Seal Press recently sent me a review copy of this anthology that I’ve been eagerly awaiting since I heard about it. Two of the better known gender-bending authors out there, Kate Bornstein and S. Bear Bergman teamed up to create Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation.
The anthology begins with a online chat between Bear and Kate. It’s tone is loving, appreciative and unabashedly flirtatious. They continue their dialogue about the book, gender and the future, in three installments throughout the anthology. Reading it you feel like a voyeur on an intimate exchange between two old friends–not dissimilar from the voyeurism that reading about people’s intimate ideas about gender invokes.
The diversity of GO:TNG was impressive. Not just the usual diversity markers (race, class, gender, age)–this anthology is markedly international, which was a refreshing departure from many US based anthologies I’ve read. There was even one essay published in both the original Spanish, and then in it’s English translation.
GO:TNG takes the reader on a journey through a myriad of trans and gender non-conforming experiences, identities and theories about the future. We hear about pronouns and transitions, feminism and naming, women-only space and sex. You don’t leave the book with any one conclusion about the future–just that it’s evolving and there are a multitude of gender rebels out there who are creating new ways of being with their own brave lives.
For me, as a genderqueer person, it was invigorating to feel myself reflected in some of the essays (particularly Kenji Tokawa’s essay, Why You Don’t Have to Choose A White Boy Name To Be A Man In This World), but it was also just damn exciting to see a relatively mainstream anthology (it will be in bookstores! even the non-queer ones!) with the word “genderqueer” on the back cover.
It’s a great read, as we would expect from these two powerhouses in queer and trans publishing and activism.
Seal Press sent me two copies, so I’m going to give one away to one lucky Feministing reader. I’ll pick someone who comments at random, but to enter into the contest to get the free copy of GO:TNG, simply leave a comment telling me who your favorite Gender Outlaw is. I’ll email the winner for their address.