Celebrated transgender trailblazer Kate Bornstein has—with humor 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 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. Currently, Kate is a regular cast member of the second season of E! TV’s “I Am Cait,” with Caitlyn Jenner. 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 has 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.
Silas Howard is an award winning director and writer, with a longtime focus in telling honest, boundary-shattering narratives filled with groundbreaking characters, as evident in his recent work, directing episodes of Amazon’s Emmy award-winning Transparent, Freeform’s The Fosters, and MTV’s Faking It.
Howard began his career crafting stories that challenged society’s conventional boundaries, and was right away met with praise. His first feature film, By Hook or By Crook was a Sundance Film Festival premiere and five-time Best Feature winner.
After this success, Howard diversified into directing documentaries, music videos, web series, and most recently, television – never straying from his strength in showcasing revolutionary stories and voices. His documentary, What I Love About Dying, premiered at Sundance and played festivals world-wide. His second feature, Sunset Stories, premiered at SXSW and was awarded best ensemble cast by the LA Asian Pacific Film Festival, and best director at CAAM Festival.
His music video, Golden Age of Hustlers, starring Tony-nominated performer, Justin Vivian Bond, screened during the 2014 Whitney Biennial. His documentary, Sticks & Stones, based on the legendary San Francisco transgender chanteuse, Bambi Lake, was a recipient of the Horizon Completion grant and is currently playing film festivals internationally.
Howard’s short films, music videos and web series have aired on MTV, Logo, Showtime and the Sundance Channel.
In 2015, Howard directed the first and second seasons of SNL legend, Paula Pell’s newest brainchild, Hudson Valley Ballers. This project, produced by comedy veteran, Lorne Michaels, stars a slew of comedy icons.
Most recently, San Francisco Film Society, in partnership with the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, has awarded Howard their 2015 Filmmaking Grant, to produce his newest feature film, The Lusty, about the world’s first exotic dancers’ union.
Silas Howard received his MFA at UCLA in directing and is a Film Independent Directors Lab Fellow, Nantucket Screenwriting Colony Fellow, the 2014-15 Arthur Levitt Fellow at Williams College and a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship.