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GenderQueer: Voices From Beyond the Sexual…
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GenderQueer: Voices From Beyond the Sexual Binary

by Joan Nestle

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This book is exactly what the subtitle says "voices from beyond the sexual binary." While some of these pieces are well thought-out essays, a large number are more on the level of diary or blog entries, giving voice to the range of genderqueer experience but not much definition. I personally didn't find most of the essays that helpful, but your mileage may vary. There were gems among the voices. I would single out Cheryl Chase's piece on intersex issues, L. Maurer's Story of a Preadolescent Drag King, and Mr. Barb Greve's Courage from Necessity. There are also some real duds, including one piece that reads like a homophobic rant (mostly against lesbians). The seven introductory pieces (one each from editors Joan Nestle and Clare Howell and five from Riki Wilchins really bog down the beginning. I skipped some of this material. Wilchins' Epilogue was very useful. ( )
  aulsmith | Apr 22, 2014 |
some of these essays are terrific, some not so great. there are a few "intro to gender politics and theory" essays that are perfect for parents and friends who are confused and/or enraged by the idea of a continuum.

the essay called "transie" is good for the classroom because it's an intimate, unsentimental personal essay about self and outside perceptions of transgendered folks - set up as question and answer. the writing is tight and focused. ( )
  usefuljack | May 17, 2013 |
some of these essays are terrific, some not so great. there are a few "intro to gender politics and theory" essays that are perfect for parents and friends who are confused and/or enraged by the idea of a continuum.

the essay called "transie" is good for the classroom because it's an intimate, unsentimental personal essay about self and outside perceptions of transgendered folks - set up as question and answer. the writing is tight and focused. ( )
  usefuljack | May 17, 2013 |
The book title is misleading. I borrowed the book because I thought it would be about genderqueers: people whose gender identity can't be described simply as a man or a woman. Instead, I got an uneven collection of essays about transgressing gender norms in body, sexuality, gender identity and gender expression. It was difficult to understand some of the language. What is a boychick? What is exactly the difference in meaning between a lesbian and a dyke? It is very difficult to understand the intricacies of US queer communities from the outside: from another country and beyond the language border. Still, it is good to read other people's gender experiences that are invisible or vulnerable in the heteronormative society. ( )
  inkcrow | Aug 12, 2011 |
This is a collection of essays/stories by people who don't fit into the neat packages of 'male' and 'female'. A number of them defy any labels, while others identify by their gender or sexual orientation, but aren't quite what you'd expect from that label.I did find it all interesting, but there was a lot more discussion of sex than I was expecting. It gives the impression that gender is all about (or mostly about) sex. Not a lot of asexual voices in here, for one thing.It's also a little inaccessible (wait, bad term, scratch that term). There are a number of references to people, places, events, and a lot of terms and acronyms that the writers and editors just expect you to know. It seems to be written with the LGB if not even also T community in mind. Now, I'm not ignorant, but there were a number of things that went over my head completely. And it took me a minute to figure out what GB meant.There are some really good ones in here. A few I even half-identified with. But even though I didn't identify with any of them fully, you sort of glean that it's okay that you don't. Because most of these writers are trying to carve their own path amongst all the labels.Weirdly, I kept thinking this was published in the early 90's. But it was 2002, I think. I kept having to remind myself that it really wasn't that old. Still, a lot has changed in even 8 years. Resources and information and community are a lot easier to find on the Internet now.I'd like to see another anthology like this, aimed at teens, maybe. More current. Less sex. More diversity of voices. ( )
  Jellyn | Jun 16, 2010 |
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"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." -- Publisher description.… (more)

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