Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out
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Release Date
February 14, 2014
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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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An incredible look into the minds, lives, and struggles of transgender teens.
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"Beyond Magenta" is an incredible look into the minds, lives, and struggles of LGBTQ teens.

Each chapter profiles a person who has struggled with gender identity, and ultimately is transgender. They were born as one "sex", but identified with the other, and so the gender they were expected to express was not the gender they were comfortable presenting. The chapters are about very different people.

When I picked up the book I wasn't expecting just what I got. I was expecting the author's narrative on the lives of these people. I was expecting to hear from an outside observer what these kids' lives had been like.

I was not expecting to hear their stories from the teens themselves.

It was really powerful hearing their stories firsthand. I could really get a sense for who they were, what they had gone through, how they dealt with problems and what they might sound like if I had the chance to talk to them in person. The photographs were an extra glimpse into the teens' minds - the images so clearly showed us how the teens saw themselves. This was incredible.

While there are still some things I don't quite understand about gender fluidity, overall I feel like my world has exploded. I know so much more about growing up transgender, becoming transsexual, discovering your gender identity, questioning it. I know so much about the difficulties these teens faced, the prejudices they overcame, the judgments they challenged.

When you don't understand yourself, how will you help other people understand you? It is so very hard, but so worth the effort once you come out on the other side as simply "yourself."

Those wanting to understand gender identity, or those who are struggling with their own gender and sexuality would greatly benefit from reading this book.
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