Kate Bornstein

Kate Bornstein

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Unit One/Allen Hall Guest-in-Residence: October 15 – 19

Kate Bornstein is an author, performance artist, and public speaker who has written several award-winning books in the field of Women and Gender Studies, including Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and The Rest of Us; and My New Gender Workbook. Her 2006 book, Hello, Cruel World, propelled Kate into the position of international advocate for marginalized and at-risk youth. Kate's books are taught in six languages in over two hundred colleges and universities around the world. The title of her memoir pretty much sums her up—A Queer and Pleasant Danger: 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 today.

All events take place at Allen Hall, 1005 W. Gregory Drive, Urbana. Free parking is available in the parking garage across the street.

Sunday, October 15

7pm World Peace Through Gender Anarchy and Sex Positivity  (Main Lounge)

Power (access to resources), identity, and desire are three of the best ways to make life more worth living for both individuals and civilizations. Sometimes, whatever it is that gives us the most joy, pleasure, or relief—like great sex or fun gender—also gets us into the deepest trouble—especially when we try to explain it to other people. Kate Bornstein uses gender and sexuality to examine the mechanics of oppression, and the fifteen cultural structures that hold them in place in the U.S. and around the world. And yes, you’ll learn how sex positivity and gender anarchy are legitimate paths to world peace.

9pm – Tea Time for trans-identified folk and their lovers (Guest Apartment)

Monday, October 16

7pm – On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us - a performance (Main Lounge)
Come spend a cozy evening with your very own Auntie Kate, who promises you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll gasp out loud as she speaks about the last thirty years of her life as a non-binary identified queer trans dyke. This is an evening of her most favorite heartwarming anecdotes, touching and sometimes painful personal trials and tribulations, as well as inspiring tales of putting the world to rights. Her performance is at once deeply personal and universally accessible, weaving together stand-up comedy, theatrical monologues, and heart-to-heart storytelling to convey the experience of her long, rich non-binary trans life.

Tuesday, October 17

7pm – Trans, Just For the Fun Of It! (Main Lounge)
In mid-May, 2014, Time Magazine proclaimed a transgender tipping point. Since then, Kate Bornstein—who identifies as non-binary trans—has been studying and exploring trans identities that have made no such headway into mainstream culture. In this talk, Kate will use basic tenets of postmodern theory, Tibetan Buddhism, and quantum physics. “They all three overlap at slapstick comedy,” she insists, going on to say, “transgender life has gotten awfully serious as of late, and I want to remind people that there’s a great deal of physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual joy that can be had by creating and living one’s gender mindfully.”

9pm – Tea Time for Allen Hall students only, all Allenites welcome (Guest Apartment)

Wednesday, October 18

4pm – T&A Time - for trans-identified folk and allies (Guest Apartment)

7pm – Your Gender: Now You See It, Now You Don’t - hands-on workshop (Main Lounge) 

We’re all capable of being/performing any gender we enjoy being, or need to be. The trick to developing this talent is to consciously shift our gender in two steps: first you’ll take your current gender off, then you’ll put another gender on. That’s easier said than done, but this workshop will give attendees tools to play with their genders, in any way they choose.

Thursday, October 19

7pm – Auntie Kate’s Surprise Gender Reveal Party (Main Lounge) 

It's just what it says: Auntie Kate will reveal something surprising about gender from the new book she’s writing. The evening will focus on one or more of the following topics…or something else entirely:

1. The Natural History of Gender
2. The Man-Made History of Gender
3. The Big Question: Is That A Man Or A Woman?
4. Sex & Gender Words That Trigger, and what to do if any trigger you
5. Deconstructing naughtiness 

This is deep-cut gender theory, that is accessible to gender newbies and gender veterans alike. Please come prepared to take notes, ask questions, and offer suggestions.

Kate will also have “Open Door” times during which Allen Hall students can come meet with her in the guest apartment. Check the apartment door for times and to sign up.
Open Door times
Tuesday: 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Thursday: 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.