A review by betweentheshelves
Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin

informative reflective medium-paced


This book has really been on my radar since it first came out, but I haven't actually picked it up to read until now. For a banned book club! I appreciate that this is giving a voice to trans teens, and I think the stories included in it are valuable. I also appreciated that the author worked to present a variety of gender identities under the trans umbrella, so that a variety of teens could see themselves in the story.

I noticed that a lot of reviews mentioned that there is a fairly narrow scope for this book, which is true. All of the teens were based in a similar area, and some of the narratives stil enforce gender stereotypes (boys like sports, girls like pretty things, etc.). I think this partially stems from when this book was published. In 2022, LGBTQ+ issues are in the news more than ever (especially as it pertains to the transgender population), and I think people are just more aware of it than before. This book was originally published in 2014, and these issues were being talked about then, but not quite with the awarness that they are now. And I think this is reflected in the stories included in here, 100%.

I honestly wish we could get an updated version of this book, because I think the stories would be sort of similar, but also different. Transgender teens still struggle with a lot of the issues presented in this book, but we might have different vocabulary to talk about it. 

This book is a good start and a good foundation, there's just a lot of potential for expansion. Maybe it will happen in the future!

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