Kate Bornstein’s “Queer & Pleasant Danger”

December 16, 2011  |  reviews

Thanks for all the comments and discussion on that last post, y’all. I wish I’ve had time to reply to each one, but this week has been nuts, mostly because of the Best Lesbian Erotica 2012 release reading last night, for which I have a few friends in town. And this was the week I decided to start a more strict training program at the gym to improve my running times, too. And the anniversary.

I have lots more to say and I’m still formulating thoughts. Meanwhile, thank you.

(If you want to read it, you can get the password here. Basically I request that you sign up for my mailing list in exchange—you give me something personal (your email address), I’ll give you something personal (access to my more personal entries). I do expect that when you comment on the password protected posts that you leave your actual email address so that I can get in touch with you and converse with you. Anonymous comments on the password protected posts are just rude—I’m giving you access to very personal thoughts of mine, so if you want to comment, you have got to own your comment and be accountable to it. I’m working on a comment policy, actually, because it’s way past time for that. More on that later.)

And now for something completely different!

“A Queer and Pleasant Danger by Kate Bornstein is a stunningly original memoir of a nice Jewish boy who joined the Church of Scientology and left twelve years later, ultimately transitioning to a woman. A few years later, she stopped calling herself a woman and became famous as a gender outlaw. A Queer and Pleasant Danger will be published by Beacon Press on May 1, 2012.”

I am a little in love with Kate Bornstein. I mean every genderqueer binary-gender-smashing person out there probably is, I realize this is not really news, but oh mmm. I can’t wait for Kate’s new book.

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1 Comment


  1. I may be the only one in the entire world who’s not; I found the Gender Workbook full of condescending, gender-essentialist nonsense (ironically) and reductions of masculinity to patriarchal masculine behaviors (at a time when I was attempting to redefine masculinity as something I could inhabit without despising myself), and the later things I ran across didn’t change that impression.

    I feel like she’s never stopped to question how things came to be lumped together under “gender”; which parts are based on what biology, which parts are based on what society, how and why both of those things evolved. Some of the biological basis of gender isn’t even about identity, it is about perception; long before we identify ourselves as male or female we identify the genders of people around us. Until we understand where gender is now and why, our attempts to subvert or challenge the status quo are like medieval medicine relying on imbalances of the humors.

    I think Kate Bornstein and I are just asking different questions, and attempting very different forms of deconstruction. I just found her writings profoundly unsatisfying at a time when I was searching. On the other hand, I look forward to this book: I think the things that bothered me about her writings were the places where she talked authoritatively about experiences not her own or tried to generalize her experience onto everyone else’s (but particularly mine).

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