On a More Personal Level


Guernica interviews Rumpus columnist Thomas Page McBee; he touches on his upcoming novel, American masculinity, and his steady transition across genders and cultures:

I didn’t transition until I was thirty. It was complicated, there were a lot of reasons that I didn’t transition sooner. Part of that conflict was that I had really negative associations with men. Subconsciously or not, I spent a lot of time trying to manifest my masculinity without having to be a man. For some people, being masculine without being male is just who they are, and that’s who I thought I was at one point.

In the book, I write about the moment when that changed for me. Roy [his father] abused me when I was growing up, and he had been my model of what masculinity meant. At a certain point, I realized I’d been very myopic and that it was holding me back from being myself. I had to confront that reality—that I was letting this one person’s maleness shape my understanding of what being a man was. I think it’s a pretty common thing with sons—deciding to be a different kind of man from your father. I had to face him and be a better man than he was.

Bryan Washington has written for Puerto Del Sol, Ninth Letter, and Midnight Breakfast, among others; he's also the recipient of a Houstonia Fellowship. He lives around New Orleans. More from this author →