Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us
Part coming-of-age story, part mind-altering manifesto on gender and sexuality, coming directly to you from the life experiences of a transsexual woman, Gender Outlaw breaks all the rules and leaves the reader forever changed. Gender has been described as the battleground for the 90s. As we watch the emergence of "gender-bending" in popular multure--Madonna and Aerosmith, RuPaul and Paris is Burning, drag kings and queens--the lines are being drawn and sides taken up. Between those who hold the Maginot line of a bipolar system of men and women, and those who would elide gender into pure identity, stands Kate Bornstein, with a unique, funny and lucid voice above the fray. Gender Outlaw is the work of a woman who has been through some changes--a former heteroseuxal male, a one-time Scientologist and IBM salesperson, now a lesbian woman writer and actress who makes regular rounds on the TV (so to speak) talk shows. In her book, Bornstein covers the "mechanics" of her surgery, everything you've always wanted to know about gender (but were too confused to ask,) addresses the place and politics of the transgendered and intterogates the questions of those who give the subject little thought, creating questions of her own. She takes on various communities: gay, lesbian, straight, S/M and transgender, along with the "society at large," and in her witty, incisive observations offers the foundation of a radical new politics of sexuality and gender. Gender Outlaw also includes Bornstein's play, Hidden: A Gender, which she has performed to audiences across the country. As the literal manifestation of the performativity of gender, the play stands as a convergence of life, art and politics at the crossroads of a cultural zeitgeist. Gender Outlaw is an ideal response to the belief that everyone talks about gender, but no one does anything about it. Kate Bornstein has taken (dramatic) steps, and invites the reader along for the trip. 26 black-and-white illustrations. 272 pages.