Friday, 17 January 2020

Sissy: A Coming of Gender Story by: Jacob Tobia

Genre: Memoir
Published: March 5, 2019 by: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Pages: 319
Rating: 5/5 stars

Jacob Tobia was assigned male at birth, though they never thought of themselves that way. As a child, Jacob was obsessed with glitter, fashion, and trying on their grandmother's chunky costume jewellery. This labelled them as a "sissy," as people in Raleigh, North Carolina were not the most welcoming of gender fluidity. Over the years, Jacob took the label sissy as a label of pride, and eventually, they worked their story all the way up to the White House. Sissy is a hilarious, heart-warming, though sometimes sad memoir about accepting yourself, and crushing gender roles.

I absolutely LOVED this memoir. I find often with non-fiction books, it is hard for me to get fully engrossed in them. Sometimes I get bored of them. I did not have that issue at all with "Sissy." Jacob has such a hilarious tone throughout the entire book, which is hard to get bored of. Their footnotes add cheeky little quips of information, and their constant referral of God as a "she," was so badass, I loved it. Overall, I was nothing but entertained.

Jacob's story is sadly quite similar to many stories of non-binary people growing up in conservative/religious communities. But they take these serious issues, and explain them in a way that is so unique, and so hilarious. I totally understand how some people use humour to cope, and Jacob used it in a way that is defiant of homophobia and transphobia, and utterly powerful.

This memoir taught me something. I have learnt a lot in university sociology classes that gender is a social construct, but they never really go that deep into it. Jacob made me want to stand up against harmful gender roles, and made me all the more passionate about the subject. Wear whatever the fuck you want to wear, love whoever the fuck you want to love, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Have you read "Sissy?" What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess


  1. Sounds both awesome and important! :)

  2. Great review, Emily! It really comes across how much you loved this memoir. I haven't read this one, but you have definitely made me want to pick it up :)
    - Sabrina @ Wordy and Whimsical

    1. Awesome! I’m always glad to share a recommendation :D