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Social Science Lesbian Studies

Blood, Marriage, Wine & Glitter

by (author) S. Bear Bergman

Arsenal Pulp Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2013
Lesbian Studies, Gender Studies
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2013
    List Price

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Lambda Literary Award finalist

The celebrated essayist sheds necessary (and humorous) light on gender, sexuality, and family.

S. Bear Bergman is an acclaimed writer and lecturer who travels regularly across North America to speak on trans issues. Bear's first two books, Butch Is a Noun and The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You, are considered essential texts on the subject of trans life. In his third essay collection, Bear enters, describes, and rearranges our ideas about family as a daughter, husband, father, and friend. In Bear's extended family "orchard," drag sisters, sperm-donor's parents, Sparkles and other relations provide more branches of love, support, and sustenance than a simple family tree.

Defiantly queer yet full of tenderness and hilarity, Blood, Marriage, Wine & Glitter is a beautifully thought-provoking book that redefines the notion of what family is and can be.

Bear is also co-author of Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation and author of the groundbreaking trans-positive children's books Backwards Day and The Adventures of Tulip, Birthday Wish Fairy.

About the author

S. Bear Bergman is the author of two books, the Lambda Award-nominated The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You (Arsenal Pulp, 2009), and Butch Is a Noun, first published by Suspect Thoughts in 2006 and reissued in a new edition by Arsenal Pulp Press in 2010. Bear is also the co-editor (with Kate Bornstein) of the Lambda Award-winning anthology Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation (Seal, 2010). Ze is also a frequent contributor to anthologies on all manner of topics from the sacred to the extremely profane. A longtime activist, Bear was one of the founders of the first-ever Gay Straight Alliance, and has watched them spread with wonder. Ze continues to work at the points of intersection between and among gender, sexuality, and culture, and spends a lot of time trying to discourage people from installing traffic signals there. Bear lives in Toronto, Ontario with hir husband and son.


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  • Short-listed, Lambda Literary Award

Editorial Reviews

Witty, wise, and accessible, the book provides clear answers to anyone who has asked trans people pointed questions about parentage and gender without realizing the painful implications ... In its unflinching, raw authenticity, Bergman's memoir speaks to the shared truths of intimacy in broad human connections, offering a salient cultural intervention while remaining an "everyfamily" tale.
-Quill and Quire

Quill and Quire

Bergman has crafted a well-wrought book of essays on parenting, non-traditional families, healing from old wounds, and intimacy that very nearly brought me to tears on several occasions ... The book rings true and clear in a modern queer world.
-Lambda Literary

Lambda Literary

This is an instructive and delightful meditation on the ways in which we love and connect - it's about family, about kin, about bonds created, crafted, stitched and grown. Bergman's writing overflows with heart, soul, brains and wit; everybody needs to read this book.
-Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, author of Surprised By God: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Religion

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg

A worthy contribution to the growing body of work on GLBT parenting.
-Gay and Lesbian Review

Gay and Lesbian Review

S. Bear Bergman writes tenderly and thoughtfully about the many many ways family creates us - and breaks us - for which we have few words. Yes, in some ways I love this book just because there are ways in which it's my own personal family album. But I love it even more for the ways in which it is yours, and everyone's.
-Hanne Blank, author of Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Heterosexuality

Hanne Blank

S. Bear Bergman's Blood, Marriage, Wine & Glitter is, like his son's Hebrew name, Menachem, a comfort. These are essays about the real modern families
- the ones we forge through devotion and intent. Bergman is all wisdom, honesty, and heart, proudly showing readers the constellation of intimacy he and his husband have created both as individuals and as a couple.
-Roxane Gay, author of Ayiti

Roxane Gay

I have read so many books, but none so much as Blood, Marriage, Wine & Glitter have made me feel less alone.


A fantastic collection of essays offering a fresh perspective on family life for all parents, LGBTQ or otherwise.
-For Books' Sake

For Books' Sake

S. Bear Bergman is a first-rate storyteller, and this is his finest book to date. This heartwarming book is the first of its kind: a father/son love story in a family with one incredible kid and two queer, polyamorous, trans dads. Chapter by chapter, Bergman answered any question I had (and many questions I'd never considered) about the sociology of the ever-present radical normalcy in postmodern nuclear family life, and the tragicomedy of chosen family, deep in the heart of LGBT queerdom. Be prepared to laugh, cry, and gasp out loud. I sure did.
-Kate Bornstein, author of My New Gender Workbook

Kate Bornstein

Written in a unique and refreshing voice, S. Bear Bergman's third collection of essays again mines his experience as a trans man but focuses on how he and his community are changing the family.
-NOW Magazine


Blood, Marriage, Wine & Glitter is a brilliant example of Bear's tremendous storytelling ability coming head-to-head with his love for educating the public on all things relating to gender, sexuality and culture.
-Vancouver Weekly

Vancouver Weekly

The tone is smart and chatty ... To many, these essays will be a comfort, but while that comfort is necessary, it would be a shame if LGBTQ readers were Glitter's sole audience. For many more -- perhaps those who puzzle over how two trans dads could give birth to a baby (as Bergman and his partner did) -- this book presents a much-needed education.
-The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail

A memoir that confronts all sorts of difficult ideas about family and love, exploding preconceived notions and embarking on redefinitions.
-Stacey May Fowles, National Post

National Post

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