New Hyde Park resident Allan Hunter will be releasing his memoir, “GenderQueer: A Story from a Different Closet,” available soon from Sunstone Press. The story tells of the author’s journey through the challenges of gender identity that did not fit neatly into the categories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
Hunter explains, “I’m one of the girls. That’s my gender. I’m male. That’s my sex. I’m attracted to females. That’s my orientation. My experience was different from anything else I’d ever heard of. I wanted to write it down so there would be a book showing what it is like to grow up like this.”
Hunter received a B.A. in American Studies with a concentration in Women’s Studies from SUNY Old Westbury and an M.A. in Sociology and MSW in Social Welfare from SUNY Stony Brook University.
His self-examination and his skills at research into the areas of women’s and gender studies have provided him with many answers that have been incorporated into this book. “GenderQueer” should prove invaluable to those who want to learn about themselves, perhaps discovering that they, too, are genderqueer, as well as others studying the complex world of gender identities, whatever their personal stories happen to be.
Hunter also maintains an online blog (http://ahunter3.livejournal.com) which provides relevant material for an online course, as well as some more formal theory pieces available on his theory web site, www.genderkitten.com.
“In a world of increasingly complex gender identity issues, ‘Genderqueer’ transcends labels and categorizations,” said Susan F. Edwards, editor, author, journalist. “It tells the story of one person’s voyage outside the box at a time when there was no roadmap for the journey. This book extends a warm, open and affirming hand to people who are struggling to understand their own personal mix of gender and sexuality — and to those who want to understand and support their quest.”
During his undergraduate days, Hunter was an active participant at the campus Women’s Center, edited the student newspaper, and wrote many articles about sex roles, gender, and feminism. He also conducted a psychological research project on sex-role nonconformity, where he profiled male sissies (male girls) and female tomboys (female boys), differentiating them from either sexual orientation or studies of transsexual people seeking sex reassignment.
The author has often been at odds with other academics concerning his views on gender identity and on feminism. He has brought a fresh perspective to these discussions, which have not always been favorably received, yet they have added to the scholarship in an area that has been greatly lacking in researching and writing.
“Having facilitated 20Something, a queer support group in New York City, for many years, I have observed many of our young members explore a variety of experiences that speak to the development of their gender identity and sexual orientation. When Allan Hunter was our guest, his storytelling and amusing anecdotes helped open conversations they may never otherwise have on their own exploration of gender. We know Allan’s book will be a valued resource for many queer youth,” said 20Something organizer Nicholas Tamborra.
“Allan Hunter’s story highlights what it means to find that engrained understandings of how gender was understood in the late 20th century failed to accommodate individuals that did not fit the binary standards,” said Ann M Peiffer, Ph.D., Women’s and Gender Studies Program, Mars Hill University.
The book, “GenderQueer: A Story from a Different Closet,” will be available at Amazon.com and at local booksellers later this year.