Bring Kate to Your Town

  • Bring Kate to Your Town
    To bring Kate to your school or town for a performance, workshop, lecture, or all of the above, please send an email to the following address. PLEASE do not use this email for personal correspondence. It will not be answered. This address is only for booking touring engagements: katebornstein at earthlink dot net. Twitter is still the best way to reach Kate for any personal reason.

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    « It Gets Better | Main | What Does Mean Mean? »

    October 06, 2010


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    H C

    Today I told my students that "don't be mean" was the most important life rule. I guess I'll have to offer a few disclaimers tomorrow.

    I'm not sure we should really be mean to ourselves though. I'll have to think about that one.


    Kate Bornstein

    Well, you're right, HC. We *shouldn't* be mean to ourselves. But since most all of us already are mean to ourselves as a way to stay alive, I just figure we may as well own it and then we can practice being less and less mean.


    Kate, I have been raving about your YouTube video. Mostly for the reason that you told the truth - yes,it gets better but things also get worse. So while I am in the middle of this "Kate is awesome" rant I get reminded that you did something really mean, and to someone who is super important to me. Anyway, could you apologize? Thanks.

    Kate Bornstein

    Oh, Bob. I've done lots of really mean things in my life, and I do apologize that I did something mean to someone who's important to you. But you didn't leave me any way to get in touch with you to find out what and to whom. My email is up on top of this page. Says for booking only, but you can certainly use it to email me details. xo K

    H C

    Well I'm mean to myself all of the time. I'm just not ready to give myself permission! See? I'm still being mean to myself!!

    Kate Bornstein

    HC.... kiss kiss, and hugs. ❤ K


    Now I'm all inspired and stuff, Imma have to quote you.


    Hello Kate. I am a 22 y.o. from Japan (but I went to high school in the US). A couple of years ago I bought your book (Hello Cruel World) from Amazon because I had been suicidal for years & I didn't know how to cope with that anymore since we didn't and still don't have a lot of support for suicidal people in Japan. There are books ON suicidal people (I tried reading them but I felt like I was feeling worse) but they don't write a book FOR suicidal people. I found your book on Amazon, I was very lucky, whenever I feel completely alone in this world I open your book & you are really like my aunt or mom (there are reasons I won't talk to my parents anymore).

    I am sorry the last paragraph was long but my point is Can I translate your book into Japanese? The other day I did a sample on my blog (I posted an article trying to tell them "they have this book in the US!!" along with my translation/interpretation of p.90 of your book)

    Also there are several things
    -my father's occupation IS a translator (he does Sidney Sheldon and others) and he does owns a publishing company BUT I don't want his help in distributing and stuff.
    -I am a college drop out and not a professional translator but I occasionally translate for free (volunteering)

    I don't need any money/job. I need something to do to stay alive. We NEED the knowledge & wisdom in your book in Japan too.

    Could you please help me, Kate?

    Thank you very much for reading.


    Kate Bornstein

    Dear Kasari, Wow. That's a lovely idea. I had in mind the idea to get this book out in Japanese, given your culture's unique relationship to suicide. So, let's do it.
    First step is to contact my publisher, Seven Stories Press. Try this link:
    I'm guessing they'll get back to you quickly. If not, get back to me by using the email address you find in the top left text box of this page. xoxo Kate


    Hey Auntie Kate!

    My name is Cole- I'm a student at the University of Wisconsin, and I was first introduced to you at the 2010 MBLGTACC (where, I might add, you were spectacular!). After listening to you speak alone, I have really felt inspired to include your philosophies/rules into my daily routine, with fantastic results. Much like it seems Kasari has, I feel very linked to you because of the strength you've given me, and have no issues viewing you as an aunt who I've never even met. I really feel like your entire construct is a complete logical evolution. Do what it takes to stay alive, if your God has issues with it, find a new one, if your friends have issues with it, make some different ones, just don't be mean.

    My only issue, and the thing I have spent many an hours contemplating, is your definition of meanness. Which is to say, do you have one? I can't say I've thoroughly researched and read your blogs and your book cover to cover, but if I could get it straight from the source, I'd love to know what exactly being mean entails? Is it the conscious act of doing something to hurt other people? I don't know that most people go out of their way to injure others physically/emotionally, but I think actions can still be seen as hurtful.

    So I suppose I want to know, when I arch an eyebrow as somebody walks past, and say to myself, "God, that outfit was horrendously tacky," is that mean, or just plain fun? Being that I seem to be having issues creating one myself, what is your definition of meanness, so I can be sure to avoid it.

    Kate Bornstein

    Hey Cole... Lotsa folks have asked me "what is mean." Your comment was a tipping point for me, so thanks. Too big to answer here in comments. My response needed it's own blog: "What Does Mean Mean?"

    David Kirk

    I advocate unconditional understanding, as I said on the other post. That includes being understanding of yourself when you've not been so understanding.

    That sounds like just another task to give people, which doesn't work when you're desperate, so I'll suggest you start by forgiving yourself for being mean to yourself. The rest will work itself out.

    To be understanding takes a little neutrality, a little detachment, but it's provided me a world of calm compared to beforehand.

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