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A Queer and Pleasant Danger: A Memoir Hardcover – May 1, 2012
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“A nervy, expansive memoir from a pioneering gender activist.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A singular achievement and gift to the generations of queers who consider her our Auntie, and all those who will follow.”—Lambda Literary
“Disarmingly funny and a pleasure to read. . . . I think everyone can gain something from Kate’s honest, brave account.” —Feministing.com
"This memoir shines a bright, unflinching light on those reasons and the consequences of living on the far edge of the fringe… With the brave, adventurous life she's led, Bornstein gives us a reason to keep on living, too.” —Bitch Magazine blog
“Kate Bornstein is brave. She is very, very brave. Her memoir, A Queer and Pleasant Danger, should be located in all three of the LGBT, self-help and biography sections of your local library and bookstores.” —EDGE
"This memoir manages to be both wrenchingly transformative and luminously wondrous, a sumptuous literary combination.” —Pride Source
“A Queer and Pleasant Danger is not for the faint-hearted, for reasons that become fairly evident (see: sadomasochism), but is ultimately uplifting, hopeful, even joyous.” —Shelf Awareness
“This is a softer, sometimes sorrowful, side of the always-outspoken Kate Bornstein, and I loved it…A Queer and Pleasant Danger is a wildly wonderful read.”—Long Island Pulse Magazine
“Bornstein is hilarious, honest, acerbic, and fearless in her writing…QAPD is at least three books in one, each of which is a page-turner.” —Religion Dispatches
"Kate Bornstein's journey from moon-eyed Scientologist to queer icon is harrowing, heartbreaking, and amazing. This narrative is surely not for the squeamish. And yet, in the story of a sea-dog named Al who became a trans goddess named Kate we see the messy, unsettling, inspiring struggle of a lady trying—and at last succeeding—to let her own soul be known. Disturbing and wondrous."—Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of She’s Not There and I’m Looking Through You
“Breathless, passionate, and deeply honest, A Queer and Pleasant Danger is a wonderful book. Read it and learn.”—Samuel R. Delany, author of Dhalgren
"To me, Kate Bornstein is like a mythological figure or a historical literary character such as Orlando or Candide who, by illustrating her struggles, shows the rest of us how to live. This book is destined to become a classic." —Mx Justin Vivian Bond, author of Tango: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heels
"A Queer and Pleasant Danger is a brave, funny, edgy, and enlightening new memoir. I loved it and learned from it. Kate Bornstein shares her fascinating journey—through gender, Scientology, and more—and it was a thrill to tag along on the ride. This book is unbelievably powerful and affecting. If Kate Bornstein didn't exist, we would have to invent her. But luckily for queers, straights, gender outlaws, and general readers, Bornstein is out and out there." —Dan Savage, author, columnist, and architect of the "It Gets Better Project"
"There are a number of adjectives that one could use to describe A Queer and Pleasant Danger: snarky, funny, anguished, frightening, heartbreaking, brave, honest...this is a book that is dangerously appealing." —The Gay and Lesbian Review, July-August issue
About the Author
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Top Customer Reviews
Written in a casual, conversational, sometimes rambling manner, this is a very easy book to enjoy. One of its many quirks that I found so delightful was the way in which Kate would tell a story, swear it was the honest-to-gosh truth, then turn around a page or so later and admit that it was a lie. In most cases, they were stories she believed wholeheartedly for years - until she shared them and was promptly shot down by her brother. It's a quirk that not only adds a bit of a comic feel to some chapters than definitely need a pick-me-up, but it's also a playful element that ties into Kate's personality.
Really, this is three memoirs in one, as the extended title suggest: A Queer and Pleasant Danger: The true story of a nice Jewish boy (1) who joins the Church of Scientology (2) and leaves twelve years later to become the lovely lady she is today (3).
Let's start with the nice Jewish boy. Kate (then Albert) realized at the tender young age of four-and-a-half that she wasn't a boy and, therefore, must be a girl. With that self-realization, a youth of lying to the world, putting on an act, and hiding her true self began.Read more ›
For many people who are familiar with Kate, this book is a fascinating journey from point A to point Z. In that sense, it demonstrates the vast magnitude of life. Her journey stretches from Jewish boy to fabulous gender outlaw, with a pit stop as a high ranking official in the Scientology universe.
The book overall, demonstrates a great sadness, as it opens and closes with an appeal to Kate's daughter, who remains in Scientology, and has not had contact with Kate since Kate was excommunicated by the church. Despite this sadness though, Kate's style of writing remains as playful as ever. She is a suberb storyteller, and she plays with the reader, sometimes poking fun of what is real and what is imagined, and leaving the reader to wonder if it even matters what is true or not. She at least confesses to the truth at some point after every lie (at least to my knowledge), which is another important statement:
Living a lie is okay if we can someday have the bravery to face the truth.
This book is unbelievably brave. The ramifications of writing about Scientology especially is expressed early in the book. Kate could easily find herself the brunt of a wave of Scientology harassment. The church may never admit to this policy, she states, but it exists.
For everyone who has gone through life pretending to be something they're not, this book is for you.
For everyone who has gone through life living life as they feel it must be lived, and been persecuted for it, this book is for you.
For everyone interested in transforming their suffering into a positive message for others, this book is for you.
For anyone who might just be a wee bit curious about the life and times of one of the most renowned gender outlaws in the world, this book is for you.
It included a lot about her days in scientology and how she lost her daughter to them.
My God one day she gets back to Clearwater, Florida from a scientology "mission" and takes her daughter to school. But then she is forced to undergo what is called a "gang bang sec check" by scientology's "International Finance Police". Here she is falsely accused of all sorts of crimes, screamed at by a group of scientology goons while being on their version of a crude lie detector. Kate is then immediately routed off scientology's staff (this is 1982) without so much as being able to say "goodbye" to her family who were made to disconnect from Kate.
Now she has two grandchildren who she has never even seen. And she loves them and her daughter very much. In the book Kate tells her daughter her story and why she never came back that day and how she tried to reconnect. She hopes that someday her daughter/grandchildren will get out and be able to read this book written for them.
One can feel the honestly in this book and the pain. Kate tells of her being at the point of suicide when her ex wife hung up on her and would not let her speak with her daughter.
I am ASHAMED to have ever been a friend of Kate's EX!!!
Kate offers her daughter/grandchildren some advice on life and a home should they ever need it, although she does not suspect she will live all that much longer.
It was heartbreaking!!!
Scientology is so unbelievably cruel and dangerous. And my heart goes out to Kate. I also feel sorrow for her loved ones who are IMO yet another family that has been devoured by organized scientology for worldly gain.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a fun ride. Author writes excitingly, she is wild and funny and brutally honest. A great read!Published 6 days ago by snow white
Kate Bornatein is a very interesting individual, not someone I understand but someone I can respect. Her story is complicated. Read morePublished 3 months ago by P. J. Walker
Fascinating book, no getting around it. A page turner. Thank you, Kate, for sharing your story so courageously and intimately. Plus it's beautifully written. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Anna Dresdon
Well written and humorous this story gripped me throughout. The insights into the acceptance/denial of transgender status were great.Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
Very tough reading in parts, but this book gives those of us who did not understand transgender issues a fact-filled, truthful read. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Deeny
The cover of the book says this: "The true story of a nice Jewish boy who joins the Church of Scientology and leaves twelve years later to become the lovely lady she is... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Deb F
I have always thought that everyone's individual "sexual" orientation resides somewhere on a wide spectrum, and consequently I assumed our "gender" orientation... Read morePublished 13 months ago by debadoo