Thomas Page McBee Headshot
Report a problem with this profile
[email protected]

Thomas Page McBee  

Transgender Activist, "Masculinity Expert" & Author of "Man Alive"

Thomas Page McBee was the “masculinity expert” for VICE and writes the columns “Self-Made Man” for the Rumpus and “The American Man” for Pacific Standard. His essays and reportage have appeared in the New York Times,, Salon, and Buzzfeed, where he was a regular contributor on gender issues.

MAN ALIVE, his memoir about what makes a man (City Lights) was named a best book of 2014 by Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and NPR Books. It received a rave review in the New York Times Book Review, earned starred reviews in Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly, and was featured in Esquire. An early version of the book won the Mary Tanenbaum nonfiction award from the San Francisco Foundation and was a finalist for the 2012 Bakeless literary prize administered by Graywolf and Breadloaf.

“The act of writing could amount to a kind of revenge. But empathy, instead, is McBee’s objective, the most important part of becoming real in one’s own eyes. ‘Being human,’ he concludes, ‘means being at the mercy of others.’ That’s a part of aspiration, too. We are born human; with hard work, we achieve humanity.”

–Henry Giardina, The New York Times Book Review

Of the book, Roxane Gay said: “Man Alive is a sweet, tender hurt of a memoir. Thomas Page McBee deftly recounts what has shaped him into the man he has become and how–from childhood trauma to a mugging in Oakland where he learned of his body’s ability to save itself. This is a memoir about forgiveness and self-discovery, but mostly it’s about love, so much love. McBee takes us in his capable hands and shows us what it takes to become a man who is gloriously, gloriously alive.”

Thomas gives talks about masculinity and media narratives at colleges across the country, and spent five years as the writer-in-residence at the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts in San Francisco.

He lives in New York City, where he works as the growth editor at Quartz, and is currently at work on a book about modern American masculinity.

Speech Topics

Thomas gives talks about media and masculinity, as well as readings of his work, all over the country.


Author Thomas McBee - What I've Learned About Being A Man ...

From the author of the new book, Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness, and Becoming a Man. By Thomas McBee on September 24, 2014.

'Man Alive,' by Thomas Page McBee -

Thomas Page McBee has made this his study for two years in Self-Made Man, his online column for The Rumpus. While alluding to the idea of manhood as ...

Trans, but not like you think

Just last week I got a birth certificate from North Carolina Vital Records that put a state seal on a tale that began before I could talk...

Related Speakers View all

More like Thomas