How One Sibling's Transition Changed Us Both
Bold Type Books, March 2020
A powerful memoir by two sisters about transitioning, family, and the path to self-realization.
When Orange Is the New Black and Diary of a Future President star Selenis Leyva was young, her parents brought a new foster child into their warm, loving family in the Bronx. Selenis was immediately smitten; she doted on the baby, who in turn looked up to Selenis and followed her everywhere. The siblings realized, almost at the same moment, that the younger of the two was struggling with their identity. As Marizol transitioned and fought to define herself, Selenis and the family wanted to help, but didn’t always have the language to describe what Marizol was going through.
In My Sister, Selenis and Marizol narrate, in alternating chapters, their shared journey, challenges, and triumphs. They write honestly about the issues of violence, abuse, and discrimination that trans people and women of color — and especially trans women of color — experience daily. And they are open about the messiness and confusion of fully realizing oneself and being properly affirmed by others, even those who love you.
Profoundly moving and instructive, My Sister offers insight into the lives of two siblings learning to be their authentic selves. Ultimately, theirs is a story of hope, one that will resonate with and affirm those in the process of transitioning, watching a loved one transition, and anyone taking control of their gender or sexual identities.
“Selenis and Marizol Leyva have crafted a moving and searingly honest portrait of what it means to lead an authentic life. By turns poignant and anguishing, the story of Marizol’s journey as she fights to become who she was always meant to be will capture your imagination, but it is the immutable bond between sisters that, in the end, will break your heart.”―Kate Mulgrew, author of How to Forget and Born with Teeth
“Fiercely honest, this book not only chronicles a harrowing journey to self-acceptance; it also celebrates an interpersonal love that transcends the bounds of blood and family. Bold, raw, and courageous.”―Kirkus