Inverse Cowgirl: A Memoir

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Foreword by Jonathan Van Ness

From a celebrated activist on the forefront of fighting for intersex representation and rights--and a subject of the forthcoming documentary Every Body, from the filmmakers behind RBG--a funny, thought-provoking collection of essays about owning your identity and living your truth.

Two percent of the world's population--the same percentage of humans who have naturally red hair--is born intersex. Yet many people aren't even familiar with the word. Intersex individuals are born with both male and female reproductive organs, yet many are stripped of their identity at birth when a parent designates M or F on a birth certificate. That subjective choice is often followed by invasive, life-changing surgeries, performed without the individual's consent. Intersex people have become a target of politicians, attacked for who they are and threatened by legislation that attempts to categorize and define them.

Alicia Weigel is fighting back against the hate and fearmongering to protect the rights and lives of everyone. As an activist and the Human Rights Commissioner for the City of Austin, Alicia has championed legislation to reduce sexual assault and human trafficking, mandate paid sick leave and abortion funding, decriminalize and alleviate homelessness, and target other social determinants of health. In this book, Alicia boldly speaks out about working as a change agent in a state that actively attempts to pass legislation that would erase her existence, explores how we can reclaim bodily autonomy, and encourages us to amplify our voices to be heard. Disarming, funny, charming, and powerful, this is a vital account of personal accomplishment that will open eyes and change minds.

"At once a moving story of growing up intersex in America, and a passionate call for education and activism on behalf of the intersex community, Alicia Roth Weigel's memoir is powerful and vital. Weigel's voice shines with honesty, humor, courage, and hard-won wisdom. I am privileged to have been able to know her, and am so glad that this book will be in the world." -- Madeline Miller, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Song of Achilles

"In a society that continually reduces intersex existence to a theory or a metaphor, Inverse Cowgirl is a powerful intervention that affirms the dignity and full humanity of intersex people. With equal measure of heart and humor, Alicia Roth Weigel takes us on a trip from the personal to the political, establishing herself as an essential voice for autonomy and democracy." -- ALOK, author of Beyond the Gender Binary

"Alicia is a force of nature, indeed. Shimmering with empathy, even for those who most mistreated her, Inverse Cowgirl charts a brave new course for the world. In one book, Alicia manages to singlehandedly shatter notions of sex, gender, and politics as we know them, clearing the way for a brighter, better, and more liberated future. Slip on your cow-them boots, hop on the justice pony, and get ready for one helluva ride, because this is not a book you can afford to miss." -- Jacob Tobia, bestselling author of Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story

"Insightful, fierce, and candid, this book is a welcome addition to the growing body of personal accounts about living as a member of one of the most marginalized, silenced, and misunderstood of sexual minorities. ... An inspiring, eye-opening memoir that will educate many readers." -- Kirkus Reviews

Publisher: HarperOne
Pub date: September 19, 2023
256 pages
Format: Paperback