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on April 24, 2003
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.
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on November 23, 2002
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.
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on October 8, 2003
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.
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on October 18, 2005
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.
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on September 12, 2005
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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on September 18, 2010
I love this book owned two copies now and every time i get a new one there is someone i know that needs to borrow it or have it. So i end up giving it to them and start looking for a new copy. The one I just recently recieve is now passed down to a deer friend... If you want real life short biographies of queer lives, people pushing social boundaries... breaking gender stereotypes into pieces. this is the book for you... love it live it
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on February 10, 2013
Readers of my genderQueer erotic novel RYE ask if there are books I'd recommend: books with similar emotional power. GENDERQUEER, VOICE FROM BEYOND THE SEXUAL BINARY immediately comes to mind. I found this book a couple of years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it, it's a very worthwhile read. Today I picked it off the shelf and brought it with me on the subway, I enjoy the fresh insightful writing. In all, there are 46 short pieces here, most running four to six pages. The variety gives you a brief insight into a life you might never have known, a brief moment that reveals and yet - in aggregate - does nothing to definitively define who we are. Sometimes sad, sometimes funny, sometimes angry, this collection has great variety.

In the table of contents, I asterisked two stories, and they're just as wonderful the second time through. Sonya Bolus' "Loving Outside Simples Lines" is lyrical: touching and beautiful. She recounts her mixed emotions concerning her butch lover's top surgery. Blous' writing is like a warm soft breeze, the leaves floating languidly in the air, emotional with poignant urgency. "When I move against you, when I hold you to my breast, when I take you in my mouth, I take in your whole self. You feel my soul and I respond to you, as a femme, as a lesbian, as a transensual woman... as myself." L. Maurer's "Story of a Preadolescent Drag King" is a humorous memory of fifth-grade, when Mrs. Kay tried to grind the tomboy out of the narrator. She goes along with the gender suppression to get a promised shiny boy's 10-speed (her parent's reward for appeasing the teacher). The story is a friendly reminder that many many people do not want us to be who we are; they will work hard to devalue and diffuse our awareness of our gender and self, in order to box us in to meet their expectations. That's a beautiful and powerful message in this book: we are who we are, and as society fights against that reality we go through a lot of pain and self-discovery. And we come out the other side with a better understanding. The reality of who we are.

BEYOND THE SEXUAL BINARY, indeed.

It's a shame this book isn't available for Kindle. It really deserves to be read.
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on May 24, 2010
This is an interesting, inspirational, and well written anthology from a variety of different perspectives and experiences with genderqueerness. It gives a great insight into some of the history of queer movements, into the minds and hearts of some queer individuals, and into the eyes and ears of significant others of genderqueers.

Perhaps my favourite part of this book is how unique each voice is. They don't always agree with each other, they don't always focus on the same issues, they don't always try to get the same points across- and what this produces is something very powerful.

As a genderqueer myself, reading this book provided me with some amazing confidence. It has also provided me with some interesting perspective. Overall, I highly recommend this for anyone interested in gender related issues, and especially for those of you who feel you're not quite within the lines.
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on October 24, 2007
this was one of the greatest books i have ever read. It was soo touching. With ever story i felt so at home reading it. I cried during one of the story's it really touched me i felt like someone was stalking my emotions and writing them down. Some stories where so funny and good. I couldn't stop reading it was addictive. My teacher borrowed it from me. although i have people in my class saying i was a freak for reading this book. it didn't matter to me(it bothered me a little for a day but i got over it) i felt comfortable reading my genderqueer book for everyone to see. A MUST READ!!
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on November 19, 2013
For those who do not take to being crammed into a mold and do not want to be defined this is a great read.
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