"Am I a Real Man" – Thomas Page McBee

Event Date: 

Monday, October 7, 2019 - 1:30pm

Event Location: 

  • Multicultural Center / MCC Theatre
  • Co-Sponsored

Author and journalist Thomas Page McBee viscerally understood his privilege as a man in 2011, just a few months after he began injecting testosterone, when he spoke up at a news meeting and his new, lower voice silenced the room. As a man and a feminist, Thomas was horrified; but as a reporter, he knew he had a rare opportunity to use his "beginner's mind" to expose the baselessness of many of the hidden biases and narratives that drive our cultural narratives about gender. In his latest book, Amateur, he trained to fight a boxing match in Madison Square Garden in order to understand the relationship between masculinity and violence. In this talk, Thomas will share the questions that guided that project (Does testosterone really make men violent? Am I sexist? What is a real man?), the surprising answers he found in the course of his reporting, and provide expert-backed, concrete strategies for making the aspects of masculinity more visible, so that we may begin to truly reimagine them.

Informal Q&A on stage with Thomas Paige McBee and Professor Tristan Bridges (UCSB, Sociology) following the talk.

Thomas Page McBee is an author, journalist, television writer, and “questioner of masculinity” (The New York Times). His Lambda award-winning memoir, Man Alive, was named a best book of 2014 by NPR Books, BuzzFeed, Kirkus, and Publisher's Weekly. His second book, Amateur, a memoir about learning how to box in order to understand masculinity’s tie to violence, was shortlisted for the UK’s Baillie-Gifford nonfiction book prize, the Wellcome Book Prize, and a Lambda Literary Award, and more. In the course of reporting the book, Thomas became the first transgender man to ever box in Madison Square Garden. Thomas has written columns for theRumpus, Pacific Standard, Condé Nast's Them, and Teen Vogue. A former senior editor at Quartz, his essays and reportage have appeared in the New York Times, Playboy, Glamour, Out, The Cut, and more. Thomas speaks globally about post-Recession masculinity, gender at work, the currentgender culture war, and how trans media narratives shape all of our bodies. Thomas also works in television, and has written for both Tales of the City (2019, Netflix) and The L Word (2019, Showtime). He is currently at work on multiple projects in several mediums, mostly exploring monstrosity. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife.

Co-Sponsored by the Sociology Department,The Multicultural Center, the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, the Feminist Futures initiative, the Feminist Studies Department, and the UCSB Masculinities Project