WEHO READS: Jacob Tobia’s “Sissy”

WeHo Reads welcomes gender nonconforming writer, producer, and performer Jacob Tobia in conversation with Jesse Tyler Ferguson, star of ABC Television’s Modern Family about Tobia’s new book, “Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story.” The event is presented by the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division and Book Soup and co-sponsored the ONE Archives Foundation.

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From the moment a doctor in Raleigh, North Carolina, put “male” on Jacob Tobia’s birth certificate, everything went wrong. Alongside “male” came many other, far less neutral words: words that carried expectations about who Jacob was and who Jacob should be, words like “masculine” and “aggressive” and “cargo shorts” and “SPORTS!” Naturally sensitive, playful, creative, and glitter-obsessed, as a child Jacob was given the label “sissy.” In the two decades that followed, “sissy” joined forces with “gay,” “trans,” “nonbinary,” and “too-queer-to-function” and eventually became a source of pride and, today, a rallying cry for a much-needed gender revolution. Tobia, who uses the pronouns they, them, theirs, revisits their childhood and calls out the stereotypes that each of us have faced, while inviting us to rethink what we know about gender. They offer a bold blueprint for a healed world — free from gender-based trauma and bursting with trans-inclusive feminism.

Author Jacob Tobia.

From Tobia’s Methodist childhood and the hallowed halls of Duke University to the portrait-laden parlors of The White House, Sissy takes readers on a gender odyssey they won’t soon forget. Writing with the fierce honesty, wildly irreverent humor, and the wrenching vulnerability that have made them a media sensation, Jacob shatters the long-held notion that people are easily sortable into “men” and “women.” Sissy guarantees that you’ll never think about gender  — both other people’s and your own — the same way again. obia has become established as a breakout voice for the nonbinary, genderqueer, and trans communities. Named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 and one of the OUT 100, Tobia was a producer for Amazon’s Emmy Award-winning show Transparent and created, co-produced, and hosted Queer 2.0, a first-of-its-kind LGBTQ series on NBC News. With bylines everywhere from Teen Vogue to The New York Times, Tobia has blazed a trail for gender nonconformity and contributed to the chorus of queer voices challenging normative notions of gender and sexuality, advocating for inclusivity and empathy, and helping others find and embrace their own truths. 

The event will take place on Wednesday, March 13 at 7 p.m. at the City of West Hollywood’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room at the West Hollywood Library, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. The evening will include a book signing, with books for sale by Book Soup. Free parking in the adjacent five-story parking structure with validation at the event.

20 free tickets (which do not include a copy of the book) will be provided to West Hollywood residents providing proof of residency via a government ID, lease, or utility bill. Confirm your address is in the City of West Hollywood by visiting www.weho.org/streets.  Limit of two resident tickets per person, tickets may not be resold, and free resident tickets do not include a copy of the book. Tickets can be reserved in advance on a first-come first-served basis by emailing Mike Che at mche@weho.org. The physical tickets must be picked up by 6:15 p.m. on the night of the event, or they will be released to those on standby.