Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kulkin


Using beautiful photography and interviews from transgender teens, Kulkin offers this unique look into what it’s like to struggle with gender identity. All teens featured in the book have begun the process of expressing their true gender, each has faced a differing level of opposition and intolerance. As stories are presented using first-person narratives readers get a direct look at an issue which is becoming more prevalent in today’s society: pink and blue do not accurately reflect all gender identification. Gender is a spectrum and each individual must find his or her (or their) own place on it.

While I think the message of this book is very important, the presentation is a little off. The photography is truly gorgeous and definitely carries the message well, but the prose is choppy and doesn’t flow quite right. I believe the author wrote the sections based off interviews she conducted with her subjects, but the transfer from interview transcript to first-person narrative didn’t go as well as planned. I feel it would have been better for Kulkin to publish the transcripts or to have the subjects write their own sections. That said, I think it’s extremely valuable to hear from transgender teens, as this is a population that is often discriminated against and/or ignored. You don’t have to be transgender to appreciate this book; its unique insight offers much for all readers.

*Rating: 3/5

*TAYSHA, 2014

*For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here.


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