Audiobooks The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You By S. Bear Bergman –

Alternately Unsettling And Affirming, Devastating And Delicious, The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You Is A New Collection Of Essays On Gender And Identity By S Bear Bergman That Is Irrevocably Honest And Endlessly Illuminating With Humor And Grace, These Essays Deal With Issues From Women S Spaces To The Old Boys Network, From Gay Male Bathhouses To Lesbian Potlucks, From Being A Child To Preparing To Have One Throughout, S Bear Bergman Shows Us There Are Things You Learn When You Re Visibly Different From Those Around You Whether It S Being Transgressively Gendered Or Readably Queer As A Transmasculine Person, Bergman Keeps Readers Breathless And Rapt In The Freakshow Tent Long After The Midway Has Gone Dark, When The Good Hooch Gets Passed Around And The Best Stories Get Told Ze Offers Unique Perspectives On Issues That Challenge, Complicate, And Confound The Official Stories About How Gender And Sexuality Work

10 thoughts on “The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You

  1. says:

    Bear strikes again Amusing and amazing Hey, I resemble that remark moments abound, where you would never expect them, at least not if you re not a formerly butch identified New York Jew trannyfag and before any political correctivists get too excited, I m using the author s terms for hirself.Bear saves the best for last In the final essay, ze outright rejects the negativity, the dys phorias and the non conformity and all that usually surrounds gender and comes up with a pure positivist view That s the first great thing about transfolk we have thought about who we are We ve thought about it a lot We have thought about our genders and our bodies, but also we have had a lot of other things to think about, haven t we We examine every action, attitude, gesture, choice of work or hobby We think about what drink we order in a bar and we think about how we wrap our scarves around our necks, for sure, but we also think about how we want to be in the world We don t follow a path, we forge our own We have to And it makes us thoughful It makes us all recognize that we do have a choice about most things, that we can define and enact who we think we are If you have any interest at all in people, go read Now.

  2. says:

    The author s current pronouns are he him I will use those pronouns in this review I ve seen Bear speak on numerous occasions we ve shared space at events so I have first hand experience I have people who are very close to me who have been treated poorly by Bear, so I also have second hand experience It is nigh impossible to separate Bear from his writing While he is a good writer, in the corners and shadows of his writing, his entitlement, bravado, and dismissal shine through He often speaks from a place of assumption perhaps I notice this because so much of his assumptions grate upon me He made broad sweeping statements using language that was outdated at the time this book was published He makes many statements about how all young queers want to have sex, how queers experience sexuality, holding up sex as the pinnacle of queerness He barely acknowledges race By the end of the book, I felt that Bear saw me as much as most straight cisgender people do not at all And in that, I felt excluded and unseen, a freak among freaks.

  3. says:

    This is a funny, often sweet, always interesting collection of essays on the author s experience of living a queer, trans and Jewish life It s non intentionally fascinating also in that it was published 2009, and it s clear from reading it now that the queer personal and political landscape has changed enormously in ten years Bergman uses the terminology of the gender outlaw , popularised by Kate Bornstein which put me off originally as I loathe Bornstein s writing but Bergman is much better than her Ze doesn t, however, use the words nonbinary or genderqueer , which have become standard use a mere decade later Particularly as Bergman s description of hir gendered experience reads to the modern ear as archetypically nonbinary and genderqueer and in so being, is much, much common than Bergman indicates it is None of this is intended to be criticism the book was written in 2009 but it adds an additional dimension to an already interesting book There s also some discussion about Bergman s experience of, and experience of being interrogated about, the difference between butch lesbians, butches generally Bergman s previous work, which I haven t read, was Butch Is A Noun and made the argument that butch is a freestanding gender and trans men Bergman rightly remarks that there isn t a a single difference or, for some people, any difference at all it s part of the tapestry of queer lived experience However, in these madder times in which transphobic lesbians despair at butch flight , butch lesbians leaving their holy womanhood to be Transed into men lol urgh , Bergman s comparatively innocent examination of the question bears rereading.

  4. says:

    Best essays so far only 1 2 of the way through the book so far the nearest exit may be behind you on always making sure you have a way to escape roadside assistance about wanting potential homophobes to know, after they ve benefited from your help, who has helped them it only takes a minute I very short vignettes dutiful grandchild in the old age home, only one gender matters when will you be having surgery there are many reasons to answer no new year busting them with kindness is so satisfying field guide to transmasculine creatures about the importance of acknowledging the fluidity and variety of human gender i m just saying again, the gender binary is a fallacy, and i have never really felt like a girl is not the same as i have always felt like a boy passing the word a very strongly worded argument against passing as a concept in favor of read puts the onus on the viewer, leaves behind a racist legacy word sing if you re glad to be trans about how being trans is great The rest of the essays are fine, but I didn t like them as much as those listed above However, my favorite quote was in one of the other essays It s an imagined conversation by a transmasculine person whose transmasculine husband is pregnant with their first child they will appear to the world as two dads Annoying woman in grocery store, after engaging son in peek a boo Where is your mommy Son I don t have a mommy Annoying woman patronizingly everyone has a mommy Parent Actually, he doesn t have a mommy He has an abba and a papa And two great grandmothers and five great aunts and three great uncles Plus four grandparents, six uncles, eleven aunties, and a brace of cousins in varying degrees of consanguinity Also a Tante Hanne and an Uncle Malcolm and an Ankle and a Spuncle and a Baba and a Big Pup so really, it s probably just as well he doesn t have a mommy, as I frankly have no idea when we d schedule time to see her.

  5. says:

    I was going back and forth on my opinion of this book the entire time I was reading it.At the start of it, I was getting annoyed at the author s use of the word tranny , because this word really offends me and has been used to insult me in the past I realize that it was not meant to offend in this case, however, so I finally decided not to let it bother me any.After getting over this, I found I disagreed with what the author was saying, but I was finding just as much of the book fascinating There is an essay in this book called Passing the Word which I loved It was enlightening and I found myself completely agreeing with Bergman in this case Other essays, such as the series of It Only Takes a Minute essays were also very interesting and in some cases quite funny.So this book was an up and down experience for me It was a great read, and I especially recommend the last essay Sing If You re Glad to Be Trans to all the trans youth in the world It was an empowering essay to read, and it ended the book off on a high.

  6. says:

    Bear Bergman is an incredibly gifted storyteller Some of these pieces should be mandatory reading if you re a human one in particular, about a harrowing plane ride and 100 mile drive over the Canadian border for compassionate health care, should be required for anyone who works in the medical profession Can t recommend it highly enough

  7. says:

    I spotted the spine of this in a photo of someone else s bookshelf and thought it looked possibly interesting, and then I wolfed it down in a couple of days because it engaged me so strongly It s a collection of essays on one person s experience of being transgender and genderqueer and queer My e book copy is now full of bookmarks and highlightings so many bits rang so many bells for me One thread probably of interest to me than to most people I d recommend it to is stuff about being queer and part of a religious community that knew you before you were queer, or before you were as queer, and, relatedly, being queer around older relatives It s very readable and anecdotal rather than academic highly recommended Four or five years later I went back to look up a quotation and got sucked back into rereading the whole thing Still great.

  8. says:

    This book was wonderful Funny, interesting, compelling, thoughtful, honest I recommend this book to everyone, but particularly to people who are queer, trans, or know and love someone who is I can t describe how great it is to read something that you think and feel in a book, things that you weren t sure anyone else thought or felt Or the feeling of reading in a book that exactly what and who you are is ok, and it s ok that you aren t exactly sure about who and what you are either The feeling that this author actually cares about me as an individual, despite not knowing me, and that ze puts out hir work because ze wants people like me to read it.

  9. says:

    You know how as a kid, you d repeat a word over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over, until the word itself lost meaning and only became another sound you could make That s how I felt about que r and tr nny by the end of this book I wish these words at least had some synonyms Bear Bergman could use, if only for some variety in the textual landscape The rest of the book was just as repetitive and honestly, a little shallow I think a younger me would have liked it, but at this point in my life, I ve read far better books and even unedited blog posts that it disappoints.

  10. says:

    In The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You, S Bear Bergman explores life in the gray areas of the gender spectrum Bergman examines such everyday things as feeling safe in a public restroom or a doctor s office, while also exploring larger issues such as getting one s husband pregnant or trying to get through Customs with the wrong gender marker one s passport Insightful and hilarious, affirming and poignant, this book provides a beautifully written, brutally honest, and delightfully funny description of life as a visibly queer person CM