION

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

Kate 

 

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. 

About.com 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


 

A Theory of Othering Sex and Gender Outlaws

I'm going to keep this short and sweet, to keep myself from wandering off into Mobius strips of postmodern theory. I've been paying attention to some trans activists who are using the word cisgender. According to itvery own Wikipedia page:

"The word has its origin in the Latin-derived prefix cis, meaning "on the same side" as in the cis-trans distinction in chemistry. In this case, "cis" refers to the alignment of gender identity with assigned gender."

In my pants Who knew? Not me. I'd only begun to hear the word about a year ago but according to its own Wikipedia page, cisgender has been in use on the internet since 1994. So this is me trying to play catch up.

Here's what I've got worked out so far.

1) Cisgender/Transgender is a valid gender binary. I don't like the prefix cis, but that's my problem. A global binary exists that is worthy of examination for its impact on the quality of our lives.

2) Identifying people with fixed gender identities as sex partners is key to both the identities and desires of cisgender lesbians and gay men, as well as to heterosexual men and womenBisex, Polyamory, Asexuality, et al break cisgender rules of fixed desire. Trans, Genderqueer, Drag et al break cisgender rules of fixed identity.

3) To hold on to any power gained thru classimilation, middle class cisgender lesbians, gay men, and heterosexual men and women must defend their desires/identities as both correct & natural.

4) Cisgender people who are sex positive & gender embracing are more than allies, they're family. That's where the idea of any othering of trans by some monolithic cisgender identity ultimately falls apart.

5) Sex positivists and gender anarchists are simply too sexy for inclusion in any middle class arena, including the current "LGBT" movement whose agendas are set by mostly middle class cisgender lesbian women and gay men.

OK. That's as far as I've gotten. It has not been my intention to offend anyone. This is a theory in progress. I believe that no valid theory of identity, desire, or power can other a single sentient being. If you feel offended I was wrong. I'll do my best to right the wrong. I'm talking about this on Twitter so if you've got a comment please tweet me. I've got faster and more frequent access to Twitter than I have to this blog.  

Thanks & Kisses

K