Kate Bornstein

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Kate Bornstein
Born (1948-03-15) March 15, 1948 (age 75)
Neptune, New Jersey
Nationality American
Occupation author, playwright, and performance artist

Kate Bornstein (born March 15, 1948) is an American author, playwright, performance artist, and gender theorist. Bornstein is transsexual. In 'Gender Outlaw' she mentions being raised in a religously Conservative Jewish home. She does not practice Conservative Judaism but still condiders herself a proud Jewish woman.


Born in Neptune, New Jersey, Bornstein studied Theater Arts with John Emigh and Jim Barnhill at Brown University (Class of '69). Bornstein joined the Church of Scientology, later became disillusioned and formally left the movement in 1981. As per Scientology's policies, Bornstein's daughter, herself a Scientologist may not have any contact with Bornstein, her parent.[1]

Bornstein never felt comfortable with the belief of the day: that all trans women are "women trapped in men's bodies". Bornstein knew that she was not a man, but the only other option of the day was to be a woman, a reflection of the gender binary. Another hurdle in Bornstein's path was the fact that Bornstein was attracted to women. Bornstein had gender reassignment surgery in 1986.

She settled in to the lesbian community in San Francisco, where she wrote art reviews for a gay and lesbian newspaper, The Bay Area Reporter. Over the next few years, Bornstein came to realize not only that she was not a man, but that she was not a woman either. This catapulted Bornstein back to her former love of performance, creating several performance pieces, some of them one-person shows. It was the only way she knew how to communicate the paradox her life had become.

Bornstein also teaches workshops and has published several gender theory books, and a novel. Her most recent book was written to derail teens, freaks, and other outlaws (with whom she feels at home) from committing suicide by any means. "Do whatever it takes to make your life more worth living," she writes, "just don't be mean." As of 2006, Bornstein was writing an autobiography[2] and resides with her partner, Barbara Carrellas, in New York City[3].

As of 2009, she is working on a book with S. Bear Bergman entitled Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation.[4]


Performance Pieces

  • 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


  1. Moore, David. Kate Bornstein to perform at UNC-Charlotte. Retrieved on 2009-06-12.
  2. Corozza, Jess (October 6, 2006). Activist Bornstein visits 'Deis. The Brandeis Hoot. Retrieved on 2009-06-12.
  3. According to her book 'Gender Outlaw', Kate was raised a Conservative Jew. Kate's Bio. Retrieved on 2009-06-12.
  4. Interview with S. Bear Bergman. Genderfork (2009-10-29). Retrieved on 2009-11-13.

External links


*Some information provided in whole or in part by http://en.wikipedia.org/