|Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2 edition (October 1, 2013)
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The story of one man’s journey through life as a transgender and his struggles against society, family, and religion.
Everything about this book broke my heart. At 8 years old Ritzi, who was born a girl, felt he was a boy. He went as far as telling his father this, and was met by laughter and ignored. He told his mother and for years was met with scorn, biblical bashing and much much worse. She brought in exorcists to rid her daughter of the demons. This continued way into adulthood.
Then Rizi decided to just live life as a lesbian, but even then wasn’t happy because something felt as if it was missing. Finally He decided to go through gender reassignment which caused even more riffs among family and friends. Through it all though, He never lost faith in God and that is where some of the strength comes through, that despite all the hate heaped on him by his country, his family, and everyone else, he was still able to find love in his heart for God.
It’s a beautiful story that I think everyone should read, but sadly in this country I know there are many who won’t because of the subject matter. That is where it’s very sad, because they are missing out on a beautiful story of survival, love, and forgiveness. Isn’t that what the Bible stories were about after all?
One sad part of the book that disturbed me the most was the individual stories of all the LGBTQ people who were beaten, some who died, merely due to their sexuality.
It’s definitely for the older audiences and details things such as child abuse, rape, and other dark images that some readers may find disturbing. If you can overlook this, you”ll find a beautiful story, that while brief, leaves you with a connection to the author. For anyone out there struggling, I would recommend this book. So many feel rejected by a religion they’d like to embrace, and Dr. Timane does an excellent job of leading you through finding what you may seek.
About the Author
Rizi Xavier Timane’ was born in Northern Nigeria, West Africa. He grew up in a fundamentalist Christian home and was taught from an early age that being part of the LGBT community would lead him straight to hell. Like most transgendered persons, Rizi struggled with gender dysphoria in early childhood and initially identified as a lesbian.
The rejection and persecution that Rizi was subjected to led him to abuse drugs and alcohol, and coupled with his growing gender dysphoria, culminated in a suicide attempt. After much soul searching and research, Rizi, like many LGBT people today, discovered that nothing is wrong with him being transgender nor is anything wrong with LGBT sexuality, which are both in fact, natural God-given traits. His struggles and persecution identifying first as an openly out lesbian in Africa, and then subsequently as a trans-man, are the inspiration behind his ministry today.
Rizi is a commissioned minister and spiritual counselor within Rizi Timane Ministries-a Jesus based ministry that values people of all faiths and religious backgrounds. He routinely provides affirming spiritual support to the LGBT community and is much sought after as a public speaker on the subject of the intersection of Religion/Spirituality and LGBT Civil Rights. Rizi’s speaking engagements have included universities, colleges, churches and other non-profit organizations.
Rizi is also an inspirational/gospel singer whose album “Come Out” has been well received within the community and had him booked in numerous affirming churches/venues all over the USA and Internationally. Rizi completed year long seminary studies at Claremont School of Theology in California, earning a graduate certificate in Religion, Activism and Social Justice. He has also earned a PhD in Christian Counseling and a Masters in Social Work from University of Southern California (USC) with the intent to become fully Licensed as a Psychotherapist in Los Angeles.
*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Rebecca at Cadence Marketing for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.