Through performance art pieces like Kate Bornstein Is a Queer and Pleasant Danger and The Opposite Sex is Neither, Kate Bornstein questions society’s understanding of gender as a binary. Bornstein earned a degree in theater from Brown University in 1969, worked as an actor, and became involved with the Church of Scientology, eventually rising to become a high-ranking lieutenant in Sea Org, the church’s naval force. After twelve years, ze left the organization when ze began struggling more publicly with gender issues, and as a result of the split was forced to cut off contact with hir daughter, still a church member. Ze transitioned from Albert to Kate and began using hir writing and performance art as a way to question gender while working as an activist for LGBTQ rights. In 1994 ze published her first book, Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us. As of 2015 has published seven books, including Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks, and Other Outlaws in 2006 and hir memoir, A Queer and Pleasant Danger, in 2012. Despite struggles with leukemia and lung cancer, ze continues to perform and speak publicly, and blogs at http://katebornstein.typepad.com/.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Kate Bornstein." (Viewed on January 23, 2021) <https://jwa.org/people/bornstein-kate>.