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Katherine Vandam "Kate" Bornstein[1] (born March 15, 1948)[2] is an American author, playwright, performance artist, actress, and gender theorist. In 1986, Bornstein identified as gender non-conforming and has stated "I don't call myself a woman, and I know I'm not a man." after having been assigned male at birth and receiving gender affirmation surgery.[3] She now identifies with the pronous they/them or she/her.[4] Bornstein has also written about having anorexia, being a survivor of PTSD and being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.[5] Bornstein has chronic lymphocytic leukemia and in September 2012 was diagnosed with lung cancer.[6]

Kate Bornstein
Kate Bornstein2010.jpg
Kate Bornstein at Babeland in Seattle in December 2010
Born (1948-03-15) March 15, 1948 (age 71)
ResidenceNew York City
OccupationPerformance artist
Websitekatebornstein.com

Contents

BiographyEdit

Early lifeEdit

Born in Neptune City, New Jersey, into a middle-class Conservative Jewish family of Russian and Dutch descent,[7] Bornstein studied Theater Arts with John Emigh and Jim Barnhill at Brown University (Class of '69). She joined the Church of Scientology, becoming a high ranking lieutenant in the Sea Org[8][9][10] but later became disillusioned and formally left the movement in 1981. Bornstein's antagonism toward Scientology and public split from the church have had personal consequences; Bornstein's daughter, herself a Scientologist, no longer has any contact per Scientology's policy of disconnection.[11]

Transition and post-opEdit

Bornstein never felt comfortable with the belief of the day that all trans women are "women trapped in men's bodies."[12] She did not identify as a man, but the only other option was to be a woman, a reflection of the gender binary, which required people to identify according to only two available genders. Another obstacle was the fact that Bornstein was attracted to women. She had sex reassignment surgery in 1986.

Bornstein settled into the lesbian community in San Francisco, and wrote art reviews for the gay and lesbian paper The Bay Area Reporter.[13] Over the next few years, she began to identify as neither a man nor a woman.[14] This catapulted Bornstein back to performing, creating several performance pieces, some of them one-person shows. It was the only way that she knew how to communicate life's paradoxes.

Bornstein also teaches workshops and has published several gender theory books and a novel. Hello Cruel World was written to derail "teens, freaks, and other outlaws" from committing suicide. "Do whatever it takes to make your life more worth living," Bornstein writes, "just don't be mean."[15]

 
Kate Bornstein at SUNY New Paltz in October, 2018. Photo by Morgan Gwenwald.

Bornstein's partner is Barbara Carrellas. They live in New York City with three cats, two dogs, and a turtle.[16]

Cancer diagnosisEdit

In August 2012, Bornstein was diagnosed with lung cancer. Doctors thought that she was cancer-free after surgery, but it emerged in February 2013 that the disease had returned. Laura Vogel, a friend of hers, launched a GoFundMe campaign on March 20 to help fund the cancer treatment.[17]

WorksEdit

In 1989, Bornstein created a theatre production in collaboration with Noreen Barnes, Hidden: A Gender, based on parallels between her own life and that of the intersex person Herculine Barbin.[18] In 2009, Bornstein's Hello, Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks, and Other Outlaws was a Lambda Literary Award Finalist for LGBT Nonfiction and Honorbook for the Stonewall Children's and Young Adult Literature.[19] Bornstein edited Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation in collaboration with S. Bear Bergman.[20] The anthology won Lambda Literary and Publishing Triangle Awards in 2011.[21][22] Bornstein's autobiography, titled A Queer and Pleasant Danger: A Memoir, was released May 2012, and in April 2013, she released My New Gender Workbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Achieving World Peace Through Gender Anarchy and Sex Positivity. Recently, Bornstein has taken part in a theatrical tour in England. She also took part in being a cast member in the reality tv show of I am Cait.[23]

BooksEdit

  • Bornstein, Kate (1994). Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us. New York City: Routledge. ISBN 978-0679757016.
  • Sullivan, Caitlin; Bornstein, Kate (1996). Nearly Roadkill: An Infobahn Erotic Adventure. New York City: High Risk Books. ISBN 978-1852424183.
  • Bornstein, Kate (1998). My Gender Workbook: How to Become a Real Man, a Real Woman, the Real You, or Something Else Entirely. Illustrations by Diane DiMassa. New York City: Routledge. ISBN 978-0415916721.
  • Bornstein, Kate (2006). Hello, Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks, and Other Outlaws. New York: Seven Stories Press. ISBN 9781583227206.
  • Bornstein, Kate; Bergman, S. Bear, eds. (2010). Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation. Berkeley, California: Seal Press. ISBN 9781580053082.
  • Bornstein, Kate (2012). A Queer and Pleasant Danger: A Memoir. Boston: Beacon Press. ISBN 9780807001653. The portrait-film, Kate Bornstein is a Queer & Pleasant Danger by Sam Feder, will be released in 2014[needs update]
  • Bornstein, Kate (2013). My New Gender Workbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Achieving World Peace Through Gender Anarchy and Sex Positivity. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0415538657.
  • Bornstein, Kate (2016). Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us (Revised and Updated). New York: Vintage Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. ISBN 978-1-101-97461-2.

Performance piecesEdit

  • Kate Bornstein Is a Queer and Pleasant Danger
  • The Opposite Sex Is Neither
  • Virtually Yours
  • Hidden: A Gender
  • Strangers in Paradox
  • y2kate: gender virus 2000
  • Hard Candy

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Bornstein, Kate (5 May 2012). "My Scientology excommunication". Salon.com. Retrieved 2012-05-06.
  2. ^ "LC Linked Data Service: Authorities and Vocabularies (Library of Congress)". id.loc.gov. The Library of Congress. Retrieved 2018-03-05.CS1 maint: others (link)
  3. ^ Bornstein, Kate (2012). A Queer and Pleasant Danger: A Memoir. Beacon Press. pp. II. ISBN 9780807001660.
  4. ^ Czyzselska, Jane (February 2016). "CALL ME Kate". Diva: 54.
  5. ^ Bornstein, Kate (2012). A Queer and Pleasant Danger: A Memoir. Beacon Press. pp. II. ISBN 9780807001660.
  6. ^ Bornstein, Kate. "Bad News and Wonderful News". Kate Bornstein's Blog. Retrieved Feb 13, 2013.
  7. ^ "Kate Bornstein's Gender and Genre Bending" (PDF). LGBT Jewish Heroes. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-08-12. Retrieved 2012-11-04.
  8. ^ ""A Queer and Pleasant Danger": Kate Bornstein, Trans Scientology Survivor". Mother Jones. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
  9. ^ "No Longer At Sea: Kate Bornstein Talks Scientology". Religion Dispatches. 2012-06-27. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
  10. ^ "A Queer and Pleasant Danger by Kate Bornstein – Powell's Books". Retrieved August 27, 2012.
  11. ^ Moore, David. "Kate Bornstein to perform at UNC-Charlotte". Retrieved 2009-06-12.
  12. ^ Bornstein, Kate (1994). Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us. Routledge. p. 66. ISBN 978-0415908979.
  13. ^ Piechota, Jim (2012-08-09). "Surviving Scientology". Bay Area Reporter. Retrieved Feb 13, 2013.
  14. ^ Lavelle, Ciara (September 2, 2016). "Eileen Myles, the Property Brothers, and Others Coming to Miami Book Fair 2016". Miami New Times. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  15. ^ Kate Bornstein (2010-10-06). "Don't Be Mean? Really?". Kate Bornstein Is A Queer and Pleasant Danger—this is her blog. Retrieved 2015-09-13.
  16. ^ Piechota, Jim (2012-08-09). "Surviving Scientology". Bay Area Reporter. Retrieved Feb 13, 2013.
  17. ^ Morgan, Glennisha (2013-03-22). "Kate Bornstein, Transgender Activist And Theorist, Receives Support For Cancer Fundraiser". Huffington Post.
  18. ^ "Kate Bornstein's Gender and Genre Bending" (PDF). LGBT Jewish Heroes. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-08-12. Retrieved 2012-11-04.
  19. ^ "Kate Bornstein". Seven Stories Press.
  20. ^ "Interview with S. Bear Bergman". Genderfork. 2009-10-29. Retrieved 2009-11-13.
  21. ^ "Triangle Awards: Kate Bornstein". Out-FM. 2011-05-06. Archived from the original on 2015-02-22. Retrieved 2013-07-19.
  22. ^ "Glam Meets Identity Politics at Lammys: Literary awards fête Edward Albee, Val McDermid; feature Stefanie Powers". Gay City News. June 10, 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-23.[permanent dead link]
  23. ^ M. B. (October 2016). "Kate Bornstein". Out. 25: 57 – via LGBT Life with Full Text.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit