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    Sissy: A Coming-Of-Gender Story
    By Jacob Tobia
    (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

    In this deeply personal, lighthearted, and hilarious memoir, gender non-conforming activist Jacob Tobia discusses what it means to live outside the binary and exist in the world as someone who can’t be defined as “male” or “female.” While much of their memoir focuses on their personal experiences from childhood through adulthood, they also challenge commonly held ideas about both gender binary and LGBTQIA identities. Tobia argues that the gender binary isn’t just harmful for gender non-conforming people, but for all people, as we all grow up being taught restrictive rules and behaviors that conform to the gender we are assigned at birth.

    Sissy also suggests that far too often, gender non-conforming people are expected to transition into being either clearly male or female in order to appease others who won’t feel comfortable until they follow the rigid rules of the gender binary. But instead, everyone should be allowed to exist outside of the binary and find their own identity, one that will change and evolve over their lifetime. Overall, Tobia gives readers plenty of food for thought, challenging the way society commonly views both gender and LGBTQIA people, successfully moving the discussion forward. (4/5)

    By Adrienne Urbanski
    Sissy is released March 5, 2019
    This article originally appeared in the March/April 2019 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!



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    “Swimsuit season”—not to mention shopping for it—can be its own special kind of hell, especially for people who identify as non-binary. Swimwear options remain woefully limited to stereotypical ideas of gender (bikini vs. trunks), but thankfully, Hirsuit is filling that gap with an androgynous suit made for a wide range of bodies, sizes (XXS-XXL), and identities.

    The idea comes from Rachel Berks, who is also behind the concept store and community space Otherwild, and her partner, artist A.L. Steiner. “Though gender-neutral clothing has been trending for years, there has been a scarcity in this swimwear arena,” says Berks. “Many trans, lesbian, queer, butch, gender-non-conforming, andro, and other people I know struggle to find options for beachwear that feel comfortable for their bodies, tastes, and identities.” The design, which offers comfort and coverage, is inspired by swimsuits, leotards, and wrestling uniforms from the 1920s and ’30s, and is reversible, so you get two colors for the price of one ($150, Committed to ethical production, Hirsuit is manufactured in the U.S., and the fabric is 82 percent recycled polyester and 18 percent long-lasting spandex. Just like gender-queerness, these suits are here to stay. 

    By Francesca Volpe
    Top photo by Salima Allen

    This article originally appeared in the May/June 2019 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

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    This Body-Positive Swim Campaign Wants To "Celebrate Cellulite"

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