I love this book. It provides a fascinating and honest insight into how much gender affects the way we live our lives. It has made me think about how I react to men and women and what I am doing, as a woman to up hold the status quo and how I can have more confidence in myself and support women and men around me to move forward.
The author tries to answer the question, 'What does it really mean to be a man? ' It's a book about forgiveness, kindness, and bravery. McBee is witty, insightful and lucid. He has written an engrossing and valuable book. His story is also about empathy and self-inquiry. It is exquisitely written.
The book is organised in two parts: part one asks questions such as, am I a real man? Part two asks questions like: what if I fail, and why do men fight? There is an epilogue and a short bibliography.
The story is about trans people. It links male violence, masculinity and forgiveness. In the opening pages of this autobiography we are in the middle of a boxing match in Madison Square Garden. McBee loses but tells his victor he loves him. Clearly this is going to be an unusual sports memoir. The rest of the book is about the author's fight as a transgender man. McBee is an American journalist who changed to a man at the age of thirty. The book tells how he trained for months for the fight, a fight that enable him to judge his identity relative to other men. Although he gets beaten in the ring the experience is a personal triumph.
McBee struggles for identity. What does it mean to be a son? A brother? His mother is a compelling person. Her death some years before is related as well as her reactions to his treatment. 'Amateur' is an interesting book. It is above all else an honest book.