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Tango: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heels Paperback – August 16, 2011
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Thank you, Justin, for your courage in writing the truth of what you went through as a transgender child in this society. Thank you, also, for your sense of humor. This book is very important, and fun to read as well.”
"Tango is a raw nerve touching an electric soul, a beautiful book, written with honesty, pain, and joy from one of our great modern day shamans."
"Justin Vivian Bond is a lightning rod, a solid steel structure in heels that attracts burning chaos and disciplines it into orderly submission. Am I allowed to say that Justin is God?”
"Tango should be in the hands of every child who can read, and of
every adult who cares about that child."
Michael Warner, author of The Trouble with Normal
Reading Tango is like listening to your favorite eccentric cousin or auntie tell you hair-raising tales of innocence lost and found, friendships forged of adversity, and bullies bewildered by their own perversity. Justin spins a one-of-a-kind story that you won't be able to put down.”
Kate Bornstein, author of Gender Outlaw
When I say Justin Vivian Bond is a true original, what I mean is, Justin doesn’t resemble anyone else on the face of the planet. When I say Justin Bond is touched by genius, I mean exactly that.”
Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours
About the Author
More About the Author
Justin Vivian Bond
Recently described as "The greatest cabaret artist of (v's) generation" by Hilton Als in the New Yorker, singer, songwriter and Tony-nominated performance artist Mx Justin Vivian Bond, is an Obie, Bessie and Ethyl Eichelberger Award winner. V's debut EP Pink Slip was released in July 2009. Justin has won rave reviews for writing, directing and starring in Christmas Spells (one of the top 5 theatrical experiences of 2009 -The New Yorker), Re:Galli Blonde (A Sissy Fix) at The Kitchen in New York City, and Lustre which premiered at PS122 in the East Village and toured the UK culminating in a critically acclaimed run at London's Soho Theatre ('Justin Bond is a trans-atlantic cabaret messiah' ***** Time Out London). In 2008 Mx Bond appeared at The Southbank Center in London in the title roll of Sinderella an original musical written by Martyn Jacques of The Tiger Lillies. In 2007 v premiered Justin Bond is Close To You, a reinterpretation of the Carpenter's classic album Close To You performed in its entirety in Central Park and subsequently presented by The Sydney Opera House in Australia and San Francisco's fabled Castro Theater. In 2005 V's show, Glamour Damage, had its world premiere at London's Soho Theatre and was hailed by the Evening Standard as "A glittering walk on the wild side." V regularly Emcees the performance series Weimar New York which has played in such varied locations as the SFMOMA, The Speigeltent, and Joe's Pub at the Public Theater in New York. As a featured vocalist on the London Readers Wifes' single Nostalgia, v had a top 20 hit on the UK alternative chart. Mx Bond also toured internationally with the avant-garde noise/cabaret band Pantychrist. As one-half of the Performance duo Kiki and Herb, Justin Vivian has toured the world headlining at Carnegie Hall, The Sydney Opera House, London's Queen Elizabeth Hall and has starred in a Tony nominated run on Broadway, Kiki and Herb Alive on Broadway (The Helen Hayes Theatre) and Off-Broadway Coup de Theatre (The Cherry Lane Theatre). Kiki and Herb have released two cds Do You Hear What We Hear?, Kiki and Herb Will Die For You at Carnegie Hall and a DVD Kiki and Herb Live at the Knitting Factory. Film credits include a starring role in John Cameron Mitchell's feature Shortbus, Charles Hermann-Wurmfeld's Fancy's Persuasion as well as Imaginary Heroes and Jon Moritsugu's Mod F@*k Explosion. Television appearances include Ugly Betty and Late Night With Conan O'Brian.
glossary of terms:
full name: Mx Justin Vivian Bond
for further info please visit http://justinbond.com/?page_id=323
Top Customer Reviews
Powerful and motivating, even (or, perhaps, especially) when uncomfortable, Tango is the story of the kind of childhood that I suspect is more common than most people would like to think. The sexual experimentation between adolescents may be too much for some readers, and the violence between them too much for others, but you can't truly appreciate the "luxury of normality" that Mx. Bond has achieved without first understanding where v came from.
My only complaint about the book is that it's too short, and ends rather abruptly, but it is the tale of a childhood, not a life, and not a career. Hopefully, the lovely Mx. Bond has another story inside vself, one that we'll get to share. Until then, however, Tango serves not just as an entry in the "It Gets Better" theme of literature, but of a welcome glimpse into vs origins.
Reading Mx Bond's account of growing up trans, I had flashbacks of my own childhood growing up as a tomboy and also having some of the same issues with being boxed into gender stereotypes. (think "Scout" in To Kill a Mockingbird - that was completely me) Now it would have been much easier for me to go to school wearing lipstick, but when Bond does it, it causes a huge scene with V's mother. Classic! Bond's tales accurately capture the awkwardness of discovering one's own sexuality. It also reveals the recent discovery that V has Attention Deficit Disorder and how that came to light.
I feel that this book greatly helps promote understanding of what it's like to not easily fit gender "norms", also enlightening and encouraging to those who feel a bit different. <3
The story delves to back to Mx. Bond's youth and her first sexual experiences and her continuous attempts in trying to fit in.
In a time when sexual identity boundaries were stringent, Tango holds nothing back as this coming of age story exposes all.
The title is a bit misleading; I originally thought it dealt with Tango dancing. However it does delve into the delicate dance that one has to take if you don't quite fit into society's standard shoes.
The dialogue is funny, touching, and raw as you peek into the life of this great American performer. Overall, this book reaffirms that regardless of what we are on the outside, we are all the same on the inside.
*Mx. / V is the preferable prefix in referring to Justin Vivian
Mx. Justin Vivian Bond is branded as overly emotional by those in the family, which is something I can definitely relate to as well. I think Justin is very brave to write about the complex relationship with Michael and the slow path to self confidence and acceptance. There are so many people who don't achieve that, unfortunately. Yet V surpasses these obstacles.
I love how funny V is. I love how honest and bare V is in the most ugly and complicated moments. This is what a great memoir is all about. I hope there are much more books to come.
5/5 stars all the way.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I absolutely recommend this book. If you know a queer kid, are a queer kid, or have ever been a queer kid, pick up Tango right now. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Kara K.
For fans of JVB, this book is a must-read! A fantastic childhood memoir that reminded me of Sandra Bernhards "Confessions of a Pretty Lady." BrilliantPublished 21 months ago by Wayne
I am a long time fan of Mx Bond, and this is a tender, thoughtful back story to v's career. My only complaint is that I wanted more.Published 22 months ago by T. Pileggi
This is the third time I've bought this book because I keep giving my copies to friends. Not great literature, but it's great for people to know that there's life outside the... Read morePublished on July 26, 2013 by Amanda B
There are not many childhood memoirs of gender variant, i.e. gay, boys. After all, being gay does not start in adolescence. Read morePublished on October 29, 2011 by Greg Lehne