Trevor Noah sat down with Jacob Tobia, a transgender author whose new book Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story tackles trans identity.
“‘Sissy’ was the first name I had to name my difference,” Tobia tells Noah. “I didn’t know the word ‘transgender’ when I was a kid. I didn’t even know the word ‘gay’ as early as I knew that ‘sissies’, people who were gender-different, was a thing. The whole point of this book for me is to really excavate the story of my gender and really not take any part of it for granted. Naming it Sissy is really just reclaiming my childhood for myself and learning to snatch back the power from people who try to be like, ‘you really shouldn’t be like that.’ And you can just be like, ‘if you think you’re gonna tease me with that name it’s the title of my damn book now, so sorry.’
Tobia also explained that they’re “gender-chill.”
“I want to think about, what is the future we want to build for trans folks. What is the future that I want to live in? The future that I want to live in is not some future where there’s no gender and everyone wears gray hoodies and sweatshirts and shaves their head. I want to live in a world where gender is this playful thing – where there’s no patriarchy and no misogyny and none of the things that make gender suck, and only the things that make gender great. I want it to feel like a dress up bin.”
Tobia went on to explain on why they empathize with folks who hate trans people.