Though the book is by no means a memoir, it does chart the development of Stein’s thinking alongside that of her subjects, and her willingness to explore her own limitations makes it a livelier and more moving study than it might otherwise have been.... [Stein] insists on questioning anything in the discourse on gender and transition that smacks of essentialism—yet she frequently realizes (and has the grace to say) that much of the rigid thinking she encounters is her own.
Stein tracks the rapid evolution of gender identity in this provocative group portrait of trans men ... Stein posits that trans identity as it exists right now in younger people is less an act of survival and more an act of self-reinvention... Her book succeeds in documenting what it means to be trans today.
It feels as if Stein has written this book imagining it might fall into the hands of those who need such a primer — much as she once did — and she wants to give them the fortification she yearned for. She depicts her subjects with warmth and respect, and strains to include as much as she can about the social, emotional, medical and psychological dimensions of transitioning. The result is frantically overstuffed but earnest, diligent and defiantly optimistic ... Stein repeatedly allows herself to be impolitic and wincingly frank, almost using herself as a foil for the limitations of second-wave feminism.
Part history, part sociology, part group portrait, Stein’s book is an accessible, thoroughly researched, and well-written examination of a circumstance still noted for its complexities, inviting searching discussions of the meanings of gender and masculinity. Happily, Unbound will bring much needed clarity to such discussions.
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.
Stein’s research is comprehensive and expansive.... Stein provides readers with a well-researched, clearly written book on a difficult subject ... [Unbound] is a catalyst for a thoughtful discussion of these complicated and challenging issues. It can be the foundation from which these evolving changes progress.