April 17, 2021

Kate Bornstein banned.

Kate Bornstein is not only a talented and gifted writer, performer, speaker and person, she is also one of the most kind hearted, good natured and well intentioned people I have ever met.

In order to understand the absurdity of what has happened to her, I have decided to post the article, in it's entirety right here. I sometimes forget, because I'm constantly surrounded by people and situations that aren't necessarily "normal" for everyone, that the outside world is still so messed up. BUT alas, it is.

This isn't about sex. Kate's book isn't about sex. It's a guide for students who are learning to cope. Who don't fit in. Who want to know there are alternatives. Things can and will be okay. But apparently, they'll have to learn this the hard way.

And even through it all, Kate is still positive. You have to love her. Trust me, you do.

Bedford schools cancel speech by transsexual
(Original Publication: April 14, 2021)
BEDFORD Town school officials canceled the appearance of noted transsexual Kate Bornstein at next week's Wellness Day at Fox Lane High following a businessman's complaint that it was inappropriate for teens to hear her message.

Bornstein was expected to talk to students in a workshop based on her upcoming book, "Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Teen Suicide." Bornstein, who was born male and became a woman through surgery in the late 1970s, today considers herself neither man nor woman.

According to Amazon.com, the book provides strategies to stay alive for teens that range from "the playful (Moisturize) to the irreverent (Disbelieve the binary) to the highly controversial (Get Laid. Please.)."

Mount Kisco insurance agency owner Phil Christe said he asked Schools Superintendent Debra Jackson to stop Bornstein's appearance after finding her Web site and learning more about her.

"Why would a person, who is neither man nor woman, who is obviously confused, come to speak about gender, much less teen suicide?" Christe said. "The school has a fascination with controversy, but that's not a compelling enough reason to invite her."

It's the second speech on gender issues in a northern West-chester high school called off in the past two weeks. In late March, Kevin Jennings, founder of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, canceled his speech at Somers High after parents objected.

Bornstein, who had planned to speak in Bedford before traveling upstate that day to be the keynote speaker at Syracuse University's Rainbow Banquet, said she was disappointed when she learned that she was no longer invited to speak to Fox Lane students.

Most of her appearances have been on college campuses or with teen clubs for gay and lesbian students.

"I knew it was a big responsibility, and it was brave of them to bring in a freak like me," said Bornstein, a Manhattan resident. "I really wanted to do it right. I wanted to encourage the teens to be whatever helps them stay alive in this mad, mad world. I wanted to encourage them not to be mean, and not let the bullies get away with being bullies."

Bornstein had been approved by the Board of Education to be among 60 speakers at the annual Wellness Day, a daylong series of workshops and talks. Jackson said she looked into Christe's complaint and asked the 20-member Wellness Day Committee to reconsider Bornstein's invitation.

Jackson was troubled by a link on Bornstein's Web site, www.tootallblondes.com, to her partner's Web site, which featured Miss Vera's Finishing School, a service that assists men who want to dress up as women. It also includes a phone service for $2.95 a minute.

"We were aware of her book and her professional work, but I asked the Wellness Committee if they were aware of the phone service," Jackson said. "It turns out they weren't aware of it, and decided not to include her."

Fox Lane senior Lauren Mann, one of two students on the committee, said the group decided to cancel Bornstein's appearance because it didn't want the controversy over one workshop to overshadow the entire day. But she said she was disappointed that students wouldn't get to hear Bornstein's story.

"Teens need to understand what's going on out in the world," she said. "I was really looking forward to it. For students who were questioning their gender, it would have showed them they don't have to be an outcast, it's something normal and happens to a lot of people. I know there are kids who wanted to know more about it."

Posted by jamye at April 17, 2021 11:46 AM