Kate and partner since 1997 Barbara Carrellas live in New York City with three cats, two dogs and a turtle.
Born in Neptune City, New Jersey, into a middle-class Conservative Jewish family of Russian and Dutch descent, Bornstein studied Theater Arts with John Emigh and Jim Barnhill at Brown University (Class of '69). Bornstein joined the Church of Scientology, became a high ranking lieutenant in the Sea Org but later became disillusioned and formally left the movement in 1981. Bornstein's antagonism toward Scientology and public split from the church have had personal consequences; Bornstein's daughter, herself a Scientologist, no longer has any contact with Bornstein per Scientology's policies.
Bornstein never felt comfortable with the belief of the day: that all trans women are "women trapped in men's bodies." Bornstein did not identify as a man, but the only other option of the day was to be a woman, a reflection of the gender binary, which required people to identify according to only two available genders. Another block in Bornstein's path was the fact that Bornstein was attracted to women. Bornstein had sex reassignment surgery in 1986.
Kate Bornstein (born March 15, 1948) is an American author, playwright, performance artist, and gender theorist. Having been born male and then receiving gender reassignment surgery, Bornstein says, "I don't call myself a woman, and I know I'm not a man". Bornstein has also written about having anorexia, being a survivor of PTSD and being diagnosed with Borderline personality disorder. Kate and partner since 1997 Barbara Carrellas live in New York City with three cats, two dogs and a turtle.
Bornstein settled into the lesbian community in San Francisco, and wrote art reviews for the gay and lesbian paper The Bay Area Reporter. Over the next few years, Bornstein began to identify as neither a man nor a woman. This catapulted Bornstein back to performing, creating several performance pieces, some of them one-person shows. It was the only way Bornstein knew how to communicate life's paradoxes.
Bornstein also teaches workshops and has published several gender theory books, and a novel. Hello Cruel World, was written to derail "teens, freaks, and other outlaws" from committing suicide. "Do whatever it takes to make your life more worth living," Bornstein writes, "just don't be mean."
In 1989 Bornstein created a theatre productionIn collaboration with Noreen Barnes, Hidden: A Gender, based on parallels between Bornstein's own life and that of the intersex person Herculine Barbin. Bornstein edited Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation in collaboration with S. Bear Bergman. The anthology won Lambda Literary and Publishing Triangle Awards in 2011. Bornstein's autobiography, titled A Queer and Pleasant Danger: A Memoir, was released May 2012, and Bornstein is currently working on an updated edition of My Gender Workbook.
Barbara Carrellas is an author, sex educator, performance artist, and certified sexologist accredited through the American College of Sexologists. She facilitates workshops in which participants explore sexuality through her holistic approach that includes practices like erotic breathwork and Tantra, and she has lectured at various institutions, including the Museum of Sex in New York City, Vassar College, Barnard College, and the Chicago Art Institute. She is known for her "breath and energy orgasm" techniques, which she says are "orgasms you can have using your imagination and your breath." Carrellas learned the technique during the height of the AIDS epidemic as a way for people to orgasm without physical contact. Such techniques, she says, offers a way for "people to have more safer-sex options."
Carrellas spent five years in the 1990s living in Australia but currently resides in New York City and lives with her partner, Kate Bornstein. In 2010, she appeared on the Canadian television show "Sex Matters," and in the TLC show Strange Sex.
During the late 1980s Barbara Carrellas began teaching Sacred Sex workshops with Annie Sprinkle and Linda Montano. Carrellas says that tantra can be a bridge between different sexual practices, and she calls this "neo-tantra." She has specifically developed her brand of sacred sex in order to make tantra accessible to people who "felt left out" of such sexuality, such as transsexual and transgender individuals. She has regularly worked with the GLBTQ and BDSM community. She maintains that breathing and being vocal are key to enjoying sex, and that many people are culturally discouraged from doing this as they are first learning to be sexual.
Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation by Kate Bornstein and S. Bear Bergman
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Seal Press (August 31, 2010)
Amazon: Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation
Amazon Kindle: Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation
In the 15 years since the release of Gender Outlaw, Kate Bornstein’s groundbreaking challenge to gender ideology, transgender narratives have made their way from the margins to the mainstream and back again. Today's transgenders and other sex/gender radicals are writing a drastically new world into being. In Gender Outlaws, Bornstein, together with writer, raconteur, and theater artist S. Bear Bergman, collects and contextualizes the work of this generation's trans and genderqueer forward thinkers — new voices from the stage, on the streets, in the workplace, in the bedroom, and on the pages and websites of the world's most respected mainstream news sources. Gender Outlaws includes essays, commentary, comic art, and conversations from a diverse group of trans-spectrum people who live and believe in barrier-breaking lives.
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