This post is the ninth in a series of posts I am making about books by black authors who impacted me. (The other posts are below). Today’s book is Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love and So Much More by Janet Mock. I read this memoir earlier this year when it came out.
Janet Mock is a transgender woman and was formerly a staff editor at People magazine. A beloved presence on Twitter and in media, she is a trans rights activist and thinker. The memoir is courageous, detailing her earliest memories of knowing she was a girl/woman and her process towards transition. She discusses her experience with survival sex work in both the book and in a series of videos she released on YouTube when the book came out. She’s challenged laws and policies that target and criminalize trans people, sex workers and people of color, and is a force to be reckoned with on Twitter and in the media.
Her story also charts difficult but loving relationships she has had with family members, and the challenges she faced in her love life. Reading about her relationship with her partner and his journey towards accepting his love for her is especially heartening and eye-opening. Some of my favorite media appearances with her have been on those occasions where she and Orange is the New Black actress Laverne Cox (a genius and badass in her own right) have been brought on to speak together. Mock regularly speaks at conferences and events, and started the #girlslikeus hashtag to elevate issues facing trans women. She’s an excellent writer but even more so an incredibly brave, fierce advocate. Whether you are well versed in transgender issues or you do not feel you know much, this book is a fantastic and moving read. Pick it up!
Thank you for reading and recommending my book. I appreciate the care at which you embrace and shared it.
In love + words,
Beyoncé photographed by Pierre Debusschere, CR Fashion Book Issue 5
That camel-colored wool coat thought. Fall fashion must!
Self-Defense is Murder When You’re A TWOC. Eisha Love, a Trans Woman, sits in Cook County Jail, Division 9, and there she awaits trial. Why? Because…
Another young trans woman of color faces attempted murder charges after defending her life during a group attack in Chicago.
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Janet Mock on Beyoncé’s feminism.
We can be sexual, sexy and flawless while advocating and fighting and educating and uplifting and critiquing and challenging and giving and everything.
When someone tries to shade Beyoncé…
This now replaces my default “get it the f*k together”
The day began with questions about why a young man was killed. It ended as a referendum on the militarization of American police forces.
"What transpired in the streets appeared to be a kind a municipal version of shock and awe; the first wave of flash grenades and tear gas had played as a prelude to the appearance of an unusually large armored vehicle, carrying a military-style rifle mounted on a tripod."
The United States of America is not for black people. We know this, and then we put it out of our minds, and then something happens to remind us. Saturday, in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo., something like that happened: An unarmed 18-year-old black man was executed by police in broad daylight.
A powerful read on Michael Brown, the militarization of police and the targets on black bodies in America.