Jacob Tobia

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Jacob Tobia
Jacob Tobia at Microsoft NERD.jpg
Tobia at Microsoft New England Research and Development Center in 2019
Born (1991-08-07) August 7, 1991 (age 28)
ResidenceLos Angeles, California
EducationRaleigh Charter High School
Alma materDuke University
OccupationWriter, activist, producer
Known forLGBTQ rights advocacy

Jacob Tobia (born 1991) is an American LGBTQ rights activist, television host, and writer. In 2019 they published their memoir titled Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story.

Early life and education[edit]

Tobia's grandparents were Syrians who immigrated to the United States in the 1950s who spoke Arabic, which Tobia said was "the language that I do not speak but wish I could."[1][2] Tobia was raised in Raleigh, North Carolina in a Methodist family and graduated in 2010 from Raleigh Charter High School, serving there as president of the Gay Straight Alliance and being active in student government.[3][4] They went on to graduate summa cum laude from Duke University with a degree in Human Rights Advocacy.[5] While a student at Duke, Tobia served as the vice president of equity and outreach for Duke Student Government, was co-president of Blue Devils United, and president of Duke Students for Gender Neutrality.[6]

Career and activism[edit]

Tobia is a Point Foundation Scholar,[5] Harry S. Truman Scholar,[7] and a recipient of the Campus Pride National Voice and Action Award. Their writing has been featured on MSNBC, MTV, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Guardian, BuzzFeed, Jezebel and other media outlets. They've also served on conference panels and spoken at Harvard University, Princeton University, Columbia University, and various LGBTQ conferences across the United States. They worked for the United Nations Foundation, the Human Rights Campaign, and the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice before starting a career in television.[8][non-primary source needed]

In September 2013, Tobia raised over $10,000 for the Ali Forney Center running across the Brooklyn Bridge in five-inch heels as part of their Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) commitment to action. They recently were honored again for their larger impact to LGBTQIA community by CGI U in 2018 at the University of Chicago.[3]

Tobia was featured in MTV's The T Word, where they were interviewed by Laverne Cox. In 2015, Tobia was profiled in the GLAAD Award-nominated episode of True Life: I'm Genderqueer by MTV.[9] In 2016 they were named in OUT Magazine's 100.[10] Later in 2016, Tobia created, co-produced and hosted Queer 2.0, an original LGBTQ series on NBC News.[11]

Tobia in March 2019 giving their book reading in Raleigh, North Carolina.

In 2017, Tobia moved from New York to Los Angeles to begin working on Season 4 of Jill Soloway's series Transparent.[12] In June 2017, Tobia announced they would be releasing a memoir titled Sissy.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Tobia is genderqueer and uses singular they pronouns.[14][2]



  1. ^ Tobia, Jacob (June 14, 2017). "Remember The Forces That Marginalize Queers Also Marginalize Muslims". The Huffington Post. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Martin, Michel (June 18, 2016). "Barbershop: Taking Stock Of Orlando With Members Of The LGBTQ Community". NPR. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Lee, Traci G. (December 18, 2012). "Supporting an LGBT youth center with high hopes–and high heels". MSNBC. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  4. ^ "Chartering Our Course" (PDF). Raleigh Charter High School. November 2015. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Jacob Tobia". Point Foundation. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Tobia, Jacob (July 18, 2014). "Where I Belong | Duke Magazine". Duke Magazine. Duke University. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  7. ^ "Award Winners". Office of Undergraduate Scholars & Fellows. Duke University. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  8. ^ "Jacob Tobia". 2017-02-24. Archived from the original on 2017-02-24.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  9. ^ Rothkopf, Joanna (November 17, 2015). "A Conversation with Genderqueer Activist and Latest MTV True Life Subject Jacob Tobia". Jezebel. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  10. ^ "Out100 2016". OUT Magazine. 2016. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  11. ^ "Welcome to Queer 2.0!". NBC News. June 3, 2016. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  12. ^ Talusan, Meredith (June 22, 2017). "Why Can't My Famous Gender Nonconforming Friends Get Laid?". Vice. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  13. ^ Biedenharn, Isabella (June 23, 2017). "Gender nonconforming writer Jacob Tobia announces memoir, Sissy". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  14. ^ a b Tobia, Jacob (November 16, 2015). "I'm Genderqueer — Please Stop Asking Me When I'm 'Really' Going To Transition". MTV. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  15. ^ "Transgender Lives: Your Stories - Jacob Tobia". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  16. ^ Jacob Tobia. "I am neither Mr, Mrs or Ms but Mx | Jacob Tobia | Opinion". The Guardian. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  17. ^ Tobia, Jacob (2016-05-12). "Gender Neutral Pronouns: How to Use the Right Pronouns - Motto". Motto.time.com. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  18. ^ Tobia, Jacob (2016-04-01). "An Open Letter to North Carolina's Lawmakers from a Trans North Carolinian | Women's Health". Womenshealthmag.com. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  19. ^ "What Happens If You're A Trans Person Who Doesn't Feel "Trapped In The Wrong Body"". Buzzfeed.com. 2016-05-14. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  20. ^ "I Have Long Nails Because I'm Proud Of What They Mean". Buzzfeed.com. 2015-02-27. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  21. ^ "The 1970s Feminist Who Warned Against Leaning In - BuzzFeed News". Buzzfeed.com. 2015-02-27. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  22. ^ Tobia, Jacob (2016-04-07). "An Affront against All Women". Newamerica.org. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  23. ^ "Trans Fashion is Not (Necessarily) Trans Empowerment — Hooligan Mag". Hooliganmagazine.com. 2016-04-15. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  24. ^ Williams, Casey (2014-01-25). "How Student Activists at Duke Transformed a $6 Billion Endowment". The Nation. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  25. ^ "LGBTQIA: A Beginner's Guide to the Great Alphabet Soup Of Queer Identity". Mic. 2013-03-02. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  26. ^ "To All the Married Gay Couples Out There: The Fight Doesn't End With DOMA's Ruling". Mic. 2013-06-27. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  27. ^ "Obama Morehouse Speech: Was the President Unintentionally Transphobic?". Mic. 2013-05-24. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  28. ^ "The Power of Trans Vulnerability". The Huffington Post. 2016-05-05. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  29. ^ "Five Dos and Five Don'ts for College Seniors (From a Point Scholar Who's Been There)". The Huffington Post. 2016-02-02. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  30. ^ "Dear Mr. President: Students Ask Obama to Protect LGBT Employees". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  31. ^ "Why You Should Be Optimistic After Amendment One: A North Carolinian's Perspective". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  32. ^ "Why I'm Genderqueer, Professional and Unafraid". The Huffington Post. 2016-02-02. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  33. ^ "The Orlando Shooting Was An Act Of Hate". MTV. 2016-06-16. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  34. ^ "How To Talk To Your Parents About Being Genderqueer". MTV. 2015-11-23. Retrieved 2017-02-23.

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