5 Stars for Hiding in Plain Sight by Zane Thimmesch-Gill #Memoir #Trans


Title: Hiding in Plain Sight
Author Name & Publisher: Zane Thimmesch-Gill (Riverdale Avenue Books)
Publication Date & Length: September 9, 2015 – 298 pgs


“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

In the memoir, Hiding in Plain Sight, this transgendered author describes in graphic and harrowing detail a homeless teen life on the streets that was marked with constant violence. 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.

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Wow… This was just… amazing… and heartbreaking.
There were so many times that I wanted to cry and give up for the main character while reading, I can only imagine what it was like for him. Life is hard for most folks, but the author really shows us just how ugly the world is out there for those who don’t fall under ‘normal’ in some people’s books.
I have to say that this is one of those books that everyone really needs to read to not only see how hard it is for someone who is transexual, but just to see how horrible people can be. There are so many things that could’ve gone differently for the author if there would have been people to help in a productive, supportive way. Although I still am thankful that there were people out there that were willing to help the author when he was still in high school even if things didn’t enough out well, it was better than him having stayed with his biological family.
Through it all, the author somehow managed to stay strong and never stop looking toward the future which is amazing. Really inspiring for those of us who don’t have it as hard as he did, but still need the reminder that not only could things be worse, but that tomorrow will come and things will get better as long as we keep trying.
Very well written memoir. Thank you for sharing your story with the world.


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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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