The 57 Bus

The 57 Bus

by

Dashka Slater

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Andrew / Samantha Character Analysis

Sasha’s close childhood friend. Andrew is biologically born as Samantha, but he never feels comfortable inside a female body. Sasha helps to validate Andrew’s transgender identity after his therapist dismisses him, and Sasha gives him the courage to begin his gender transition. Andrew identifies as a gay man, but his keeps his “trans status on the down low” for fear of discrimination and violence. He watches as Sasha recovers from their attack on the 57 bus, and Andrew knows that threats of physical violence because of his gender are his “reality.” By the end of Slater’s book, Andrew begins to identify as genderqueer, but he is not comfortable stepping too far outside the gender binary. As a gay man, Andrew still fits somewhat into one of society’s accepted genders and he wants to keep it that way. “I’ve already been asked enough questions about my genitals,” he says.

Andrew / Samantha Quotes in The 57 Bus

The The 57 Bus quotes below are all either spoken by Andrew / Samantha or refer to Andrew / Samantha. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Macmillan edition of The 57 Bus published in 2017.
Part 1: Luke and Samantha Quotes

It was part of the disorienting feeling she’d had for years, that feeling that everyone except her had been issued a handbook. Samantha knew it was important to be pretty and cute, but she had no idea how to be those things, or even why she was supposed to want to be. Her body was growing curvier. Breasts burst from her chest like twin cannonballs, but they didn’t feel sexy and good, they just felt heavy. She hid them under baggy T-shirts and sweatpants and watched the other girls come to school in tiny skirts and spaghetti straps, wondered why everything was so much hard for her than it was for them.

Related Characters: Andrew / Samantha
Page Number: 23-24
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 4: Andrew and the Binary Quotes

“Actually,” [Andrew] said, “I’m starting to identify a little bit as—I don’t even know the word I want to use yet. I like androgynous. I like genderqueer.” What held him back? Fear. Fear of other people’s judgements, their questions, their hostility, their fascination. “Because I fall neatly within the binary, I feel comfortable right now,” he explained. “But if I were to radically shift my appearance in a way that more androgynous, I don’t know how comfortable that would be for me. I mean, I’ve already been asked enough questions about my genitals. I’m just done with that.”

Related Characters: Andrew / Samantha (speaker), Sasha
Page Number: 290
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The 57 Bus LitChart as a printable PDF.
The 57 Bus PDF

Andrew / Samantha Character Timeline in The 57 Bus

The timeline below shows where the character Andrew / Samantha appears in The 57 Bus. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: Luke and Samantha
Binary Thought and Inclusive Language Theme Icon
Discrimination and Social Justice Theme Icon
In the sixth grade, Sasha met Samantha, who “looked right past Sasha’s invisibility cloak and saw a kindred spirit.” Samantha was an... (full context)
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Binary Thought and Inclusive Language Theme Icon
Like Samantha, Sasha was “passionate” and opinionated, and the two became fast friends. The other sixth graders... (full context)
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Samantha had a “disorienting feeling” for years. She felt like everybody else “had been issued a... (full context)
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Discrimination and Social Justice Theme Icon
During one of her sessions, Samantha told her therapist about a slam poem she saw on YouTube called “Hir.” In the... (full context)
Part 1: Gran Turismo 2
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Binary Thought and Inclusive Language Theme Icon
While playing Gran Turismo 2 in the seventh grade, Samantha turned to Sasha and, after saying she had something important to tell them, said, “I’m... (full context)
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Now, five years later, Samantha is a “handsome, apple-cheeked young man named Andrew.” His conversation with Sasha in the seventh... (full context)
Part 1: How Do You Know What Gender You Are?
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Discrimination and Social Justice Theme Icon
Back in 2012, when Sasha was in the tenth grade at Maybeck and Andrew was a freshman at a local public school, Sasha looked to Andrew and asked how... (full context)
Part 1: Becoming Sasha
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Binary Thought and Inclusive Language Theme Icon
Discrimination and Social Justice Theme Icon
Sasha and Andrew began looking on the internet for new unisex names and found the name “Sasha,” a... (full context)
Part 3: Not Visiting
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Discrimination and Social Justice Theme Icon
Andrew thinks constantly about Sasha and knows that he should visit them, but he can’t bring... (full context)
Part 4: Andrew and the Binary
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Discrimination and Social Justice Theme Icon
Five months later, Sasha meets Andrew in Berkley for dinner. Andrew tells Sasha that he is beginning to “identify a little... (full context)