Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out
Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out
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Annotation: Shares insights into the teen transgender experience, tracing six individual's emotional and physical journey as it was shaped by family dynamics, living situations, and the transition each teen made during the personal journey.
Catalog Number: #5687303
Format: Paperback
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition Date: 2015
Pages: 182 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-7636-7368-4
ISBN 13: 978-0-7636-7368-0
Dewey: 306.76
LCCN: 2013943071
Dimensions: 23 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
Rather than attempting to convey the spectrum of transgender experience through a multitude of voices, Kuklin focuses on just six young people whose gender identities are something other than what they were labeled at birth. Photographs (of most of the subjects) are candid and winning; appended material, including a Q&A with the director of a clinic for transgender teens, is valuable. Reading list, websites. Glos.
Publishers Weekly
In a sorely needed resource for teens and, frankly, many adults, author/photographer Kuklin shares first-person narratives from six transgender teens, drawn from interviews she conducted and shaped with input from her subjects. The six -chapters- read like personal histories, with Kuklin interjecting occasional context and helping bridge jumps in time. Readers will gain a real understanding of gender as a spectrum and a societal construct, and of the challenges that even the most well-adjusted, well-supported transgender teens face, from mockery by peers and adults alike to feelings of isolation and discomfort in their own bodies. When readers meet New York City teenager Christina, she has gotten into a knock-down fight on the subway with two girls who were making fun of her; although Kuklin-s color and b&w portraits appear throughout, 19-year-old Mariah requests no photographs of her be used, confessing, -I-m not ready for people to see me.- While Kuklin-s subjects are candid about the difficulties of coming out as transgender to family and friends and the patience that transitioning often requires, their honest, humorous, and painful remarks about their relationships with gender are often downright revelatory. -Because I-m perceived as male, I get male privileges. It weirds me out a little bit,- says Cameron, whose PGP (preferred gender pronoun) is the plural -they.- Nat, who also prefers -they,- is relieved when diagnosed as intersex. -It proved what I had been feeling all along. I was not only emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually both sexes; I was physically both sexes, too. This is who I am.- A q&a section, author notes, glossary, and print and online resources close out the book. But its chief value isn-t just in the stories it reveals but in the way 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. Ages 14-up. Agent: Brianne Johnson, Writers House. (Feb.)

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up&12; Extended interviews with six very different transgender, genderqueer, and intersex young adults allow these youth to tell their stories in their own words. Author-interviewer-photographer Kuklin interjects only briefly with questions or explanations, so that the voices of these youth-alternately proud and fearful, defiant and subdued, thoughtful and exuberant-shine through. While the interview subjects do occasionally ramble or become vague, the power of these 12-to-40 page interviews is that readers 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. Photographs of four of the subjects, including some before-and-after transition pictures from childhood and adolescence, help tell their stories and bring their transitions to life. Extensive back matter includes an interview with the clinical director of a health program for LGBTQI youth, a glossary, and books, media, websites, and organizations of interest to transgender youth. While this book's format and subject matter are probably never going to attract a broad audience, 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.&12; Sarah Stone, San Francisco Public Library
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Kuklin's book profiles six transgender teens in both their own words and the author's excellent photographs. The result is 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. The profiles are evenly divided between FTM (female to male) and MTF (male to female) teens. Also represented are a variety of races and ethnicities, and included are one teen who is intersex and another who regards themself as pansexual (several of the teens choose to identify themselves with the gender-neutral pronouns they, them, and their). Though their experiences differ, the teens often stress that, as Kuklin puts it, "Gender is one variable in a person's identity, and sexual orientation is another variable. The two are not connected." Similarly, Kuklin makes clear that, despite the popular misconception, all trans teens are not gay. Further information is contained in an appended interview with Dr. Manel Silva, clinical director of the HOTT (Health Outreach to Teens) program at the New York City based Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, which has served the needs of several of the profiled teens. Kuklin's important new book brings welcome clarity to a subject that has often been obscure and gives faces terally and metaphorically 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.
Voice of Youth Advocates
Being a teenager is hard enough on most daysschool, friends, pressures from family and society, homework. But teens who struggle with their identities, specifically as to which gender, if any, they associate with, often find themselves with no support system and an upward battle in making those around them understand the process through which they are fighting. Beyond Magenta documents the stories of six teenagers, in their own words, who consider themselves transgender or gender neutral. Their stories are about pain and power of transition, their daily lives, and how they feel society and their families and friends view them.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 portrayedthis 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. Kuklin includes a glossary and resources for further reading and research, a carefully compiled list that will be useful for anyone who reads this book. In short, this is a highly informative resource that is powerful, respectful, honest, and most importantly, long overdue.Amanda Fensch.
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages 179-182).
Reading Level: 4.7
Interest Level: 9-12
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.4 / points:12.0 / quiz:Q63123
Lexile: HL600L
Guided Reading Level: Z+
Fountas & Pinnell: Z+

A 2015 Stonewall Honor Book

A groundbreaking work of LGBT literature takes an honest look at the life, love, and struggles of transgender teens.

Author and photographer Susan Kuklin met and interviewed six transgender or gender-neutral young adults and used her considerable skills to represent them thoughtfully and respectfully before, during, and after their personal acknowledgment of gender preference. Portraits, family photographs, and candid images grace the pages, augmenting the emotional and physical journey each youth has taken. Each honest discussion and disclosure, whether joyful or heartbreaking, is completely different from the other because of family dynamics, living situations, gender, and the transition these teens make in recognition of their true selves.

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