by: Jamie Anne Royce
We all have our stories. We all have our truths. We all have unbelievable events in our lives. And Kate Bornstein‘s story seems more like a tall tale than true life.
Bornstein explores those truths in the new book, A Queer and Pleasant Danger. It opens with the story of Jewish boy growing up in New Jersey. That same person becomes a lieutenant on the Church of Scientology’s sea flagship vessel, and 12 years later physically transitions to a woman. Bornstein is then excommunicated from the church and begins writing and performing as a gender outlaw, bucking the gender binary. And all that without even mentioning all the juicy stuff in between.
A Queer and Pleasant Danger is like getting a peek behind the curtain. It lends insight into Bornstein’s experience, which ultimately impacts all of Bornstein’s work, including workshops, stage performance and, of course, the books: Gender Outlaw, Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation, My Gender Workbook and Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws.
This memoir is decidedly different from previous titles, but it’s still Kate. It reminds readers that life is an incredible journey. It’s sad. It’s heart-wrenching. It’s sexy. It’s raw. It’s laughable. It’s compelling. It’s ecstacy. It’s real. And it’s a journey worth seeing through.
“Before I sat down to write the first draft, I got myself a tattoo on the back of my left hand. It says ‘I must not tell lies,’“ Bornstein wrote. ”So, A Queer and Pleasant Danger is the truth of me. It’s not theory or stagecraft, it’s just me.”
Note: This piece was originally featured on Stuff Queer People Need to Know and was reposted with permission. You can find the original here.
Jamie Royce is a fierce fancy femme and mobile media machine, working as a freelance writer, reporter, editor and photojournalist. She also blogs at Stuff Queer People Need To Know.