In their latest, Ivan takes on the patriarchy and the political, as well as the intimate and the personal in these beguiling and revealing stories of what it means to be trans and non-binary today, at a time in their life when they must carry the burden of heartbreaking history with them, while combatting those who would misgender them or deny their very existence. These stories span 30 years of tackling TERFs, legislators, and bathroom police, sure, but there is joy and pleasure and triumph to be found here too, as Ivan pays homage to personal heroes like Leslie Feinberg and Ferron while gently guiding younger trans folk to prove to themselves that there is a way out of the darkness.
Rebent Sinner is the work of an accomplished artist whose plain truths about their experience will astound readers with their utter, breathtaking humanity. (From Arsenal Pulp Press)
Rebent Sinner is a finalist for the 2020 Governor General's Literary Prize for nonfiction.
Ivan Coyote is a filmmaker, storyteller and writer who has written several books.
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From the book
After twenty-five years of mostly road, you get familiar with airports. There's a waitress in the breakfast place in Ottawa who has outlasted three different name changes on the restaurant where she works the early morning shift. Her name is Naz and she knows I'm going to have black coffee and scrambled eggs and no toast, and I know she has three daughters and gets up at 3:45 am every weekday to come to this job, so she can be home at 3 pm when her kids get off school. Her middle daughter is a gymnast, and her youngest loves to read and her oldest is obsessed with a white boy two years older than her who Naz has nicknamed Not Good Enough.
I know never to connect in Chicago in the winter months and to avoid the shrimp at the Thai place in the international terminal in Toronto. Airports are the only place I ever see my friend the cello player and my friend the famous apocalyptic young adult fiction author.
I never forget my phone charger or my kobo or my reusable water bottle because my shoulders know the feel of what my backpack weighs with everything in it. Anyhow. A couple of weeks ago I was at the gate right next to the Starbucks in the domestic terminal of YVR when I spotted another queer in the crowd, tapping on her iPhone with a chewed-up forefinger. I had met her several times in Toronto, we have many friends in common. I flipped through the rolodex of names and faces in my head. Ella? No. Eli. Her name was Eli.
She nodded hello and dragged her backpack off the seat next to where she was sitting and deposited it between her Blundstones to make room for me to sit.
From Rebent Sinner by Ivan Coyote ©2019. Published by Arsenal Pulp Press.