- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Candlewick; Reprint edition (March 10, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0763673684
- ISBN-13: 978-0763673680
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 70 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out Paperback – March 10, 2015
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[A] sorely needed resource for teens and, frankly, many adults... Downright revelatory. ... Kuklin captures these teenagers not as idealized exemplars of what it “means” to be transgender but as full, complex, and imperfect human beings. As Kuklin writes, “My subjects’ willingness to brave bullying and condemnation in order to reveal their individual selves makes it impossible to be nothing less than awestruck.” She isn’t wrong.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Kuklin brings her intimate, compassionate and respectful lens to the stories of six transgender young people.
... The collective portrait that emerges from these narratives and pictures is diverse, complex and occasionally self-contradictory — as any true story should be.Informative, revealing, powerful and necessary.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
[A] strikingly in-depth examination of the sometimes clinical complexities of being transgender, even as Kuklin’s empathy-inducing pictures put a human face on the experience. ... Kuklin’s important new book brings welcome clarity to a subject that has often been obscure and gives faces—literally and metaphorically—to a segment of the teen population that has too long been invisible. Speaking with equal impact to both the reader’s heart and mind, Beyond Magenta is highly recommended.
—Booklist (starred review)
Readers [will] become immersed in these young adults’ voices and experiences. The youth interviewed here do not uniformly share It Gets Better-style happy endings, but their strength is nonetheless inspirational as they face ongoing challenges with families, sexual and romantic relationships, bullies, schools, transitions, mental health, and more. The level of detail about their lives, and the diversity of their identities–including gender, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, and geography–provide a powerful antidote to the isolation and stigma that some transgender youth experience. ... There is much here that will resonate with and hearten the kids who need it and will foster understanding and support among those who live and work with transgender teens
—School Library Journal
Pain and possibility are juxtaposed in this groundbreaking book that by its very existence portends a better future.
—San Francisco Chronicle
It is a testament to Susan Kuklin's gifts as a listener and interviewer that her subjects describe their lives with such candor. ... Kuklin introduces each teen with a bit of background, and often (but not always) the teen's gender at birth. Kuklin treats her subjects with tenderness and respect. Her book provides both reassurance and answers to questions that teens may not even realize they have.
—Shelf Awareness Pro
The presentation of the spectrum of experiences is remarkably nuanced and sensitive... Kuklin also brings her skills as a photographer to the book’s design, using some pictures documentary-style interspersed throughout an individual’s interview, others grouped as breathtaking galleries that explore expression or isolation.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Kuklin’s book is not just a lifeline for teens who are going through something similar and need to see themselves and their lives so openly portrayed—this book is an important read for the parents, friends, and loved ones who want to understand what a transgender teen might be going through. This book is worth having on any shelf in any library and will not linger there long. ... A highly informative resource that is powerful, respectful, honest, and most importantly, long overdue.
In her edited transcriptions of the interviews, Kuklin lets her subjects speak wholly for themselves... Photographs (of most of the subjects) are candid and winning; and appended material, including Kuklin’s explanation of her interview process, a Q&A with the director of a clinic for transgendered teens, and a great resource list, is valuable.
—The Horn Book
This book examines a sensitive issue and explains the spectrum and diversity within the transgender community as well as defines the distinction between transgenders and individuals identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or queer. ... This book is a valuable resource for students desiring information on gender identity and the LGBTQ community.
—Library Media Connection
—Wall Street Journal
While several books have illuminated the lives of LGBT youth, this is the first book to focus solely on trans subjects, in an attractive collection that's perfect for a coffee table or your favorite pre-teen's bookshelf.
—The Advocate ("The Year's 10 Best Transgender Non-Fiction Books")
An eye-opener. ... Through extensive interviews, Susan Kuklin has captured the thinking and personalities of each subject in this book. Her sensitive photographs shows them as interesting people who have struggled to understand themselves and how they each, in their own unique way, differ from the norm.
—The Huffington Post
[A] candid, inspiring book. ... The teens are members of a group, but also distinct individuals, each with a unique, highly personal story. It goes without saying that their decision to share these stories is courageous. But being brave and taking chances is what transitioning is all about.
—The Chicago Tribune
About the Author
Susan Kuklin is the award-winning author and photographer of more than thirty books for children and young adults that span social issues and culture. Her photographs have appeared in Time, Newsweek, and the New York Times. Susan Kuklin lives in New York City.
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I appreciated the way in which Susan Kulkin approached this project. She clearly wanted to give people who don't fit into our society's neat little categorized gender/sex boxes a voice. She felt comfortable enough with herself as a writer (and a person, for that matter) to allow this mission to take whatever form her six interviewees wanted, whether it be creative retellings of the stories most important to them, poetry, photography, or question/answer sessions. She let their voices shape the manuscript, rather than forcing them to fit within the rigid confines of her preconceptions.
The main message of the Male-to-Female, Female-to-Male, pansexual (often referred to as androgynous), and intersex (often referred to as hermaphrodite) teens is simple: we're people too. And, though many heterosexual readers who fit nicely into traditional gender roles may not understand "why someone would choose to be a gender or sex other than the one in which they were born," by the time those readers take the time to fully read the chapter by and about the one intersex teen represented, they might understand how it isn't always a choice when someone is born with ovatestes (a combination of male and female reproductive organs) and a body constantly populated with a confusing combination of male and female hormones. If such a person "chooses" either gender and undergoes the surgery and hormone therapy required to exercise that choice, isn't that person technically a transgender individual? Readers might also be surprised to learn that some such people "choose" to live life straddling gender lines, as they were born. Is that, too, really a choice?
If you want to become empathetic to transexual, pansexual, and intersex teens, I highly recommend this book. If you fall into any of those categories yourself, you have probably already heard about it, but, if not, I suspect you might feel a kinship with some of the six teens whose profiles are shared within its pages. If you are a teen, you might want to take a look at this book since, chances are, you will probably meet and befriend someone like the six teens interviewed herein. If you are a parent of teens, a teacher of teens, a social worker who works with teens, or any other adult who interacts with teens on a regular basis, I would encourage you to read this book. It would be a wonderful addition to any young adult library, high school classroom library, or teen center book collection.
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I held my breath during Mariah's story, but I needed to hear it.Read more