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Publisher's Summary

The National Best Seller

"Transformative...If Tobia aspires to the ranks of comic memoirists like David Sedaris and Mindy Kaling, Sissy succeeds." (New York Times Book Review)

A heart-wrenching, eye-opening, and giggle-inducing memoir about what it's like to grow up not sure if you're (a) a boy, (b) a girl, (c) something in between, or (d) all of the above. 

"A beautiful book...honest and funny." (Trevor Noah, The Daily Show)

"Sensational." (Tyler Oakley)

"Jacob Tobia is a force." (Good Morning America)

"A trans Nora Ephron...both honest and didactic." (OUT Magazine)

"A rallying cry for anyone who's ever felt like they don't belong." (Woman's Day)

As a young child in North Carolina, Jacob Tobia wasn't the wrong gender, they just had too much of the stuff. Barbies? Yes. Playing with bugs? Absolutely. Getting muddy? Please. Princess dresses? You betcha. Jacob wanted it all, but because they were "a boy", they were told they could only have the masculine half. Acting feminine labelled them "a sissy" and brought social isolation. 

It took Jacob years to discover that being "a sissy" isn't something to be ashamed of. It's a source of pride. Following Jacob through bullying and beauty contests, from Duke University to the United Nations to the podiums of the Methodist church - not to mention the parlors of the White House - this unforgettable memoir contains multitudes. A deeply personal story of trauma and healing, a powerful reflection on gender and self-acceptance, and a hilarious guidebook for wearing tacky clip-on earrings in today's world, Sissy guarantees you'll never think about gender - both other people's and your own - the same way again. 

©2019 Jacob Tobia (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“[Tobia] combines incisive wit and undeniable intelligence to invite readers into their personal journey as a gender-nonconforming young person in North Carolina.... It is in Tobia’s often self-deprecating humor that Sissy is most transformative, and where it most departs from other trans memoirs. The seriousness of the topic never feels glossed over, which allows for an organic and seamless journey from tears on one page to laughing aloud on the next. If Tobia aspires to the ranks of comic memoirists like David Sedaris and Mindy Kaling, Sissy succeeds.” (New York Times Book Review

“With bare honesty, irreverent humor, and refreshing vulnerability, this memoir is a rallying cry for anyone who's ever felt like they don't belong.” (Woman’s Day

"When the political reality facing this country seems dark, we need shinier, sparklier thinkers in the public eye. With a signature style matched only by their wit, Jacob fits that bill perfectly." (Alan Cumming) 

Featured Article: The Best Trans and Nonbinary Listens


As our society becomes more inclusive, some of our most underrepresented communities are getting a much-needed opportunity to tell their stories. For this list, we’ve come up with some of the best trans and nonbinary listens, across all genres and age categories. And because we know that authenticity is important to listeners, our selections are almost exclusively written by queer, trans, and nonbinary authors.

Editor's Pick

Forget everything you think you know about gender
"Jacob Tobia’s dazzling diamond of a memoir has me thoroughly charmed. Think of your earliest memories—were they playful and happy? For Jacob, those childhood memories were shaped by confusion and pain. As a kid, Jacob liked to explore and roughhouse as much as they daydreamed about lipstick and glitter—but external forces tried to make them feel ashamed of their full identity. Today, Jacob identifies as gender nonbinary, proudly wears lipstick and heels, and uses they/them pronouns. Sissy beautifully explores gender, family, and community, and gives hope and inspiration to anyone on a similar journey of healing and discovery. And you absolutely must listen to Jacob’s performance of their memoir to get the full experience. It sparkles." —Rachel S., Audible Editor

What listeners say about Sissy

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Surprised!

Thank you Jacob for writing a ‘real’ story of a person coming to understand their gender with all the bumps along the way. It was easy to listen to , although truth be known I did winch in a few spots due to my own perceived failings. You are to be congratulated for all your accomplishments in the face of discrimination and adversity.
My daughter started living her true gender about 6 years ago. She is fierce, strong, determined, loving, and funny. Her journey started when she told me she was gay at 11years old. She turns 27 yrs old this year. I love her now just as much as I did the day she was born. We’ve (parent/child) shared our own bumps in the road but our love for each other helped us through it. Your book has given me a glimpse into my daughter’s perspective (which she finds hard to share because she never wants me to worry) and will help me to understand her anger that pops up sometimes. It has also helped me to see that I may feel I am being supportive and inclusive to ALL but I can be so much better.
I am not perfect but I want to be perfectly supportive to my daughter, my family, and myself as we continue down this journey together.
I have no idea if you’ll see this review but thank you Jacob for taking the time to write and read your book. All the very best.

13 people found this helpful

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A story that opens eyes.

As a straight, white, cisgender, able-bodied, christian, male, in a position of power, I’ve realized I need to stretch myself to learn about those who’ve been “othered” in their lives.

This book was smart, funny, and incredibly accessible. I truly enjoyed the author’s voice and learned so much. It’s a story for anyone who wishes to hear.

Great stuff!

6 people found this helpful

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One Step Forward, Two Back

I bought this book wanting to understand more about gender nonconforming individuals, their challenges, their perspectives and experiences in a world that does not give much thought to the subject.

The author starts out on the right foot sharing recollections of childhood trying to reconcile his individuality to the status quo around him. It was at first entertaining and then gradually became tedious as the commentary becomes the memoir of a self absorbed man sounding like an insipid school girl describing his makeup, specific outfits and accessories he put together for various occasions and even discusses the problem of eating while wearing lipstick ... as if no one else in the world has figured out how to cope.

The content was disappointing. The author is a man of privilege having been accepted to Harvard University and obtaining a full scholarship and education at Duke University. He’s been interviewed on television; he has been invited to The White House and has met Presidents Obama and Clinton. Yet he writes that the thing he is most proud of is flashing people in a bar, lifting up his skirt and showing his shorts? He talks of wearing outrageous combinations of clothing in order to shock people or simply to make a statement. His explanation of gender nonconforming comes across as nothing more than a hostile rant of nonacceptance. He pushes his nonconformity in the faces of his readers in an obnoxious way to the point of sounding like a spoiled brat. Two steps backward for the nonconforming population, albeit in a pair of women’s size 12 heels. What a shame.

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Insufferable

Some wisdom, lots of self grandiosity, no sense of privilege, all about me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!and Duke

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Unpleasantly surprised

This was a book I was really looking forward to exploring, having many deep core shared similarities of experience in my own childhood. Being more expressive, intuitive, emotionally intelligent and naturally forming friendships with girls, I could relate... initially.

Ultimately it came off as entitled, whiny, shallow and self absorbed.

1 person found this helpful

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Wow. Best audio book ever! Great for anyone & especially non-binary / gender nonconforming people + loved ones

Jacob Tobia is an incredible performer whose voice brings their already hilarious writing to life. For the first time in a while, I actually could not focus on Netflix because all I wanted to do was listen to their book. I cried multiple times, I choked water from laughing, and I related in so many ways it was alarming. (Spoiler alert - we both were in handbell choir?!) I recommend this to anyone and especially non-binary folx out there. 💘

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Required Reading for Humanity

Wonderful story of a complex issues around gender. Brings understanding into the non-binary world. No matter whom you identify as or what your orientation this story is heart warmer of being misunderstood and how to stand out and be brave. Such great story telling, I laughed, I cried... highly recommend to everyone.

3 people found this helpful

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Brilliant

Everyone should read this book - every single person alive. It should be mandatory reading for junior high or high school students.

1 person found this helpful

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Read it now

This book is an absolute must read for anyone and everyone. Read it now. Periodt

1 person found this helpful

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Groundbreaking

A voice and story that was so badly needed, and is now finally being heard.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Sophie Manley
  • 05-02-20

love or hate

I think this book will be totally amazing for some people. I got to the end which means it wasn't boring. personally, I got pretty fed up of hearing how incredible they are but I appreciate that this mentality is necessary to over come their trauma and also just a part of their extrovert personality!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-17-20

Funny, heart breaking, heart warming and real.

A wonderfully told perspective of a human story. Thank you Jacob for sharing your voice.

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  • Romea
  • 07-04-20

Beautiful, amazing and wholesome!

This book has a story that has helped me understand my own gender identity and the many questions I face on a daily as a queer queen!