Author(s): Kate Bornstein; S. Bear Bergman
In the 15 years since the release of Gender Outlaw, Kate Bornstein's groundbreaking challenge to gender ideology, transgender narratives have made their way from the margins to the mainstream and back again. Today's transgenders and other sex/gender radicals are writing a drastically new world into being. In Gender Outlaws, Bornstein, together with writer, raconteur, and theater artist S. Bear Bergman, collects and contextualizes the work of this generation's trans and genderqueer forward thinkers -- new voices from the stage, on the streets, in the workplace, in the bedroom, and on the pages and websites of the world's most respected mainstream news sources. Gender Outlaws includes essays, commentary, comic art, and conversations from a diverse group of trans-spectrum people who live and believe in barrier-breaking lives.
Fifteen years after Bornstein's groundbreaking Gender Outlaw, this follow-up collection presents the wide-ranging voices of a new generation of gender radicals. In thought-provoking essays, poems, and comics, contributors address the problematic nature of language and labels, which often force people into two categories; "People get upset with transgender people who choose to inhabit a third gender space rather than 'pick a side.'" A lack of acknowledgment of alternate gender labels in public spaces such as restrooms, and on official documentation highlights this issue on a daily basis. Lypsinka, Ryka Aoki, Katie Diamond and Johnny Blazes and other contributors reveal how far we've come in defining ourselves, and some, like Janet Hardy, resist definition entirely: "I am perfectly comfortable... not choosing a fixed identity location." Self-assuredness and self-acceptance exude from these deeply personal writings ("Let's stop trying to deconstruct gender into nonexistence, and instead start celebrating it as inexplicable, varied, profound, and intricate"). Non-Western perspectives, including a description of a ritual for Maasai women who can't reproduce, broaden the concept of "gender outlaw" and further challenge accepted notions of what is normal. -- Publishers Weekly