THOMAS PAGE McBEE discusses his memoir AMATEUR with ANN FRIEDMAN

Amateur: A True Story About What Makes a Man (Scribner)

In Amateur: A True Story About What Makes a Man, Thomas Page McBee, the first transgender man to ever box in Madison Square Garden, explores his relationship to violence as experienced in a man’s body, while wrestling with the larger issue of what healthy masculinity might look like in our society.

From every incident of gun violence, to every instance of publicized sexual harassment and assault, to the conversation around our most recent presidential election, it’s clear that we are at a potential turning point in our understanding of men’s roles in the world. In 2015, while training for a charity boxing match, McBee embarked on a mission to uncover how to live as a man while remaining conscious of his privilege, supportive of the women in his life, and aligned with his most authentic self. Interweaving research and analysis with the story of his training, McBee traces the relationship between masculinity and violence and explores how we can move, together, toward a healthier idea of what it means to be a man.

Praise for Amateur

“Until I read this book, I didn't realize how tired I was of reading about masculinity as cold, hard, and fixed. Amateur is a warm hug. It's also an invitation to everyone who's ever struggled to accept failure, searched for a sense of belonging, or said "Ugh, men" in an exasperated tone to think harder and be kinder. I want the world to read it.”Ann Friedman, New York Magazine columnist and co-host of Call Your Girlfriend

“Amateur is a brutally honest look at the problems with masculinity, laced through with hope, and joy, and possibility. Thomas McBee confronts fears and realities with grace, toughness and poetry. A beautiful book.”Michelle Tea, author of Black Wave and How to Grow Up

Thomas Page McBee is the author of the Lambda award-winning memoir Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness, and Becoming a Man, which was named a best book of 2014 by NPR, BuzzFeedKirkus Reviews, and Publishers Weekly. His writing has appeared in The New York TimesPlayboyGlamour, The Rumpus, and Pacific Standard. He lives in Brooklyn. 

Photo by Amos Mac

Ann Friedman is a freelance journalist who writes about gender, media, technology, and culture. She also co-hosts a podcast, Call Your Girlfriend, with Aminatou Sow. You can find her writing in New York Magazine, the Gentlewoman, the Los Angeles TimesCalifornia SundayThe New Republic, The New York Times Book Review, ELLE, and The Guardian. Every Friday she sends out an email newsletter full of digital treats. She also makes hand-drawn pie charts. She lives in Los Angeles.


Photo by Jorge Rivas

Event date: 
Saturday, September 1, 2018 - 5:00pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness and Becoming a Man (City Lights/Sister Spit) By Thomas Page McBee Cover Image
ISBN: 9780872866249
Availability: Not in Stock. Available to Order.
Published: City Lights Books - September 9th, 2014