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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2018 Arlene Stein (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Stein tracks the rapid evolution of gender identity in this provocative group portrait of trans men ... Her book succeeds in documenting what it means to be trans today.” (Publisher’s Weekly)

“A new sociological study on transgender individuals and their experience transitioning. This significant book provides medical, sociological, and psychological information that can only serve to educate those lacking understanding and awareness of an entire community of individuals who deserve representation. A stellar exploration of the complexities and limitations of gender.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred) 

“If you’ve been trying to make sense of how gender today seems to have slipped the chains that bind it to our bodies in familiar ways, Unbound is a book for you. It’s a sympathetic account by non-transgender sociologist Arlene Stein, aimed at a primarily non-transgender audience, of four people assigned female at birth who surgically masculinize their chests. Stein helps her readers understand that they, too, no longer need be bound by conventional expectations of the meaning of our flesh.” (Susan Stryker, founding co-editor, TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly)

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