Archived: Kate Bornstein is a Queer & Pleasant Danger

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SAMRU is pleased to partner with Mount Royal University Faculty of Arts and Fairytales Presentation Society to bring author, playwright and performance artist, Kate Bornstein and documentary filmmaker, Sam Feder to Calgary from March 9–10, 2016, for three events on and off campus.

Alberta Premiere Film Screening, “Kate Bornstein is a Queer and Pleasant Danger”

Wednesday, March 9, 2016
7:00 p.m.
Plaza Theatre (1133 Kensington Rd NW)
Tickets: Minimum $10 donation at the door.

A Queer & Pleasant Danger: A Campus Conversation with Trans Activist Kate Bornstein and Documentary Filmmaker Sam Feder

Wednesday, March 10, 2016
10:30 a.m.
Lincoln Park Room, MRU
This event is free.

SAMRU Luncheon with Kate Bornstein and Sam Feder

Wednesday, March 10, 2016
12:00 p.m.
Council Chambers, Wyckham House
This event is free for MRU students. Student IDs will be checked at the door.

Kate Bornstein and Sam Feder are 2016 winners of the Mount Royal University, Faculty of Arts, Arts Distinguished Speaker Series. The winner of the award is someone who would typically, through her/his scholarship, advocacy, or service, be considered as a champion for advancing the importance of the Arts and/or Social Sciences.


About Kate Bornstein

Celebrated transgender trailblazer Kate Bornstein has — with humour and spunk — ushered us into a world of limitless possibility through a daring re-envisionment of the gender system as we know it. Kate lives on the edge of paradox: she is not a man, and not a woman. She looks beyond the binary to see gender as both a conscious practice, and a playful journey.

Kate was born Albert Bornstein in 1948, in Asbury Park, New Jersey. At an early age, he came to the conclusion that he wasn’t a boy, and she didn’t want to grow up to be a man. To Kate, being a boy was all acting—which served her in good stead as the first person to graduate from Brown University with a degree in Theatre Arts. As a highly skilled actor, Kate knows what she’s talking about when she speaks of gender as performative.

Kate’s work is taught in five languages, in over 200 high schools, colleges, and universities around the world. The titles of her books say a lot about who she is, and how she views things:
• Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us
• My New Gender Workbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Achieving World Peace Through Gender Anarchy and Sex Positivity.
• Hello, Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks, and Other Outlaws
• A Queer and Pleasant Danger: The True Story of a Nice Jewish Boy Who Joins the Church of Scientology and Leaves Twelve Years Later to Become the Lovely Lady She Is Today

Kate has been lecturing and performing for over 25 years. Recently, she’s been featured on MSNBC’s “Melissa Harris Perry” show, and she is the subject of the award-winning documentary, “Kate Bornstein Is a Queer and Pleasant Danger,” by Sam Feder. Kate’s work on suicide prevention, and her advocacy for marginalized and at-risk youth earned her two citations of outstanding citizenship from the New York City Council.

If you haven’t read Kate’s work or heard her speak before, get ready—she is the radical role model, the affectionate best friend, and the guiding mentor all in one. You will come away energized, comforted, and full of hope.

“It’s simple: do whatever it takes to make your life more worth living. And there’s only one rule you need to follow to make that kind of blanket permission work: don’t be mean.”
— Kate Bornstein


For more information on these events, please visit or contact Kimberly Williams, Associate Professor and Program Coordinator, Women’s & Gender Studies, Department of Humanities, at

To watch the trailer for the film visit: