Nevo Zisin: At first I felt like an imposter. Starting to write a memoir at 19? Who did I think I was?

by |May 2, 2017

Finding Nevo by Nevo Zisin

About Writing My Memoir, Finding Nevo: A Transgender’s Journey
by Nevo Zisin

Before I tell you how important I think this book is, first of all, I’ll say writing a book about your life is hard. There’s no way to sugar-coat it. It’s raw and vulnerable and real. At first I felt like an imposter. Starting to write a memoir at 19? Who did I think I was? And I wasn’t the only one who asked those questions. So first I needed to find my voice and convince myself that my story was worth telling. And throughout the process, I found that it was, and it was needed.

I hope cis (cisgender) people read this book and feel a responsibility to create safer spaces and a safer world at large for trans people.

I think this book comes at a really crucial time. The prevalence of transgender politics in the media has increased dramatically in the last few years. Now more than ever, it is crucial to be hearing trans people’s voices directly, and not just how they are presented by others. I also think, in particular, young people as well as non-binary gender identities are not represented enough and I’m excited to have been given a platform for my story to be told. I’m thrilled to share my story with you. I have now gained all I can from it and it is time to be in the hands of others. I can’t wait to hear other people’s stories, how they relate to mine and how they would like to write their own.

Finding Nevo by Nevo Zisin

Nevo and mother, Sharon

I hope readers will not only take away my story but also their own. I hope people will find similarities or moments they can relate to and connect it to their own narrative and what the implications of that may be. I hope fellow trans people will feel less alone, heard and seen. I hope they realise that there is a future for them and that they are strong and resilient. I hope cis people read this book and feel a responsibility to create safer spaces and a safer world at large for trans people.  In general, I hope this book will inspire people to create change, both within themselves and in society.

I hadn’t been there for a while and going back was scary. It was really painful to try and remember things I’d rather forget.

I hope parents of queer and transgender children pick this book up so they can read into the very heart of what goes on in the mind of a trans person, or a person undergoing struggles with identity. This will help them, too.

When I was writing the book, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by people who helped me believe this. I was terrified of saying the wrong thing, offending people, or misrepresenting myself. When you’re working with the subjectivity of memory it can be a very delicate and potentially dangerous game. Not only did I need to remain truthful to the stories of my family, but also to myself, in all my different incarnations. That meant putting myself back into the headspace of who I used to be across many different stages of my life. I hadn’t been there for a while and going back was scary. It was really painful to try and remember things I’d rather forget. But I knew that getting that pain out into the world would make some people feel more supported, more real and more seen. That was all that really mattered.

Finding Nevo by Nevo Zisin

About Nevo Zisin

Nevo Zisin is a young activist, student, writer and public speaker with a particular interest in issues surrounding gender, sex and sexuality. Assigned female at birth, Nevo has had a complex relationship with gender, transitioning to present as male at the age of 17, undergoing different medical interventions and now identifying outside of the female/male gender binary.

Nevo works particularly with children as a youth leader and through running programs and workshops in schools. They are also a contact point in the Jewish community for other children and families confronting issues of gender and sexuality in their own lives. Finding Nevo is their first book.

Finding Nevoby Nevo Zisin

Finding Nevo

by Nevo Zisin

Meet Nevo: girl, boy, he, she, him, her, they, them, daughter, son, teacher, student, friend, gay, bi, lesbian, trans, homo, Jew, dyke, masculine, feminine, androgynous, queer. Nevo was not born in the wrong body. Nevo just wants everyone to catch up with all that Nevo is. Personal, political and passionate, Finding Nevo is an autobiography about gender and everything that comes with it.

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