Amateur by Thomas Page McBee


From an award-winning writer whose work bristles with “hard-won strength, insight, agility, and love” (Maggie Nelson), an exquisite and troubling narrative of masculinity, violence, and society.In this groundbreaking new book, the author, 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 boxing—learning to get ...

Details Amateur

Release DateAug 14th, 2018
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Glbt, Queer, Lgbt, Feminism, Gender

Reviews Amateur

  • Rebecca Foster
    Thomas Page McBee was the first transgender man to box at Madison Square Garden. In his second memoir, which arose from a Quartz article entitled “Why Men Fight,” he recounts the training leading up to his charity match and ponders whether aggression is a natural male trait. McBee grew up in a small town outside Pittsburgh with a stepfather who sexually abused him from age four. In 2011 he started the testosterone injections that would begin ...
  • Rebecca
    Maggie Nelson said that this book was like "sitting with someone uncurling his hands, than holding them out to you, open, so that you can behold all the hard-won strength, insight, agility and love to be found there" and I think that's true. This is a vital trans narrative about becoming and fighting and masculinity. There's bloodiness and tenacity in it, but also gentleness.
  • Eleanor
    Thomas Page McBee wrote an earlier book, Man Alive, about his transition; this one, Amateur, is about his attempts to learn to box in order to fight in a charity match at Madison Square Garden. (He did it, becoming the first trans man to box there in the process.) As its subtitle would suggest, this is fertile ground in terms of seeing questions about manhood through the lens of violence, aggression, love, and the moments where those three things...
  • Julie Giehl
    This one is going to sit with me for awhile. Ann Friedman’s back of the book review calls it a warm hug, and it is. I loved his writing style, his ability to see everything, to face hard truths and lead with a beginner’s mind. There’s a lot to say about masculinity in America and McBee does a beautiful job giving this topic justice, in a very warm and vulnerable way. I’ll second Friedman’s review, I want the world to read this book.
  • Courtney Gillette
    If I’m honest, I have little interest in boxing (and perhaps less so in masculinity as a concept), but Thomas Page McBee is such a talent, I’d follow him anywhere. This is a generous and tender story, beautifully rendered. I’m grateful this book is in the world.
  • Taylor Clarke
    The ‘after’ of transition is handled here kindly and deftly, but I wanted more - I feel like the entire narrative could have been pushed just a step more.
  • Simon
    Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review, but honestly I had this book pre-ordered already.Thomas's work means a lot to me, I can't tell you how many times I read his first book (Man Alive), so I might be biased when I say this book is fucking incredible and required reading for anyone affected by contemporary masculinity (, everyone)