Thomas Page McBee’s Lambda award-winning memoir, Man Alive, was named a best book of 2014 by NPR Books, BuzzFeed, Kirkus, and Publisher's Weekly. His new book, Amateur, a reported memoir about learning how to box in order to understand masculinity’s tie to violence, was published in August to wide acclaim.
Thomas was the first transgender man to box in Madison Square Garden, a “masculinity expert” for VICE, and the author of the columns “Self-Made Man” for The Rumpus and “The American Man” for Pacific Standard. His current column, "Amateur," is for Condé Nast's Them. A former senior editor at Quartz, his essays and reportage have appeared in the New York Times, Playboy, and Glamour.
I dodge taxis and drunk college kids near Astor Place and think how sweet to be a man in motion on a Saturday night; man formed of needles and a hundred sweaty locker rooms; a man without translation; a man who invents himself.
I need to be here, all skin and beard and elevator heart, where everything happens at once: the people we’ve been and the people we’re becoming creating a weird physics, time bending us toward each other, nine million stories bumping into the night, each of us calling the others home.
As I look toward the East River and my teenage summers, I sometimes see my old body continuing on without me, living the slow-and-steady life I’d planned for so carefully and not this spectacular mess I’ve come, I think, to prefer.