Beyond Magenta (Paperback)

Transgender Teens Speak Out

By Susan Kuklin

Candlewick Press (MA), 9780763673680, 192pp.

Publication Date: March 10, 2015

List Price: 12.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


A 2015 Stonewall Honor Book

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.

About the Author

Susan Kuklin is the award-winning author and photographer of more than thirty books for children and young adults that span social issues and culture. Her photographs have appeared in Time, Newsweek, and the New York Times. Susan Kuklin lives in New York City.

Conversation Starters from

  1. What are some of the assumptions people make based on perceptions of gender? What pressures do family, friends, and society place on a person based on their perceived gender identity?generic viagra price canada
  2. Jessy first came out as a lesbian, and later as trans. How did the two experiences differ? Was one more difficult than the other for Jessy? Why or why not?generic viagra price canada
  3. During Jessy’s early high-school years, he didn’t know what the word transgender meant. “Hey, if you like women and you’re a woman, then you’re a lesbian” (page 7). How important is terminology in knowing one’s self? Do you think kids today know more about gender diversity?generic viagra price canada
  4. Jessy’s girlfriend, Nan, refers to Jessy as “she.” Why do you think this is? Why do you think Jessy doesn’t mind?generic viagra price canada
  5. Christina says, “The other day I was thinking, I really, really hate being a transgender. It’s a constant struggle. It’s so annoying” (page 33). Why do you think Jessy and Christina have such different feelings about being trans?generic viagra price canada
  6. Christina was bullied in elementary and high school. Have you ever witnessed someone being bullied for being perceived as LGBTQ? What happened? What did you do?generic viagra price canada
  7. Christina’s counselor tells her that if she wants to transition she should “do it after high school” (page 42). Why do you think he gave this advice? Do you agree with it? What do you think are the benefits of transitioning when you’re younger? What could be some drawbacks?generic viagra price canada
  8. Christina talks about getting her nails done and getting her school uniform sweater tailored to look more feminine. Why do you think clothes and fashion in general are so important to gender identity?generic viagra price canada
  9. Christina says, “I think the other students were freaked out because I looked like a girl and I was pressing against gender boundaries” (page 49). Why do you think some people get upset when someone challenges gender boundaries? Does it ever upset you?generic viagra price canada
  10. Mariah requested that no photographs of her appear in the book, saying, “I’m not a success story right now” (page 74). Why does Mariah think this?generic viagra price canada
  11. Mariah says, “Everyone goes through one kind of transition or another. We go through transitions every day. Except mine is maybe a little extreme. I’m not at the end of my transition. I’m barely at the beginning” (page 91). What sorts of transitions has Mariah gone through in her life? What sorts of transitions have you gone through or think you will go through in the future?generic viagra price canada
  12. Cameron says, “Gender is one variable in a person’s identity, and sexual orientation is another variable. The two are not connected. Being trans is not the next step to being gay” (page 95). In contrast, both Christina’s and Jessy’s best friends continued to think they were gay, even after they came out as transgender. Christina’s friend asked her, “Why can’t you just be a gay man?” (page 43). How are gender identity and sexual orientation connected, if at all? How do they differ? Why do you think some people seem more able to accept that a person is gay or lesbian than transgender?generic viagra price canada
  13. Cameron says, “Being trans is not something that is accurately portrayed in the media” (page 112). What portrayals of transgender or gender-neutral people have you seen in the media? Are they accurate? Why or why not?generic viagra price canada
  14. Why do you think Nat wanted to be photographed in black-and-white?generic viagra price canada
  15. Nat says, “When the doctors confirmed that I was intersex, I thought, Wow, I’m that whole other gender! It proved what I had been feeling all along. I was not only emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually both sexes; I was physically both sexes, too” (page 136). How does Nat experience gender compared to some of the other teens?generic viagra price canada
  16. Luke says, “There’s a lot you can say in poetry that you can’t say in conversation” (page 152). Why do you think it’s easier for Luke to speak his mind onstage in front of an audience of strangers than in conversation with people he knows?generic viagra price canada
  17. How did Luke’s acting affect his coming-out process?generic viagra price canada
  18. Photographs are a very important part of Beyond Magenta. What do you learn about each teen from looking at his, her, or their photographs?generic viagra price canada
  19. Mariah identifies as being transgender, while Cameron talks about doing gender. How do you think their gender identities or expression differ?generic viagra price canada
  20. Several of the teens discuss ways in which society, aside from their families, began to treat them differently after they began transitioning. What observations did they make?generic viagra price canada
  21. How did being transgender, intersex, or gender-neutral affect each teen’s early childhood?generic viagra price canada
  22. In all of the stories, personal pronouns are very important. What are your personal pronouns, and who decided what your pronouns would be?generic viagra price canada
  23. Did reading this book change your understanding of gender identity? Why or why not?generic viagra price canada