Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-01-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

BOOK REVIEW Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story
by Terri Schlichenmeyer
2019-06-26

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


By Jacob Tobia; $26; Putnam; 336 pages

Nobody can tell you what to do.

To think otherwise is tantamount to telling you what not to do. No, you have your own mind, and you'll make it up just fine by yourself. Nobody tells you what to do and, as in the new memoir Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story, by Jacob Tobia, they can't tell you who you are, either.

Many people who are non-binary, says Tobia, equate coming to terms with gender as "a journey." Tobias considers theirs "more like an onion," with layers of discovery "veiled beneath a thin skin."

It started with Tobia's parents, both role models: their mother, who was a tomboy at heart; and their father, who ignored stereotypical women's work and instead, pitched in around the house. The next layer consists of Tobia's brother and kids in the neighborhood who didn't think twice about a child who play-fought in the mud one minute, and loved pink tutus and Barbies the next.

But then Tobia started school, and the teasing began. They "went from being a person to being a sissy" and shame accompanied the label. When it became apparent that the taunts would be flung at them no matter what, Tobia considered suicide. Church was the only place they "felt unequivocally and unconditionally loved."

Things changed for the better when puberty hit Tobia and their peers. Cis boys wanted desperately to be with cis girls, which was something Tobia did effortlessly and it made them "cool" even as it highlighted their differences from other adolescents. By the end of high school, Tobia had chosen the word "gay" to describe themselves, even though it wasn't quite right.

They came out to a church counselor. They came out to their gay best friend. Years later, they came out to their parents as "gay." It wasn't until college, the acquisition of several pairs of high heels, lipstick, and a sheltered sense of security that Tobia realized that their work toward understanding had only started. Maybe they were boy and girl and neither and both, and not having to question that would be a battle they'd "have to do… all over again."

Sissy is a 100-percent solid, smack-in-the-middle, okay kind of book. It's not the best thing you'll ever read; it's far, far from the worst.

After a considerable, two-chapter throat-clearing, author Tobia promises hilarity and then gets down to business about their life, their experiences as a gender nonconforming person making their way through and the gender-acceptance work to be done. Yes, that may seem like a familiar story, but there is uniqueness to be had here: Tobia's memories of their later adolescence and attendance at a prestigious Eastern college offer something different in this genre, in freshness of voice. Also uncommon: their willingness to admit regret for advice not taken.

Finally, yes, this book is amusing but outright hilarity? Not so much: you'll enjoy Sissy, but your gut is in no danger of busting. Still, if memoirs are your thing and your TBR pile is short, you know what to do.

Want more? Then look for Nonbinary: Memoirs of Gender and Identity, by Micah Rajunov and Scott Duane ( out April 9 ); or Modern HERstory: Stories of Women and Nonbinary People Rewriting History, by Blair Imani and other writers.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

'She Shot Him Dead' among newest Newberry offerings 2020-01-13 - The seminar series "She Shot Him Dead: Husband-Slaying in Turn-of-the-Century Chicago" will take place Tuesdays Feb. 11-March 10, 6-7:30 p.m. at Newberry Library, ...


Gay News

LGBTQ+ nonfiction writing class starts Feb. 23 2020-01-13 - StoryStudio Chicago, 4043 N. Ravenswood Ave., is offering a new course on writing stories from a queer perspective. Conceived by author Jeremy Owens, ...


Gay News

Kathy Acker tribute Jan. 10 2020-01-08 - "Re: Acker"—a tribute to experimental writer/artist Kathy Acker ( 1947-1997 )—will take place Friday, Jan. 10, 7-9 p.m., at M. LeBlanc Gallery, 3514 ...


Gay News

LGBT neuropsychologist mom pens book about life with very young kids 2019-12-24 - Dr. Bethany Cook is a 42-year-old licensed clinical psychologist ( and member of the LGBT community ) with a specialty in neuropsychological assessment. ...


Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Toil & Trouble 2019-12-24 - By Augusten Burroughs $27.99; St. Martin's Press; 320 pages Halloween is over this year, but not for you. Your decorations are still ...


Gay News

Season's readings: Books to choose 2019-12-24 - So, it's a wrap. Everything's under paper and under the tree. You're done with all your shopping, except for one person. Or two. ...


Gay News

MOMBIAN Holiday gift guide for LGBTQ children's books 2019-12-11 - It's time for my annual gift guide to some of the year's best LGBTQ-inclusive children's picture books! There were happily more books published ...


Gay News

W&CF hosts 'Honeypot' book launch party, author discussion 2019-12-06 - One month after the release of Honeypot: Black Southern Women Who Love Women, Andersonville bookstore Women & Children First hosted a launch party ...


Gay News

December at Women & Children First to include Drag Queen Story Hour 2019-12-04 - CHICAGO, IL ( December 3, 2019 ) - As 2019 comes to a close, Women & Children First is proud to announce our ...


Gay News

Season's readings: Books to choose 2019-12-02 - So, it's a wrap. Everything's under paper and under the tree. You're done with all your shopping, except for one person. Or two. ...


 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.