Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “My Gender Workbook: How to Become a Real Man, a Real Woman, the Real You, or Something Else Entirely” as Want to Read:
My Gender Workbook: How to Become a Real Man, a Real Woman, the Real You, or Something Else Entirely
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

My Gender Workbook: How to Become a Real Man, a Real Woman, the Real You, or Something Else Entirely

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  1,279 ratings  ·  61 reviews
Kate Bornstein brings theory down to Earth and provides a practical guide to living with or without a gender. The workbook includes quizzes and exercises that determine how much of a man or woman you are, and gives you the tools to reach whatever point you desire on the gender continuum. If you don't think you are transgendered when you sit down to read this book, you will ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published December 18th 1997 by Routledge (first published 1997)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about My Gender Workbook, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about My Gender Workbook

Fun Home by Alison BechdelAnd the Band Played On by Randy ShiltsThe Mayor of Castro Street by Randy ShiltsOdd Girls and Twilight Lovers by Lillian FadermanThe Men with the Pink Triangle by Heinz Heger
Best Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Non-Fiction
24th out of 511 books — 230 voters
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret AtwoodThe Second Sex by Simone de BeauvoirA Room of One's Own by Virginia WoolfThe Bell Jar by Sylvia PlathJane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Best Feminist Books
279th out of 1,051 books — 1,253 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,478)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
A fairly charming tour through the world of no gender. This book is certainly not a complete or scholarly guide to ideas about gender, instead representing a single point of view told in a casual, magazine-like fashion, but it's rather pleasant point of view. Kate Bornstein, as she describes throughout the book, was born male and eventually transitioned to female and created an identity for herself as a transgender lesbian. Later one, her partner Catherine became David, isolating her from the le ...more
I'll start out this review by saying that this book would probably be a good book for someone who feels like they don't fit into either of the two traditional social genders. With that caveat, the book has some serious problems. Two in particular really stand out:

First, the theory of the book was awfully underdeveloped. The author's basic argument is:
1. Not everyone fits neatly into the traditional bi-polar gender theory. (or that the author didn't fit into it), therefore,
2. There is no such thi
Oct 30, 2007 Kelsey rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: feminist newbies
This is so accessible for people who have very limited knowledge of gender dynamics as well as what being genderqueer really means. This was one of the first books I purchased in my college career and it helped to open my eyes. I don't know that I recommend it for the seasoned gender studies student, but for someone exploring themselves and others this is a great, and humorous way to do so.
Danni Green
This was the first gender-related book I ever read, when I was about 18 and had absolutely no consciousness of anything outside the gender binary. It changed my life forever and it remains one of the most important books in my life. I re-read it every couple of years just to make sure it's still a part of me, and I get something new out of it every time. It's also a COMPLETELY different book from the updated "My New Gender Workbook" by the same author, and I highly recommend seeking out the orig ...more
Options: Male or Female
This question on demographic surveys has irritated me for as long as I can remember. Who cares? Why do you need to know? And shouldn't there be more options? How about, "Other"? Reluctantly I choose female. That is who I am biologically and what I look like. But my personality rarely matches the social expectations associated with that biology and appearance.

As a young child, I was very verbally advanced and never shy about expressing myself. I was also conside
This book was used as a text for a introductory course in Gender and Sexuality studies by a professor I was a teaching assistant for. I thought it was a great book that was highly accessible for students who were having their first ever experiences with gender studies and also for students who where more advanced in the field. It was thought provoking and fun to read which I think helped keep students engaged. It helped create some great discussion in tutorials.

Some students did seem to get conf
Jackson Radish
This is a great book for someone exploring their gender or trying to understand gender. I would definitely recommend it for teens.

One thing, though, I kind of think this book and Bornstein's other books create and support the narrative that cisgender folks use to justify their appropriation of trans identities. This really sucks and pretty much drives me crazy and sucks cause I do actually love Kate Bornstein--I just really hate the way that trans people's bodies and lives get used as a this exa
Dec 03, 2007 Jacken rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone...
Shelves: queer
Exellent introduction to questioning/exploring your own assumptions and ideas about gender (your own/in relation to others/in abstract).. ever so slightly annoying style (i spose i just prefer dry theory or rousing rhetoric to chatty friendlyness), and the theoretical analysis should be supplemented with other ideas, but that's made up for with loads of other goodness in the form of people explaining their own experiences on the margins of gender, and the Kate Bornstein's inclusion of bits of hi ...more
Kind of the worst excesses of 90s rad queer liberal-in-disguise culture. The absolute low point (besides a protracted and explicit account of Bornstein's online BDSM conversations) is a quiz she has where she shows you how privileged or not privileged you are essentially. Bornstein asserts here that bpq people and BDSM enthusiasts are more oppressed than lesbian or gay people. Also she says that people with penises are automatically privileged for having penises (not true! and reflecting interna ...more
Salome Wilde
A superb book of exercises and insights to challenge your gendered brain. Written with wit, insight, theoretical support and political zest, this book fuels rebellion in the best ways. Though a bit too repetitive and leading in places (let us come to our own conclusions), the zeal that inspired it remains a powerful force for degendering the world! Highly recommended, but perhaps wait for the next edition.
Amy P.
Let's make this clear, Kate Borenstein is a genius! I know this book should be informative on gender and the construction of gender, but I had a hard time staying engaged with this text. I'm sure if you're new to the whole world of gender this book is a great read. However, this book is fun, but not too serious of a read in my opinion.
My Gender Workbook is an excellent primer to understanding the fluidity of gender identity and expression. Filled with amusing, insightful anecdotes and activities, this book proves Bornstein's point of view over and over again: gender can be and is both complex and fun.
Was a while ago that I read this, but it was very interesting at the time. There was a lot of quite clear information and thought-provoking material. It's one of the few books about Genderqueer and Trans issues that presents a viable middle-ground.
This would be a rad book if I was just starting to think about gender, but I was a little bored reading it at this stage of my life. Hence, I am going to bring it to work for the kiddies to read. I hope they'll dig it.
C McDaniel
Gosh, seeing this brings back (pleasant) teaching memories.
I first encountered Kate Bornstein in Grad school (for the M.A.); I integrated several of the exercises in this "workbook"--it's a lot more than that--into the daily and participation components of both the Comp and Crit Thinking courses that I taught as a GTA and,then, as a new instructor. It's been updated, of course, but the original is still near and dear, as is much of the rest of Bornstein's work. Pick it up if you're new to this
a chatty, friendly guide to gender although alot of this was familiar to me, having attended a genderqueer/genderfuck-friendly women's university.
I've long considered myself "queer," but I'd never really consciously thought about or questioned my gender identity and presentation until I found myself in a long-term relationship with a genderqueer person. I picked up this book not only to better understand and support my partner at the time, but also to investigate my own gender identity and how I defined my personal "queerness" through my gender presentation and identity as well as through my romantic and sexual preferences. I worked dilig ...more
it's been a long time since i read this all the way through, but i always find myself misquoting these bits, so i thought i'd stick them here:

"I've always wanted to be included. I've always been tempted to settle myself into one identity and say "Hey, now I'm one of you, now can I spend time with you?" I like companionship. I like hanging out with folks. I just don't want to lock myself into an identity in order to do it, and what I've done is move on when I no longer have any room to shift and
Sassafras Lowrey
MUST READ for anyone exploring gender. I have my first copy of this books with my pencil marked answers to most of the books questions, and exercises. My Gender Workbook truly helped me to discover my own identities way back when I was first exploring gender transgression. When I taught at Portland State University I utilized this book in my course on genderqueer/transgender experience. A classic, must read, and such an important text for the queer/trans/genderqueer cannon
This book changed my life... twice. It is indeed a workbook, asking its reader for time, thought, writing, questioning and doing. I didn’t have to agree with Kate’s theory or politics to get something out of the experience. I only had to be willing to consider her many questions, and see where my own answers took me. And I absolutely adore that Kate is a warm, kind and loving guide on the journey.

(The above is my 2013 review, after reading cover to cover. I read the first half in Fall 2010 and w
Jaina Bee
Mar 19, 2010 Jaina Bee rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: humans
This is one of the most exciting, helpful, challenging, hilarious, moving, [insert enthusiastic adjective here:] books I've ever read of all time. Golly, I learned so much… about myself, the culture, humanity, and that Kate Bornstein is totally HOTTT. And smart.

Kate is able to wrangle big messy scary ideas, rumors, facts, experiences, gossip, and visions, percolate them in hir magnificent brain, then produce a written interpretation so clear and concise that you can't help but learn, be inspired
Really not into it to be honest, it bugged me because of the tone and some of the underlying assumptions in the questionnaire. In the end I only read to the end of the questionnaire, and skimmed through the rest and kept being met with stuff that just.... bugged me! The book just wasn't for me I guess. I have thought so extensively and stressfully and analytically about gender, and had my fair share of gender angst also, so for as much as I could find good theory I was also overwhelmed with unde ...more
"Autobiographical theory"! I love that! I love genre hybrids, as anybody who knows me and pays attention to what I read (which, probably, constitutes a crowd of 2, tops) knows that. Anyway, this book blew my mind when I was 18 and I highly suggest it for anybody but especially gender essentialist. I even got this for my mom years ago. Bornstein is an amazing mind - she went to Brown and clearly not in a legacy kind of way - and she makes theory not only digestible but thoroughly entertaining.
By mimicking the format of a self-help book for a twelve-step program, Bornstein slyly challenges society's binary assumptions about gender. Through a series of quizzes, assignments, testimonies, and her own personal story, Bornstein elaborates the metaphoric aspects of gender, linking them to situations, roles, and relationships. We're reading this in my GLBT Lit class before we read Virginia Woolf's Orlando--I think it sets up the fluidity of identity well.
I just couldn't find a reason to go on. Couldn't make any sense out of it. If anybody finds this book useful or even funny, they're welcome, I found it quite useless and mostly boring when not irritating.

I must add that I particularly appreciated other two titles from the same author on the same subject. Probably, as it is a workbook it's just that I already had absorbed and digested that part of the study course!
Borstein explains gender by metaphorically traveling with you to another continent of the gender concept completely, leaving you there, and daring you to attempt to find your way back to the way you originally conceptualized gender, if at all possible after the numerous stops and detours along the way. Make sense? Neither does most of her book. But it makes a good point in that gender is performative and dynamic.
Half way through this book my truth and hir truth became two valid but opposite truths. There was no reason to continue reading it. 'nuff said I fall into the binary system at the moment.

3 out of 5 because ze has hir opinion and isn't afraid to speak out. I like when someone is challenging me to think outside the box. But I probably will not buy new version because I come from somewhere else than ze.
Kate Bornstein will crack you wide open, take you on a wild journey of self-discovery through some taboo territories and you'll have a blast in the process. This book will dramatically deepen understanding of your personal gender identity. Great for both shy folks and those of us who are ready to let our freak flags fly.
micha cardenas
What I learned from this book, "you can do it."

I love kate bornstein, she's an amazing writer, an anarchist but not an overly ideological one and she's openly someone willing to experiment with being, to really experiment in the deepest sense of the word. She is a huge inspiration to me.

Kevin Coleman
Okay, I didn't really read all of it, but I didn't really need to read all of it, okay? I like the way it lays out the basics in the beginning, but the constant questionnaires were tiresome. It's a workbook, I get it. And I'm glad this books exists. A great book for beginner gender questioners!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 82 83 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Trans Liberation: Beyond Pink or Blue
  • GenderQueer: Voices From Beyond the Sexual Binary
  • Queer Theory, Gender Theory: An Instant Primer
  • PoMoSexuals: Challenging Assumptions About Gender and Sexuality
  • That's Revolting!: Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation
  • Sex Changes: The Politics of Transgenderism
  • Boys Like Her: Transfictions
  • Transgender History
  • Butch Is a Noun
  • Female Masculinity
  • Brazen Femme: Queering Femininity
  • From the Inside Out: Radical Gender Transformation, FTM and Beyond
  • Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality
  • Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness, and Liberation
  • Undoing Gender
  • She's Not the Man I Married: My Life with a Transgender Husband
  • Body Alchemy: Transsexual Portraits
  • Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity
Kate Bornstein is a Jewish-American author, playwright, performance artist, and gender theorist.
More about Kate Bornstein...
Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women and the Rest of Us Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation A Queer and Pleasant Danger: The True Story of a Nice Jewish Boy Who Joins the Church of Scientology and Leaves Twelve Years Later to Become the Lovely Lady She is Today Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks, and Other Outlaws My New Gender Workbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Achieving World Peace Through Gender Anarchy and Sex Positivity

Share This Book