Friday, November 12, 2010

Book Review: Gender Outlaw

By Kate Bornstein

I bought this book a couple of weeks ago and have picked it up to read it twice... I just can't seem to get into it. I think maybe it is the way it is written, it is almost like a book with interruptions... Anyway, I include it here primarily because it is a transgender related book and I have heard good things about it. Maybe I'll try again soon but for now I have other books to read.

Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women and the Rest of Us


Teagan said...

I've also tried to read it a couple times, and it isn't for me. Bornstein doesn't really identify as anything and almost lumps transsexuals into that group. I identify as a woman. For me personally, the whole reason I'm doing what I'm doing, is because I don't want to be a Gender Outlaw. I just want to be myself.

She talks about a "rainbow" of people but almost seems she'd prefer that everyone were shades of grey. In fact, she believes that everyone is shades of grey.

lobster-bandito said...

"Gender Outlaw" wasn't my cup of tea, either, but I know people who really dig on its writing style. I know LLLLL has told me that the book has been really important/influential on hir.

For me, "GenderQueer," a collection of essays edited by Riki Wilchins with Joan Nestle and Clare Howell, was a big help in my coming out. I ended up binary-identified, but it was nice to read about people who didn't necessarily want hormones (which I didn't at the time) or surgery and such.

I also know Jamison Green's "Becoming a Visible Man" is a big book for a lot of trans guys.

I agree that it's very frustrating how Bornstein seems to represent the entire trans umbrella community as being like herself, when some of us quite clearly aren't. But I did want to note that being transsexual isn't exclusive of non-binary identity. My partner is transsexual (though, like many of us who are transsexual, probably wouldn't "identify" as a transsexual--it's just a descriptor) and has a non-binary/genderqueer gender.