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

Still Transitioning After All These Years

Dear Heart,

It's been just over three months since my robotic lung surgery. Doc
removed the top third of my right lung. Last Thursday, I got the
results of a new PET CT.

The good news is they got all the lung cancer tumor. There's no cancer
growing in my lungs. The not so good news is that a couple of cancer
cells found their way into my lymphatic system, and they're spreading
out from the site of the original tumor, more quickly than any of the
docs are happy with. I'll be meeting with radiologists and oncologists
and naturopaths and psychics this week, and then I'll know more about
my treatment options.

Ever since my diagnosis back in September and surgery in October, I've
had to examine the very real possibility of the great big goodbye.
Every time I've looked hard at it, I've come up with the same
conclusion: I'd rather stay alive. To this day, that's still the truth of it.

I'm not saying that what I'm going through now is the great big final
cattle chute to the grave, but I need to treat it like it is—if only
for rehearsal's sake. All my life, I've been curious about Death to the
point of establishing a pretty good relationship with Her Ladyship.
Now, it's time to establish that kind of a relationship with Life. My
pal, Caitlin Sullivan, came up with that equation.

If you've read any of my books, you probably ran across one of my
favorite Zen koans:

    The way you do anything is the way you do everything.

In other words, I can look at everything I do in my life through the
lens of "this is just a rehearsal for everything else I have to do in
life." I look at gender that way. There's a meta in gender that can be
applied to other cultural binaries like race, age, class, and
citizenship, among others. I wonder how much of what I've learned in
postmodern gender theory will apply to the binary of life & death.

Whether I'm dying now or later isn't what's important. That I'm in the
middle of yet another transition is what's important. And it doesn't matter
whether or not I initiated this transition. What matters is how
conscious I am, as this transition is moving forward.

So… my thoughts and life focus are switching gears. Again. And since
you read my stuff, I thought it safe enough to tell you what's going on
with my cancer, the same way I've been telling you what's going on with
my gender. More of my focus might be on the binary of life-and-death.
Fair?

I'm not giving up or giving in. I'm going to see to it to the best of
my ability that the cancer is gone. I'm going to do the best I can to
carry on with life. That said, I'm booking touring engagements for this
winter, spring, and summer. My landlord needs his rent, and I tend to
feel most alive when I'm engaged with scholars, activists, and artists.
So… please do book me if you can. Here's a copy of my new catalogue:
Download KB Tours 2013-14 I thought about using the tag line,
"Bring Kate to Your Campus Before She Dies,"
but I decided against it. Heh.
I CAN tell you that I'm seriously considering writing a mini-memoir
about this time of my life. I've already got the title: Be Careful What
You Wish For: confessions of a failed suicide. Great, huh? OK… that's
enough for now. I'll post more when I know more. Meantime, I've got a
FaceBook page! Come visit! And thanks so much for sticking with me. I'm
grateful for your company on this journey of mine. 

kiss kiss

Auntie Kate




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.


A Queer and Pleasant Danger — any minute now!

QPDcoverMy memoir hits the shelves on Tuesday, May 1st, and I am SO DARNED EXCITED FOR YOU TO READ THIS BOOK! Before I sat down to write the first draft, I got myself a tattoo on the back of my left hand. It says "I must not tell lies." So, A Queer and Pleasant Danger is the truth of me. It's not theory or stagecraft, it's just me. The book is dedicated to my daughter and grandchildren—all of whom are currently members in good standing of the Church of Scientology. Since I've been excommunicated from that cult/religion, no one who's a Scientologist in good standing with the established church is allowed to speak with me.

So, that makes this book the biggest truth of me I've ever written—in hopes that my daughter and grandchildren may one day break free and have a look. But you can read it, too. If you're reading this blog, you're interested in me and/or my work, and for that I'm grateful. Well, this memoir will give you a better look at the roots of all my academic and political words. I hope it makes you laugh. And I 'm sorry—really I am—but parts of the story will likely make you cry. I try to make up for that with pages that leave you gasping out loud.

Thank you for reading me. You can buy the book NOW from from: your friendly local Independent Bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Powells.

kiss kiss,

Kate

Quotes

"A Queer and Pleasant Danger is a brave, funny, edgy, and enlightening new memoir. I loved it and learned from it. Kate Bornstein shares her fascinating journey—through gender, Scientology, and more—and it was a thrill to tag along on the ride. This book is unbelievably powerful and affecting. If Kate Bornstein didn't exist, we would have to invent her. But luckily for queers, straights, gender outlaws, and general readers, Bornstein is out and out there."

— Dan Savage, author, columnist, and architect of the "It Gets Better Project" 

“I read A Queer and Pleasant Danger over four nights in a bathtub and bed and was totally transported to Kate Bornstein’s world. Kate boldly lets us look under the hood of her own transformations as Jew, Scientologist, boy, girl, Buddhist and parent, leaving us with a richer understanding of the true identity underneath: human. A Queer and Pleasant Danger is a page turner, making sweet love to the paradoxes we all face."

— Amanda Palmer, musician and co-founder of The Dresden Dolls


"To me, Kate Bornstein is like a mythological figure or a historical literary character such as Orlando or Candide who, by illustrating her struggles, shows the rest of us how to live. This book is destined to become a classic."

— Mx Justin Vivian Bond, author of Tango: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heels 


"Kate Bornstein's journey from moon-eyed Scientologist to queer icon is harrowing, heartbreaking, and amazing. This narrative is surely not for the squeamish. And yet, in the story of a sea-dog named Al who became a trans goddess named Kate, we see the messy, unsettling, inspiring struggle of a lady trying—and at last succeeding—to let her own soul be known. Disturbing and wondrous."

Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of She's Not There and I'm Looking Through You 

—————–

So, it's exciting! And, one more time: you can buy the book NOW from from: your friendly local Independent Bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Powells.

Contact Beacon Press for a review copy, or to arrange an interview with YOU and ME! 

Seeking 101 Gender Outlaws

This blog is part of a series I'm writing while I'm updating the fifteen year old "My Gender Workbook" for Routledge Press. I'm asking for your voice to be included in the spiffy new version, because you are so much more than the first version of the book could have predicted. Every couple of days, I'll be posting a new question for you to ponder. If the question tickles your fancy, by all means please speak to it. For more about this update, check out the original blog. Thanks for your help.

In the original version of My Gender Workbook, I sent out a request for identities. I wanted to show the vast number of ways that people define their gendered lives. A lot of people wove their gender and sexuality identities together. Many included race, age, ability and class as more or less primary gender modifiers in their lives. Some gender outlaws broke rules of gender in simple yet profound ways.

You can take a look at the current list of 101 Gender Outlaws answering the question "Who am I" on pages 80 to 89 of My Gender Workbook. But there's no need to look at the list to describe yourself, right?

So now… how about yourself? Please write me a couple of sentences that describes how you break the rules of gender along with the influence of any number of the following factors:

race — age — class — religion — sexuality

humanity — looks — ability — mental health 

family/
reproductive status — language

habitat— citizenship—political ideology

These factors are in no particular order, and the list is by no means complete. But a lot of our gender is dependent on modifications from at least a couple of factors from this list. I'm calling them vectors of oppression or, more benignly, spaces of regulation. Each of these factors privileges us or limits us or regulates our lives. And each of these factors has a direct impact on our genders—making us gender outlaws. 

You DO NOT have to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer — there's LOTS of other ways to break dominant culture's rules of gender. Please tell me yours!

NEW EXPANDED SUBMISSION GUIDELINES FOR THIS QUESTION ONLY

Twitter is the very best way to answer. Response length is maximum 420 characters, THREE tweels maximum for this particular question. Your tweets do NOT have to be addressed to me, but DO remember to put the hashtag #MNGW on ALL your tweets about this or any other gender-y thing that might pop into your adorable li'l head. 

If you're so amazing and/or complex that it's going to take longer than three tweets, that's just fine. You can answer in the comments section of this blog, or you can email your answer to mynewgenderworkbook at gmail dot com. Please do try to keep it to a couple of sentence maximum. 

kiss kiss

Auntie Kate