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Unbound: Transgender Men and the Remaking of…

Unbound: Transgender Men and the Remaking of Identity (edition 2018)

by Arlene Stein (Author)

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172851,305 (3.75)None
Title:Unbound: Transgender Men and the Remaking of Identity
Authors:Arlene Stein (Author)
Info:Pantheon (2018), 352 pages
Collections:Books I've Read
Tags:non-fiction, transgender

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Unbound: Transgender Men and the Remaking of Identity by Arlene Stein



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A work of popular sociology focused on interviews with several trans men and a transmasculine lesbian undergoing top surgery. While Stein does her best to be sensitive and does a solid job discussing a wide variety of trans issues, this is very much a book written by a cis person for cis people. Stein lets her second-wave-feminist-lesbian tendencies out sometimes, which feels very dismissive. But she talks about nonbinary and gender-diverse identities with some enthusiasm, she acknowledges her own limitations, and she's obviously respectful of her subjects. This is a decent Trans 201 for cis folks, and in that context I'll recommend it. ( )
1 vote jen.e.moore | Nov 10, 2018 |
Sociologist Arlene Stein organizes her discussion of transgender issues around the life stories of four individuals she met in a Florida plastic surgeon's waiting room. The surgeon specializes in "top" surgery for F2M transgender people and others who don't like having breasts. The lives of Stein's subjects, Ben, Parker, Lucas and Nadia, seem fraught with anxieties and complications with or without boobs.

The narrative is at its best when Stein lets the individuals involved speak for themselves about what it is like to be a transman today. I wish Stein had found a larger sample size with more variety (her subjects are all white, twenty-something and raised Catholic). The book also includes an interesting final chapter on current trends in gender identity.

It can be hard for those who have never experienced gender dysphoria to understand why anyone would want to undergo painful and expensive surgery to remove a non-diseased body part. This text goes a long way toward explaining this often misunderstood phenomenon, and more. ( )
  akblanchard | Jun 25, 2018 |
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An intimate portrait of a new generation of transmasculine individuals as they undergo gender transitions Award-winning sociologist Arlene Stein takes us into the lives of four strangers who find themselves together in a sun-drenched surgeon's office, having traveled to Florida from across the United States in order to masculinize their chests. Ben, Lucas, Parker, and Nadia wish to feel more comfortable in their bodies; three of them are also taking testosterone so that others recognize them as male. Following them over the course of a year, Stein shows how members of this young transgender generation, along with other gender dissidents, are refashioning their identities and challenging others' conceptions of who they are. During a time of conservative resurgence, they do so despite great personal costs. Transgender men comprise a large, growing proportion of the trans population, yet they remain largely invisible. In this powerful, timely, and eye-opening account, Stein draws from dozens of interviews with transgender people and their friends and families, as well as with activists and medical and psychological experts. Unbound documents the varied ways younger trans men see themselves and how they are changing our understanding of what it means to be male and female in America.… (more)

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