cafém in November: “Goodbye Gender”

For the next cafém on 15/11/15, we invited Steff from the publishing house ‘w_orten und meer’. Steff will bring some of their books and read from ‘Goodbye Gender’.

Is it possible – a life without gender? Stories about trying and failing, cheerful and sad, about connections with people, their irritations and with an approach to a solution that might be new for many: bidding farewell to gender as a categorie. ‘Goodbye Gender’ makes a start.

gg_cover_webI wasn’t born into the wrong body, I was born into the wrong world.“
– Rae Spoon

Whast does it mean to never being in the right gender? – not in the one one was assigned to at birth; not in the notion of sexual identities, that were tried out later in life; not after a transition from ‘woman’ to ‘man’. And is it possible – giving up gender completely?

In short texts, Rae Spoon and Ivan E. Coyote take turns at telling about their journey through different phases of gendered and sexual life – up until they completely give up gender as an identification for themselves and are now ‘retiring on a pension’ of gender. But what is the reaction of friends, colleagues and relatives? How do I act in the pub, at a job interview, at a fuel station at night? Which other form of words do still exist to address me or talk about me/myself? And can I tell someone else’s gender just by looking at them?

Ivan and Rae tell about their childhood and youth, about first loves and growing-up, their lives on stages and behind them. They include reactions and make their readers laugh and cry, make them think and recognise – maybe they make them hear questions about gay identities and the lack of pronouns for the first time. Straightforwardly and closely, the book depicts how the idea of gender as a clear norm falls at a reality, in which looks, appearance and desires aren’t always clear.

Note: The authors won’t be present. The reading will be in German.

This cafém is part of the action days against sexism and homophobia of the student council of TU Dresden.