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.

Anonymous 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.