No Gender Left Behind
Transgender artist and educator Rebecca Kling has performed her spoken word material around the country, receiving praise from Time Out Chicago, The Chicago Tribune, and more Now, for the first time, a collection of many of the pieces which gave rise to her solo performances.
This collection includes storytelling, poetry, a transitioning mikveh, the weather forecast for gender identity, orgasm graphs, autobiographical material, and more.
No Gender Left Behind is also available as a free downloadable PDF (file size is 5.4 MB): No Gender Left Behind – Rebecca Kling
“Growing up, I had a boy’s name, boy’s clothing, had my hair in a buzz cut every summer for years, wore swimming trunks to the pool or the beach, had a Bar Mitzvah, played on the boys’ teams after school, changed in the boys’ locker room, wore a suit and tie to important family occasions, lived in the boys’ section of the dorm at college…
Looking through old photo albums, it’s clear – boy, boy, boy.
I wanted a girl’s name, girl’s clothing, to have my hair long and flowing, to wear a girl’s swimming suit, to have a Bat Mitzvah, to play on the girls’ teams after school, to change in the girls’ locker room, to wear skirts and dresses to important family occasions, to live in the girls’ section of the dorm at college…
I’m not sure how to reconcile those lists. To own up to my history outs me as trans and brings up a long stretch of time – the first twenty or so years of my life – that’s at odds with how I see myself now. When I talk with people about Judaism, do I acknowledge my Bar Mitzvah and out myself, or do I say I had a Bat Mitzvah and rewrite part of my life? When an acquaintance talks about buying suits or ties, do I chime in with memories of my experiences, or do I stay silent? Do I ask my parents to take down pictures from the first two decades of my life? To wipe clean the time before I was 22 or 23? To cover the mirrors which reflect the parts of myself I don’t always want to remember, don’t always want to see?
I want to transform, from who I was, to who I want to be.”
Why make your book available for free?
Publishing this book isn’t just about the money. (Which is good, because I don’t expect to make a whole lot.) Rather, it’s about sharing my stories and making sure that every single person who wants to read this book is able to. I remember how alone I felt growing up, and how few stories I found that contained people “like me.” I want to do as much as I can to lessen that experience for others, and to create as wide a sense of trans community as I can. Making this book available online for free is part of my effort to do so.
If you would like to download the PDF and send some money my way, please click the “Donate” link to the right. – Rebecca, December 2012
Check out Rebecca’s blog at http://fridaythang.com/blog. Most of Rebecca’s performance material is first shared on her blog.