Meet S. Bear Bergman: Author, Educator and Activist

San Mateo County Libraries welcomes S. Bear Bergman on Wednesday, May 18 at 6:00 PM. Bergman will discuss his book, Special Topics in Being a Human, before taking questions and sharing live advice with the audience.   

After registering, you will receive your Zoom invitation and information on how to obtain a giveaway copy of Special Topics in Being a Human: A Queer and Tender Guide to Things I’ve Learned the Hard Way About Caring for People, Including Myself!

As an author, educator and public speaker, Bergman has documented his experience as, among other things, a trans parent, with wit and aplomb. Special Topics in Being a Human is a witty and insightful book of practical advice for the modern age, offering dad advice and Jewish bubbe wisdom filtered through a queer lens to help you navigate some of the complexities of life.

Bergman walks through how to make big decisions or a good apology, how to get someone’s new name and pronouns right as quickly as possible and how to navigate a breakup gracefully. He calls out social inequities and injustices in traditional advice-giving, validates your feelings, asks a lot of questions and tries to help you be your best possible self with kindness, compassion and humor. Special Topics in Being a Human features disarming illustrations by Saul Freedman-Lawson.   

Praise for S. Bear Bergman 

S. Bear Bergman is a writer, storyteller, activist and the founder and publisher of the book press Flamingo Rampant, which makes feminist, culturally diverse children’s picture books about LGBT2Q+ kids and families. He writes creative nonfiction for grown-ups, fiction for children, resolutely factual features for various publications and the advice column “Asking Bear.” His books include The Nearest Exit May Be Behind Us and Blood, Marriage, Wine & Glitter, and he was the co-editor along with Kate Bornstein of Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation

Sweet, soulful, and deeply humane. Bear at his best.—Alison Bechdel (The Secret to Superhuman Strength, Fun Home) 

For many years the insight, compassion, and humor of S. Bear Bergman’s writing has been an ever-tender roadmap to my own becoming. I find it truly impossible to read anything he writes and not feel my own heart double in size, and Special Topics in Being a Human is an especially transformative gift to our precious lives. Bergman’s pages on “how to love” shook me like very few pieces of writing ever have. From beginning to end this book is a wildly thoughtful and beautifully honest guide to honoring ourselves, each other, and our world.—Andrea Gibson (Lord of the Butterflies) 

A delightful, neatly intersectional graphic compendium of advice tailored to a variety of situations lands as so down-to-earth that few readers will mind that it's telling them what to do. Bergman approaches his mission with humility, humor, and practicality . .. Delivered with more than a spoonful of kindness, this medicine goes down easy and has the potential to facilitate real healing.—Publishers Weekly (starred review) 

Special Topics in Being a Human is one of those rare books that is, indeed, essential reading for all humans. We all mess up. We all feel overwhelmed sometimes. We’re all trying to do better at caring for ourselves and those around us with compassion, boundaries, justice, allyship and grace. S. Bear Bergman offers his trademark tender, thoughtful wisdom in such accessible, bite-sized, pieces that you can literally take them with you.—Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (Surprised By God, Nurture the Wow)