Friday, September 11, 2015

RAB Publishes Powerful Memoir about Homeless Trans Youth, HDIING IN PLAIN SIGHT

Homeless queer kids – and they are legion – too often find themselves ostracized and silenced. In Zane Thimmesch-Gill they have finally found a strong, clear voice.”
            --Riki Wilchins, author of Read My Lips, GenderQueer and Queer Theory, Gender Theory

Riverdale, NY – September 11, 2015 – In the just published memoir, Hiding in Plain Sight, Zane Thimmesch-Gill describes in graphic and harrowing detail a homeless teen life on the streets that was marked with constant violence.

“This is the book I needed when I was on the streets; proof that it’s possible to survive as a transsexual kid, “ explained the author.

Amidst the daily struggle to survive, she slowly came to the realization that she hated her body just as much as everyone did. When she was honest with herself she’d always known that she was meant to be a boy.

Despite the intense pressure of street life and having to come to terms with the fact that she was a transsexual, Kali never used drugs or alcohol, never committed a single crime, and never gave up on her dreams to make something out of her life. While the rest of the street kids were escaping into addiction, she figured out how to put herself through college and finance a sex change.

Life slowly improved as Kali became Zane and started settling into his body. He eventually found work at a shelter for homeless youth and started to make friends. But his euphoria was short lived. A resident at the shelter knew that he was a transsexual and became obsessed with making sure everyone found out. A few gang members who were living in the program confronted Zane, and when he was too scared to admit the truth, they decided to get their boys together late one night and prove him wrong.

Hiding in Plain Sight is a transformative and ultimately inspiring story of survival against all odds, of pursing and accomplishing your dreams in spite of enormous and often seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

“This is also a story that needs to be heard by anyone who cares about LGBTQ rights,” Thimmesch-Gill said.  “As I write this, the Supreme Court legalized marriage equality. It’s an exciting time and it’s tempting to imagine now that love has won and we can ride triumphantly into the sunset. But there’s more work to be done.

There’s a crisis of homelessness in transgender communities. Most trans youth have spent their whole lives hiding and their invisibility makes it easy to imagine that they aren’t suffering. It was difficult to tell this story, but I kept reminding myself that I made a promise when I was on the streets: if I ever escaped, I would never turn my back on those who are still there. This book is an attempt to bring the world a plea from a community that is still running, still avoiding sexual predation, hunger, and death. Tonight, all around the country, transkids will curl up in the dark corners of parks and the spaces behind dumpsters, praying that they make it until daylight. I hope some of them find their way to this book and realize they aren’t alone.  For the rest of us, I hope this book can serve as  a powerful reminder that there are still battles left to win in the name of love.”
About the Author
Zane Thimmesch-Gill lives in Minnesota where he rides his bike year round, except on days when there are more than 10 inches of freshly fallen snow, in which case he’s discovered that it’s faster to run. After receiving an MFA from CalArts, he spent a year researching health issues related to climate change in the Arctic as a Fulbright Fellow. Then he headed to Guatemala to study Spanish. While living with his host family he became an honorary papa for Carlitos, a role that he still plays proudly and will always cherish. These days he’s researching how to use robots and virtual reality to improve health outcomes for patients and disaster victims. Hiding in Plain Sight is his first book.

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