As luck would have it, the two books I contributed to this year are being launched in the same week. This is actually quite lucky because it means I can confuse everyone with it, and distract them from looking at one book with the other.
Here they are…
1) Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation
Edited by Kate Bornstein and S. Bear Bergman. (Get it.)
This is a very powerful and important book, and you should buy it. I say this not as a contributor, but as someone who’s been holding space in the gender-variance advocacy world, who knows that most of you are craving more exposure and information, and don’t know how to get it without coming across as clumsy. THIS IS A GOOD BOOK. It’s a patchwork collage of 52 voices, many of whom are hidden in daily life, but all of whom are well-spoken and have something powerful to say.
I’m honored to add that my piece is the End Note. It’s a brief meditation at the back of the book about where I see us, and where I think we’re going. An excerpt:
We are five years old. Eighteen. Thirty-seven. Sixty. We are starting grad school, starting companies, starting families, and starting trends. We are serving coffee and signing paychecks, nursing the sick and teaching children, building technology, growing food, producing masterpieces, and changing laws. We are woven into this culture and we are finding each other. We are sharing our notes, strengthening our stories, reaching out for one another, and welcoming everyone in.
And when we wake up in five, ten, twenty-five years, we’ll find that the queer issues we’re fighting so hard for today have been trumped by an understanding of the fluidity of gender. We’ll have learned that masculinity and femininity are not mutually exclusive, and how satisfying it can feel to represent both at once, or neither…
Buy the book to read the rest, and the REST! ALL of the incredible essays, stories, poems, naked pictures (yes, naked pictures), cartoons, and conversations. I’m serious. You want this one. Go get it.
2) Coming & Crying
Edited by Melissa Gira Grant and Meaghan O’Connell. (Don’t get it.)
The project itself, from a purely observational standpoint, is fascinating. Melissa Gira Grant and Meaghan O’Connell decided they wanted to have an intervention into publishing — especially published sex writing — and to bring more of the rich, raw, honest writing style that was surfacing on the internet (about sex) to the printed page. They used a service called Kickstarter to raise some money from the community before they gathered the writing, so they could self-publish it properly. Their goal was to raise $3,000. They raised $17,000. And now they’re starting their own media label.
(But just because the project is fascinating does not mean you have to buy the book.)
The book is erotica-meets-drama. It’s a book of sex stories with all the messy awkwardness and overanalysis left in. I wrote a story for it. It’s under my real name. It’s a very personal story. Let’s just accept right now that I’m never going to run for Senate.
If you are a member of my family, I strongly recommend that you (please) do not buy this book. If you have a purely professional relationship with me and would rather not feel weird the next time you see me, I also really don’t think you should buy it.
And if you’re anyone else, you know what? We’re in a recession. You need to buy groceries. Look! Shiny things! I think your grandmother is on fire. Don’t look at the book.
Also? It was a limited print run. They’re gonna sell out soon anyway. And who knows — they might not print any more. So you probably can’t get the book anyway. It wasn’t meant to be. No, you can’t see an excerpt. You never heard about this. Enjoy your day.