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GenderQueer: Voices From Beyond the Sexual Binary [Paperback]

Joan Nestle , Riki Anne Wilchins , Clare Howell
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 1 2002

Perhaps more than any other issue, gender identity has galvanized the queer community in recent years. The questions go beyond the nature of male/female to a yet-to-be-traversed region that lies somewhere between and beyond biologically determined gender. In this groundbreaking anthology, three experts in gender studies and politics navigate around rigid, societally imposed concepts of two genders to discover and illuminate the limitless possibilities of identity. Thirty first-person accounts of gender construction, exploration, and questioning provide a groundwork for cultural discussion, political action, and even greater possibilities of autonomous gender choices. Noted scholar Joan Nestle is joined by internationally prominent gender warrior Riki Anne Wilchins and historian Clare Howell to provide a societal, cultural, and political exploration of gender identity.

Marketing Plans:
National Advertising: The Advocate
Academic mailing to gender studies and queer studies professors
Media campaign hilighting authors Nestle and Wilchins

Joan Nestle is the cofounder of the Lesbian Herstory Archives in New York and the writer and editor of six books including the groundbreaking Women on Women series. Riki Anne Wilchins is the executive director of GenderPAC, the national gender advocacy group, and the cofounder of the Gender Identity Project of New York City's Lesbian and Gay Center. She is the author of Read My Lips: Sexual Subversion and the End of Gender. Clare Howell is a senior librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library.


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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Gay and Lesbian StudiesWhether it's a 14-year-old waiting for her first Transexual Menace T-shirt in the mail, a lesbian in a butch-femme relationship reflecting on the subversive power of being an "invisible" femme, or a female-to-male transsexual singing the praises of his Colt .45, the contributors to GenderQueer: Voices from Beyond the Sexual Binary report on life in the gray area between genders and suggest that those genders aren't as self-evident as they appear. Edited by writer Joan Nestle (A Restricted Country); Riki Wilchins (Read My Lips), director of the gender advocacy group GenderPAC; and Brooklyn Public Library librarian Clare Howell, the anthology includes 30 first-person testimonies from writers and activists like Sylvia Rivera, Cheryl Chase and Ethan Zimmerman.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Joan Nestle is the cofounder of the Lesbian Herstory Archives in New York and the writer and editor of six books including the groundbreaking Women on Women series. Riki Anne Wilchins is the executive director of GenderPAC, the national gender advocacy group, and the cofounder of the Gender Identity Project of New York City's Lesbian and Gay Center. She is the author of Read My Lips: Sexual Subversion and the End of Gender. Clare Howell is a senior librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable Anthology April 24 2003
Format:Paperback
Saw it on the shelf at a local bookstore, started reading, and took it home. The individual pieces range from good, to stunning ("Packing a Rod" by Allen James and "The Gender Cops Work Overtime" by Gina Reiss are immediate standouts, both good enough to demand being read aloud). The authors address behavior, family relations, social relations, sex-reassignment surgery (whether or not to have it), the bi-gender system, and other topics.
"Genderqueer" is a "pull it off the shelf for guests" book - I don't know any other way of putting it. As a transgendered person, I have a number of books on the topic, including Riki Wilchins' excellent "Read My Lips." However this is the one that I find myself repeatedly grabbing for non-transgendered friends and family to highlight ideas and create awareness of the range of gender expression and identity issues. It is also a book that I have to work hard to keep it coming back to me - it has a tendency to go home with guests.
Be forewarned, though - this is not a book for the easily offended, be you straight, gay, queer, trans- or not. If you need your own feelings and ideas confirmed and validated, better to read something else. A number of the authors are brutal in their honesty, coarse in their language, and express disturbing opinions. For me, though, "Genderqueer" was enlightening, stimulating, often hilarious, and occasionally infuriating.
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful anthology Oct. 8 2003
Format:Paperback
In this amazing collection, various first-hand stories and essays from people in the nebulous area between male and female make the case of deconstructing gender. Including sections from Nestle and Wilchins, who have both already contributed much to the gender discussion already, the book lets those who live in between male and female have a voice. Ranging the length of queer gender from intersexuals to transexuals to femmes, "GenderQueer" doesn't leave any gender stone unturned, and expands the gay and lesbian rights debate to include gender issues, which the editors feel are at the core of the argument and of the harassment of queers and perceived queers in the United States. I found myself inspired by many of these personal tales, and I found myself reflected there as well. The final essay by Wilchins is especially moving and is the luscious cherry on the delicacies here.
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars an amazing anthology Nov. 23 2002
Format:Paperback
Although a lot has been written about gender already, the editors--all acclaimed activists in their own right--go beyond the usual discussion of MTF and FTM. Instead, they talk about all kinds of people who fit outside gender norms, and argue that it is more complicated than we thought. If more people are included in this category, there is a better chance of fighting for acceptance. Gender equality is the latest battle in the quest for civil rights, and it's an interesting one.
But this is more than gender theory. The personal stories are all thought-provoking. I found myself thinking about them long after I stopped reading them. You will too.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable Anthology April 24 2003
By Kathryn M Ottersten - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Saw it on the shelf at a local bookstore, started reading, and took it home. The individual pieces range from good, to stunning ("Packing a Rod" by Allen James and "The Gender Cops Work Overtime" by Gina Reiss are immediate standouts, both good enough to demand being read aloud). The authors address behavior, family relations, social relations, sex-reassignment surgery (whether or not to have it), the bi-gender system, and other topics.
"Genderqueer" is a "pull it off the shelf for guests" book - I don't know any other way of putting it. As a transgendered person, I have a number of books on the topic, including Riki Wilchins' excellent "Read My Lips." However this is the one that I find myself repeatedly grabbing for non-transgendered friends and family to highlight ideas and create awareness of the range of gender expression and identity issues. It is also a book that I have to work hard to keep it coming back to me - it has a tendency to go home with guests.
Be forewarned, though - this is not a book for the easily offended, be you straight, gay, queer, trans- or not. If you need your own feelings and ideas confirmed and validated, better to read something else. A number of the authors are brutal in their honesty, coarse in their language, and express disturbing opinions. For me, though, "Genderqueer" was enlightening, stimulating, often hilarious, and occasionally infuriating.
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars an amazing anthology Nov. 23 2002
By "janevaningen" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Although a lot has been written about gender already, the editors--all acclaimed activists in their own right--go beyond the usual discussion of MTF and FTM. Instead, they talk about all kinds of people who fit outside gender norms, and argue that it is more complicated than we thought. If more people are included in this category, there is a better chance of fighting for acceptance. Gender equality is the latest battle in the quest for civil rights, and it's an interesting one.
But this is more than gender theory. The personal stories are all thought-provoking. I found myself thinking about them long after I stopped reading them. You will too.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful anthology Oct. 8 2003
By "blissengine" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In this amazing collection, various first-hand stories and essays from people in the nebulous area between male and female make the case of deconstructing gender. Including sections from Nestle and Wilchins, who have both already contributed much to the gender discussion already, the book lets those who live in between male and female have a voice. Ranging the length of queer gender from intersexuals to transexuals to femmes, "GenderQueer" doesn't leave any gender stone unturned, and expands the gay and lesbian rights debate to include gender issues, which the editors feel are at the core of the argument and of the harassment of queers and perceived queers in the United States. I found myself inspired by many of these personal tales, and I found myself reflected there as well. The final essay by Wilchins is especially moving and is the luscious cherry on the delicacies here.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic Oct. 18 2005
By just some - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
this book holds a great collection of people living outside the gender binary. few fall into the trap of political soapboxing and instead tell honest, beautiful stories. i'd recomend this over "from the inside out" by morty diamond if your looking for a well written and engaging book of writing by gender queers.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars mindblowing!!!!!!! Sept. 12 2005
By Andrea - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
this was an excellent book that completely blew my mind about what i previously thought i knew about gender, even about transgendered persons. it peaked and held my thirst for understanding, and though it is not all encompassing....it opens the door wide and then pushes you into the deep end frocing you to swim through all the preconceived ideas that we have always been taught about gender and sex roles and identities...every author should be commended for sharing their deeply personal and often touching stories...i highly recommend this book to any and everyone
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