Amateur: A Reckoning With Gender, Identity and Masculinity
A tender and eye-opening memoir that questions gender and masculinity. After suffering violence at the hands of men as a girl then transitioning in his thirties, Thomas Page McBee explores the contradictions of living in his new body. Suddenly men want to fight him, he is not meant to talk about his feelings, he gets a pay rise and can silence a room with his voice, these are the new realities of living as a man. But what if he doesn’t want to subscribe to them?
Through learning amateur boxing, McBee discovers that the rigid socialised experience of masculinity is not innate, it is learned. This is an important and necessary story about reckoning with toxic masculinity that needs to be told, and glimpses at the freedom of realising there is no such thing as a ‘real man’. A must-read.
Available to Order
Shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction
Shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize
In this groundbreaking new book, Thomas Page McBee, a trans man, trains to fight in a charity match at Madison Square Garden while struggling to untangle the vexed relationship between masculinity and violence.
Through his experience of boxing – learning to get hit, and to hit back; wrestling with the camaraderie of the gym; confronting the betrayals and strength of his own body – McBee examines the weight of male violence, the pervasiveness of gender stereotypes and the limitations of conventional masculinity. A wide-ranging exploration of gender in our society, Amateur is ultimately a story of hope, as McBee traces a way forward: a new masculinity, inside the ring and out of it.
A graceful and uncompromising exploration of living, fighting and healing, in Amateur we gain insight into the stereotypes and shifting realities of masculinity today through the eyes of a new man.
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