A Trans-religious Approach

Written by lesbian feminist Virginia Mollenkott, Omnigender has been hailed as  "marvelous... a big book..[that] ends one period in the epic struggle of Christianity with homosexuality and opens another." (Mary E. Hunt, Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual -- WATER). 

Letty Russell of Yale Divinity School calls it "a courageous crossing of gender boundaries that pushes us beyond our carefully constructed categories."  Transsexual Kate Bornstein calls it "a landmark book filling...a major void in transsexual writing: the missing bridge between traditional religious doctrine and secular postmodern theory."  Dana Rivers from International Foundation for Gender Education says the book "gives transgendered people the chance to reclaim their connection to God."  And Mollenkott herself says Omnigender is "from first to last, a labor of love, the book I was born to write.

  Virginia Ramey Mollenkott contends that the common understanding of gender as two opposite sexes is woefully inadequate. In fact, she argues that this "binary gender paradigm" is oppressive and inflicts grave suffering on many people.

  Identifying ways in which this paradigm is harmful to people, Mollenkott moves beyond the current gender construct to offer vision of a new, more flexible gender paradigm which she terms "omnigender."

  In proposing a new paradigm, Mollenkott offers a vision of what such an omnigendered society might look like and offers suggestions for the educational, scientific, and political steps it will take to get there.

  "The binary gender construct has been and continues to be of life-and-death importance to those who cannot meet society's unrealistic requirements," writes Mollenkott.  In Omnigender: A Trans-religious Approach, she shows how shifting gender paradigms will liberate individuals and make our society more truthful and just.

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About the Author

Virginia Ramey Mollenkott is a professor emeritus of English at the William Paterson University of New Jersey. Drawing on a lifetime of experience in writing and teaching about gender issues, Mollenkott bridges traditional religious doctrine and secular postmodern theory related to gender. She honors the experiences of people who do not fit within the traditional binary concept of gender, including individuals who are intersexual, transsexual, or otherwise transgendered. Examining the Jewish and Christian scriptures and church history, she finds alternative concepts of gender. Exploring Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, African, Native American, and other religions, she uncovers precedents for increased gender fluidity.

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