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Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity

by Mattilda/Matt Bernstein Sycamore (editor) - £12.99  Seal Press (2006)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9781580051842 | ISBN 10: 1580051847

Nobody Passes is a collection of essays that confronts and challenges the very notion of belonging. By examining the perilous intersections of identity, categorization, and community, contributors challenge societal mores and countercultural norms. Nobody Passes explores and critiques the various systems of power seen (or not seen) in the act of “passing.” In a pass/fail situation, standards for acceptance may vary, but somebody always gets trampled on. This anthology seeks to eliminate the pressure to pass and thereby unearth the delicious and devastating opportunities for transformation that might create.
Mattilda, aka Matt Bernstein Sycamore has a history of editing anthologies based on brazen nonconformity and gender defiance. Nobody Passes is a cutting edge exploration of the very topical issue of passing. First-person narratives, critical essays, conversations, and polemics skewer cultural norms to open space for those increasingly marginalized in a polarized political culture. From activism to academia, immigration to appropriation, disability culture to trans communities, this anthology challenges standards of authenticity and destroys notions of acceptability. Mattilda sets out to ask the question, “What lies are people forced to tell in order to gain acceptance as 'real'?” The answers are as varied as the life experiences of the writers who tackle this urgent and essential topic.

"These essays, in all of their militant heterogeneity, with all of their ease and rage at being at the margins, chart some of the most important ground on which the desire for a new society is finding expression. They show rebels that we are far from alone in feeling such desire."
(David Roediger, author of History Against Misery, and Working Towards Whiteness: How America's Immigrants Became White)

(Price & availability last checked: September 2018)

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In booklists: Gender and Gender Theory,
In categories: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexuality & Transgender,

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