Amateur by Thomas Page McBee (Hardback ISBN 9781786890979) book cover

Available as Hardback, eBook, Downloadable audio

2 August 2018

An exploration of modern masculinity by the first transgender man to box at Madison Square Garden

In this ground-breaking 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.


“Thomas Page McBee writes about manhood - in all its danger and damaged allure - more beautifully and with greater nuance than any other writer I know. Man Alive is a brilliant, necessary book”
Garth Greenwell, Author Of What Belongs To You

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“A sweet, tender hurt of a memoir … McBee shows us what it takes to become a man who is gloriously, gloriously alive”
Roxane Gay, Author Of Bad Feminist

“Like sitting with someone uncurling his hands, then holding them out to you, open, so that you can behold all the hard-won strength, insight, agility, and love to be found there”
Maggie Nelson, Author Of The Argonauts

“Empathy is McBee’s objective, the most important part of becoming real in one’s own eyes … we are born human; with hard work, we achieve humanity”
new York Times

“A vitally important book. McBee’s story harnesses the power of self-inquiry, of generosity, of a transformation powerful enough to address even the fallout from child abuse”
los Angeles Review Of Books


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 | thomaspagemcbee.com