In November 2013, I read about a crime that took place near my house in Oakland, California — a teenager who identifies as agender (neither male nor female) had been set on fire on a bus by another teenager. I began reporting the story a few days later and ended up spending the next 14 months learning about the lives of both teenagers and their families. It’s a complex, heartbreaking story, one that may challenge your thinking on some tough topics: gender, race, justice, crime. It’s also, in some ways, an inspiring story, because most of the people in it tried to behave well under extremely difficult circumstances.
You can read it online here, or in this Sunday’s New York Times Magazine.