A Reckoning With Gender, Identity and Masculinity

Thomas Page McBee

I was a man, that much was clear. But, years after I became one, I still wondered what, exactly, that meant.
Amateur by Thomas Page McBee (Paperback ISBN 9781786891006) book cover

Available as Paperback, eBook, Downloadable audio

An exploration of modern masculinity by the first transgender man to box at Madison Square Garden, shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize

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.

Amateur is a beautiful and powerful book written by the superbly talented Thomas Page McBee. This memoir is such an important piece of trans literature to support and one that spoke to me deeply”
elliot Page

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“A visceral, sparky read … Beautifully written [and] deep and affecting … Absolutely fascinating”
Bbc Radio 4 A Good Read

“A blazingly wise and beautiful book”
A.l. Kennedy

“McBee’s writing bristles with an elegant swagger … Amateur is as much a reconciliation as an emancipation … Punchy, thought-provoking stuff”
sunday Times

“In an age when identity feels so splintered and fractional, McBee’s empathy with men feels refreshing, but it’s his determination to be accountable that is radical. He resolves his own masculinity crisis by doing the things men often think they’re doing, but so often are not: listening, asking questions, seeking help, being vulnerable”

Thomas Page McBee

Thomas Page McBee was ‘masculinity expert’ for Vice and the first trans man ever to box at Madison Square Garden. His essays and reportage have appeared in the New York Times, Playboy, Glamour and Salon.
@ThomasPageMcBee |

Thomas Page McBee, author of Amateur, was the first transgender man ever to box at Madison Square Garden. This is the story of how that happened.

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