National Jewish Book Award Finalist for Memoir
National Jewish Book Award Finalist for Memoir
"Transgender and Jewish" tells the story of the first wave of gender-nonconforming Jews to take its place in the mainstream. Today, trans Jews direct summer camps, write ritual and even lead congregations as rabbis. Yet while non-Orthodox venues have made enormous strides in welcoming gay and lesbian members in recent decades, some trans people say they still feel like outsiders in Jewish settings, including, at times, the synagogues or camps they attended before their gender expression changed. "Transgender and Jewish" explores the world of trans Jews as they push for inclusion, and, through their presence, help congregations and denominations move beyond rigid definitions of male and female. For the people in the book -- and their communities -- being transgender and Jewish is not a contradiction in terms, but a viable and flourishing identity.
"While the Jewish mainstream still argues about homosexuality, many transgender and gender-variant people sit in the congregation, marry under the chuppah, and create Jewish families. Balancing on the Mechitza gives voice to this movement in Jewish cultur
What do you do when the other woman is your husband? A wife's memoir of her husband's sex change Christine Benvenuto had been married for more than twenty years—with three young children—when her husband turned to her one night in bed and said "I'm thinking constantly about my gender." He was unhappy in his body and wanted to become a woman. Part memoir, part voyeur's look into a marriage, Sex Changes is a journey through the end of a marriage and out the other side. We see a woman, desperate to save her family and shelter her children, discover a well of strength and resilience she never knew she had. We learn what to tell the neighbors when your husband starts wearing heels with his shirts and ties. We see a woman open herself to a group of friends who travel with her through her darkest times, provide light and levity throughout—and who offer the opportunity to learn how to give as well as receive the love and support of true friendship. When she lost her husband to skirts and hormones, life made Chris a better woman. Sex Changes is the story of what one woman discovered about herself in the midst of the conflagration of her family. Fiercely funny, self-lacerating, and not entirely politically correct, Sex Changes is a journey of love and anguish told with hilarity, heartbreak and a lot of soul searching. It is about the mysteries in every marriage, the secrets we chose to keep, and the freedom that the truth can bring.
In the Jewish tradition, reading of the Torah follows a calendar cycle, with a specific portion assigned each week. These weekly portions, read aloud in synagogues around the world, have been subject to interpretation and commentary for centuries. Following on this ancient tradition, Torah Queeries brings together some of the world’s leading rabbis, scholars, and writers to interpret the Torah through a "bent lens". With commentaries on the fifty-four weekly Torah portions and six major Jewish holidays, the concise yet substantive writings collected here open up stimulating new insights and highlight previously neglected perspectives. This incredibly rich collection unites the voices of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and straight-allied writers, including some of the most central figures in contemporary American Judaism. All bring to the table unique methods of reading and interpreting that allow the Torah to speak to modern concerns of sexuality, identity, gender, and LGBT life. Torah Queeries offers cultural critique, social commentary, and a vision of community transformation, all done through biblical interpretation. Written to engage readers, draw them in, and, at times, provoke them, Torah Queeries examines topics as divergent as the Levitical sexual prohibitions, the experience of the Exodus, the rape of Dinah, the life of Joseph, and the ritual practices of the ancient Israelites. Most powerfully, the commentaries here chart a future of inclusion and social justice deeply rooted in the Jewish textual tradition. A labor of intellectual rigor, social justice, and personal passions, Torah Queeries is an exciting and important contribution to the project of democratizing Jewish communities, and an essential guide to understanding the intersection of queerness and Jewishness.
Does the Bible prohibit homosexuality? No, says Bible scholar and activist Jay Michaelson. But not only that: Michaelson also shows that the vast majority of our shared religious traditions support the full equality and dignity of LGBT people. In this accessible, passionate, and provocative book, Michaelson argues for equality, not despite religion but because of it. From the Hardcover edition.
This is a funny, moving story about life in a small town, from the point of view of a pregnant lesbian. Louise A. Blum, author of the critically acclaimed novel Amnesty, now tells the story of her own life and her decision to be out, loud, and pregnant. Mixing humor with memorable prose, Blum recounts how a quiet, conservative town in an impoverished stretch of Appalachia reacts as she and a local woman, Connie, fall in love, move in together, and determine to live their life together openly and truthfully. The town responds in radically different ways to the couple’s presence, from prayer vigils on the village green to a feature article in the family section of the local newspaper. This is a cautionary, wise, and celebratory tale about what it’s like to be different in America—both the good and the bad. A depiction of small town life with all its comforts and its terrors, this memoir speaks to anyone who has ever felt like an outsider in America. Blum tells her story with a razor wit and deft precision, a story about two "girls with grit," and the child they decide to raise, right where they are, in small town America.
Gender Outlaw is the work of a woman who has been through some changes--a former heterosexual male, a one-time Scientologist and IBM salesperson, now a lesbian woman writer and actress who makes regular rounds on the TV (so to speak) talk shows. In her book, Bornstein covers the "mechanics" of her surgery, everything you've always wanted to know about gender (but were too confused to ask) addresses the place and politics of the transgendered and intterogates the questions of those who give the subject little thought, creating questions of her own.
The true story of a wife, her homosexual husband, and a love that transcended tragedy.Gerald Pearson had been honest with Carol Lynn about his homosexual past, but both of them had faith that marriage and devotion to their religion would change his orientation. Love would conquer all. Then, after eight years of apparent happiness and the birth of four children, Gerald was no longer able to deny what he considered to be his essential self. Carol Lynn was shattered, her self-esteem all but destroyed. Their divorce, however, could not erase a lifetime of love and mutual support. Carol Lynn courageously stood by her former husband's side. Even when he contracted AIDS - and came home to die.
A richly textured novel of life in the twentieth century follows the lives of two Jewish women, as they struggle with the great movements of the twentieth century--the revolution in Russia, World Wars, and the mass immigration to the United States. Original.
"The power of Conley’s story resides not only in the vividly depicted grotesqueries of the therapy system, but in his lyrical writing about sexuality and love.” —Los Angeles Times “This brave and bracing memoir is an urgent reminder that America remains a place where queer people have to fight for their lives... Boy Erased is a necessary, beautiful book.” —Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You A beautiful, raw and compassionate memoir about identity, love and understanding. The son of a Baptist pastor and deeply embedded in church life in small town Arkansas, as a young man Garrard Conley was terrified and conflicted about his sexuality. When Garrard was a nineteen-year-old college student, he was outed to his parents, and was forced to make a life-changing decision: either agree to attend a church-supported conversion therapy program that promised to “cure” him of homosexuality; or risk losing family, friends, and the God he had prayed to every day of his life. Through an institutionalized Twelve-Step Program heavy on Bible study, he was supposed to emerge heterosexual, ex-gay, cleansed of impure urges and stronger in his faith in God for his brush with sin. Instead, even when faced with a harrowing and brutal journey, Garrard found the strength and understanding to break out in search of his true self and forgiveness. By confronting his buried past and the burden of a life lived in shadow, Garrard traces the complex relationships among family, faith, and community. At times heart-breaking, at times triumphant, this memoir is a testament to love that survives despite all odds.
Long before Kevin Jennings began advocating to end anti-GLBT bias in schools, he was a victim of it. In Mama’s Boy, Preacher’s Son, Jennings traces the roots of his activism to his school days in the conservative South, where “faggot” became more familiar to him than his own name. Creating safe schools for all youth is now a central part of the progressive agenda in American education, and Kevin Jennings is at the forefront of that fight. Mama’s Boy, Preacher’s Son was featured in People, Newsweek, Entertainment Weekly, and other national media. “Kevin Jennings’s story brought me to tears again and again.” —Martin Moran, author of The Tricky Part: One Boy’s Fall from Trespass into Grace “Kevin Jennings’s moving story takes us from the trailer parks of North Carolina to the halls of Harvard and meetings in the White House—and yet it is the most personal moments he dares to share that speak to our souls and teach the power of education.” —Bob Chase, president emeritus, National Education Association A selection of the InsightOut Book Club Kevin Jennings is the founder and executive director of GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, a national education organization working to make schools places where young people learn to value and respect everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. He lives in New York with his partner.
One morning, a box was delivered to Elizabeth Stone's door. It held ten years of personal diaries and a letter that began "Dear Elizabeth, You must be wondering why I left you my diaries in my will. After all, we have not seen each other in over twenty years . . ." What followed was a remarkable year in Elizabeth's life as she read Vincent's diaries and began to learn about the high school student she had taught twenty-five years before. A Boy I Once Knew is the story of the man that Vincent had become-and the efforts of his teacher to make some sense of his life. With his diaries, Vincent becomes a constant presence in her household. She follows his daily life in San Francisco and his travels abroad. She watches him deal with the deaths of friends in the gay community. She judges him. She gets angry with him. She develops affection and compassion for him. In some ways she brings him back to life. And in doing so, she becomes the student, and Vincent the teacher. He forces her to examine her life as well as his. He challenges her feelings and fears about death. He proves to her that relationships between two people can deepen even after one of them is gone. A Boy I Once Knew is a powerful book about loss, memory, and the ways in which we belong to each other. This is a revealing, moving, and wholly unexpected book.
The powerful story found in The Shack written by Wm. Paul Young stole the hearts of millions and rocketed to fame by word-of-mouth, making it a phenomenon in publishing history. Now, THE SHACK: REFLECTIONS FOR EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR provides an opportunity for you to go back to the shack with Papa, Sarayu, and Jesus. This 365 day devotional selects meaningful quotes from THE SHACK and adds prayers writer by W. Paul Young to inspire, encourage, and uplift you every day of the year.