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lgbt seeds

Lgbt seeds

There’s no doubt there are significant challenges to that progress, but from North Carolina to Texas to Utah, L.G.B.T.Q. individuals are not just living, but thriving. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and nonbinary people exist in every corner of this vibrant nation; Tobia and Allen are simply showing us how to appreciate this great multiplicity of voices and experiences.

We hear “transgender” and we think of a transgender woman, much like myself. We hear “L.G.B.T.Q.” and we think of a white gay man. And, no matter the letter we are referring to, we almost exclusively envision lives lived in coastal, blue-state cities.

It is difficult to capture universality in a way that also celebrates uniqueness. Allen does so through the diversity of the individual stories she uplifts, giving any reader an entry point into L.G.B.T.Q. lives. Tobia achieves the same thing through humor while avoiding the “Trans Narrative©.” Both writers do so with a vulnerability and humility as approachable and accessible as it is profoundly moving.

Tobia, a nonbinary writer, activist and actor who uses the pronouns they/them/their, combines incisive wit and undeniable intelligence to invite readers into their personal journey as a gender-nonconforming young person in North Carolina.

Even the most well-intentioned person can fall into the trap of the dominant narrative. Through the repetition and limitation of the stories we see and the voices we hear, we have been conditioned to think of a very specific set of experiences when a particular community or identity is evoked. We create a limited stereotype of life that glosses over a broader diversity. In doing so, we leave far too many behind.

But part of the beauty of the L.G.B.T.Q. community — and one of the factors that have fostered change — is that we exist everywhere, in all our rainbow glory, across region, class, race.

An anthology of testimonials might feel disjointed, but Allen’s never does. She connects each stop and story by weaving in her own personal journey, from a closeted Mormon missionary and student at Brigham Young University to one of the nation’s most prominent openly transgender reporters (who, while on the road for this very book in Texas, covered reactions to what she calls the “dystopian development” of Trump’s tweeted ban on transgender troops).

In Jacob Tobia’s “Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story,” and Samantha Allen’s “Real Queer America: LGBT Stories From Red States,” these two young authors bust through the dominant L.G.B.T.Q. narratives with poise and pride to further reveal the community’s wide diversity. While different in style and tone, these books share the common thread of highlighting parts of a marginalized population that too often remain invisible and ignored.

Tobia makes clear early on that this book will not be your traditional “Transgender 101.” Even so, through evocative rhetoric, the memoir subtly educates even the most uninformed reader about the spectrum of nonbinary identities by recounting Tobia’s various coming-out experiences, their initial refuge in their Methodist faith and their gradual self-discovery and advocacy as a visible student at a Southern university.

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Date and time: Tue, 11 Jan 2022 06:57:20 GMT

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