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Book Title: Is That For a Boy or a Girl?|
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Reader ratings: 4.4
The author of the book: S. Bear Bergman
Edition: Flamingo Rampant
Date of issue: 2015
ISBN 13: 9780987976338
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 13.69 MB
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The book opens a little heavy-handed about how society tries to define everything as "boy" or "girl," and the more teach-y any given piece in the book felt, the more forced it felt to me.
However, I really enjoyed all the kids. I expect they're fictitious composites created to prove a point, but they're so much fun. I really appreciate that the kids enjoy a mix of BOTH traditionally feminine and traditionally masculine things -- (view spoiler)[the (Asian?) kid who loves bugs and animals but also wants hot pink and glittery garb; the red-hair and freckled white kid who loves trucks etc. and whose dad (by request) decorates them with rhinestones; the white blonde kid in a wheelchair who wants to know what the toy with the meal is not whether it's a "boy" or a "girl" toy; the white kid on the bus with 2 braids who doesn't wanna sit down and says, "I could rhyme if I felt like it, but I'm too cross" (keep embracing your externally-directed anger, young child who gets read as female!); the white kid with short hair who does football and ballet and theatre (okay, I think this kid may be a bit too over-scheduled) and bakes and wants to learn to snowboard and whose family goes to church (as a queer Christian, I appreciate when faith community participation gets to be a non-issue in queer contexts); the black kid with a ponytail who mostly dresses in jeans but who has one fancy red dress that feels so good; the tree-climbing long-haired princess who can rescue herself; the skinny tall [though ngl, the kid does not look that tall in the illustration] black kid who gets asked "Do [you] want to grow up to play basketball?" and loves words; and okay I don't love the teachiness but short-haired kid speaks the truth about how there's no fuss about using the bathroom at home and "when I push open the right [door] for me. / They say I'm mistaken, how could that be? / I'm the expert, I'm in my own body. / Just let me pee! No need to get snotty"; and similarly, the "let's not gender-delineate graduation garb" at the end. (hide spoiler)]
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Read information about the authorS. Bear Bergman is a storyteller, a theater artist, an instigator, a gender-jammer, and a good example of what happens when you overeducate a contrarian. Ze is the author of Butch Is a Noun (reissued with a new foreword by Arsenal Pulp Press, 2010) and Lambda Literary Award-finalist The Nearest Exit May be Behind You (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2009) as well as the editor (with the inimitable Kate Bornstein) of the multiple-award-winning Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation (Seal Press, 2010). Bear is also the creator and performer of three award-winning solo performances and a frequent contributor to anthologies on all manner of topics (see hir CV for an extensive list of publications of presentations). Bear can be found many days in an airport lounge, writing stories on hir laptop and letters on any piece of paper that can pretend to be stationery.
A frequent lecturer at colleges and universities regarding issues relating to gender, sexuality, and culture, Bear enjoys digging in to complicated ideas and getting dirty doing it. Ze also works extensively helping to create queer and trans cultural competency at universities, corporations, health care providers, and governmental organizations. This work has included training, policy development, policy reviews, and process/barrier audits, as well as cultural awareness consulting for external marketing.
As a Jew, Bear also speaks extensively about how hir religious and cultural lives have shaped one another and the intersection of identities, especially as it relates to being both Jewish and queer. Ze remains exceptionally pleased to have been asked to write the chapter on trans inclusion for Hillel International's LGBTQ Resource Guide
Less recently, Bear was one of the five original founders of the first Gay/Straight Alliance, a frequent lecturer at high schools and colleges on the subject of making schools safe for GLBT students, and a founding commission member of what is now called the Massachusetts Safe Schools Project. Bear was an insufferable know-it-all in high school, but is reformed these days. Somewhat.
Bear was educated at Concord Academy, Hampshire College, and the University of Massachusetts. Ze currently resides in Toronto, Ontario where Ze has set up housekeeping with hir husband j wallace, son Stanley.
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