Laurie's Reviews > Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation

Gender Outlaws by Kate Bornstein
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Feb 03, 11

Read in February, 2011

In 1995, Kate Bornstein wrote Gender Outlaw. It was a book about her own M to F transition, and a treatise on gender. It helped a lot of trans people get through their lives. Now, 15 years later, she and co-author/editor Bergman have produced a collection of essays, comics and poems, all from members of the trans community. While the average person thinks of the trans community as made up of drag queens and people who surgically and hormonally transition from one set of genitals to the other, it’s not nearly as cut and dried as that. This book proves something I’ve believed for many years- that gender is not binary but a continuum, and that a person need not always occupy the same spot on that continuum, that they can, if society allows, dance up and down the scale. But society usually doesn’t allow.

And that is one of the beauties of this book: it shows how members of the trans community have made their way through life; their problems, their solutions, the abuse they’ve endured, the joys and love they cherish. And it shows the incredible variety of genders that exist-a trans-man who gives birth, a ciswoman who performs as a drag queen, an intersex, people who do not consider themselves male or female and that general society has no pronouns for.

The problems that people in the trans community face are numerous, from getting medical care to legal standing to just using a public bathroom or going to the gym. I hope that this book gets a huge circulation and goes a long ways towards getting society to understand and accept trans people and make the changes that need to be made.
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