Becoming a Man

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2020

P. Carl, the Spring 2020 Anschutz Distinguished Fellow in American Studies, published a feature in The New York Times Magazine drawn from his new book, Becoming a Man:

What I learned about masculinity from my father, my father-in-law and my own transition.

It’s April 2018, and my wife of 20 years, Lynette, and I are on our way to my parents’ house. This is our first cross-­country drive since my transition. We drive Interstate 90 from Boston through New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, then finally to my childhood home, Elkhart, Ind. One highway, 880 miles. Though I’m 51, I’m outfitted as if I’m in my mid-20s, the decade of my life I most mourn missing as a man: I’m bearded, wearing overpriced sweats, exclusive sneakers that you have to compete to buy before they sell out and, as always, a Chicago Cubs baseball hat. My integration into the straight white America of middle-­aged, middle-­class couples who road trip across the United States is seamless.

Read the entire feature on The New York Times Magazine.