Jacob Tobia will be reading from their debut book “Sissy” this Saturday, March 9, 7:30 p.m. at Charis Books in Little Five Points. Tobias is an entertainer and writer originally from North Carolina who know lives in Los Angeles. They are a writer, a performer and a producer who identifies as transgender, non-binary, gender-queer and much more. Tobia was producer for Amazon’s Emmy Award-winning show “Transparent” and created, co produced and hosted Queer 2.0 on NBC News. They were named in the Forbes’ 30 Under 30 and the OUT 100. They contribute to publications including The New York Times and Teen Vogue.
Tobia explains that “Sissy” was “the first identity I ever had.” As a child, Tobia “knew that the way I inhabited my body was different.” In naming the book “Sissy.” Tobia is honoring their childhood, “my origin story,” and “reclaiming a term that had been used to hurt me.”
In the book’s extended title, “a coming of gender story,” Tobia communicates that gender is something each individual grapples with regardless of their sexual orientation and that it is a story of importance in looking at how we all view ourselves and the world. They say that “identities are more poetry and science” and that identities can be like “layers of a cake – the more words you find to describe yourself the more interesting.” Tobia is emphatic that we need to move beyond binary gender thinking, beyond male and female, and advocates a world where gender norms do not prevent human community in all its variations.
For Tobia “curiosity is beautiful” and essential in understanding non-binary genders. They point out that gender non-conforming people are as old as gender itself. That each person has a gender story and a gender identity that is unique in some ways. “Sissy” is just one story by a gender non-conforming individual. Tobia hopes that it will encourage others to come forward and share their stories too.
for more information www.charisbooksandmore.com.
Franklin Abbott is an Atlanta psychotherapist, writer and community activist.