Elon James White of This Week in Blackness asked me to be a part of this collective “stop and frisk” music video for the 10 Frisk Commandments Remix. Video features folks “rapping the personal words of the artists featured on the song speaking of contentious interactions with police officers and personal dealings as people of color.”
LIBERATION IS A COLLECTIVE PROCESS!
My latest piece for xojane.com about the time I broke my baby Cleo’s hindleg!
An illustration on “Femme Queens” sent to me anonymously from a sister of mine.
I asked her where she got it [No official source] and she said, “On some page for us girls on Facebook.”
What I love about the illustration is it realness, and that fact that trans women of color are illustrating how others see us and how we in fact see ourselves.
We are many distorted things to many people, but we are who we are to ourselves.
I’m PROUD to be seen by my sisters as an example of “how we really are : )” alongside my sister Isis King.
The L&L Show Episode 3 - Follow Up Questions to Janet Mock
1. How do you feel about RuPaul’s Drag Race?
I enjoy it as a form of entertainment. I practice being a critical fan (I discuss it here) which involves me not promoting the show or live-tweeting due to its problematic issues involving trans women (this could be a dissertation, I’m sure) - though I do think RuPaul is expanding his idea on trans women, realizing that the lines between drag and trans womanhood does in fact blur, with fierce ladies like Carmen Carrera and Monica Beverly Hillz, who come from that world. We must also as a trans women’s community begin embracing our sisters who do work as showgirls or perform the art of drag. They are our sisters too.
2. re: TrannyPowah How do you feel about the T-slur? Will you submit?
I actually don’t use the word personally but do believe in its reclamation. My issue comes in when others, who may know a trans woman who reclaims the word or is friends with a drag queen (or merely watches Drag Race), believe they, despite NOT being a trans woman, can freely use it. I believe in self-determination and self-identification so I would NEVER tell another trans woman that she cannot call herself tranny, yet I would be careful of another trans woman calling other trans women trannies. (See how murky the waters are). Basically I believe this: Call yourself whatever you want, and call others what they want to be called (which may or may not be tranny).
When my book is completely done, I promise to submit a piece to TrannyPowah.
3. Did you get tickets to go see Beyonce’s concert this summer?
FUCK yeah. I will be there at Barclay’s in Brooklyn in August. I am hoping that the pregnancy rumors are just rumors because my entire summer is centered on this concert. I’ll be attending with my best friend Wendi and we are going to twerk all night. Plus, I’ve already seen Bey perform with Blue Ivy in her belly at the Roseland - a week before she announced she was pregs.
4. What are some of your guilty pleasures?
Channing Tatum, Ryan Gosling and TV! I watch too much TV: Scandal. The Real Housewives of (all of them except Orange County & Miami). Braxton Family Values. Homeland. The Killing. The Mindy Project. Mad Men. Currently marathoning The Good Wife.
Yes, I have issues.
5. What are some longterm goals for yourself and for your project #Girlslikeus?
My longterm goals include but are not limited to the following: Successfully launching the release of my book (which will be out in Feb. 2014) and ensuring that it (and I) reaches young women around the country; setting up a TWoC collective in NYC with my dear sister reina gossett to establish communiTIES; networking nationally and intergenerationally with TWoC; and continuing to contribute to mainstream media to further amplify the voices of trans women. My spiritual guide has always been Oprah - so I’d love a conversation TV series one day.
As for #GirlsLikeUs: What #girlslikeus has done for me is create a pro-sisterhood space of visibility. I’ve seen it help women in their communities connect to one another. That has always been the goal: to get us out of our isolation and into pro-sisterhood relationships and spaces. I also hope to launch T-shirts (on my never-ending to-do list), which will fund smaller trans women-created websites, blogs + media projects that speak on intersectionality (all those DONATE buttons).
#Girlslikeus is a visibility tool so I want it to be visible beyond Twitter. I see occupying space on Tumblr, Instagram, etc…so that’s great. But it also needs to spark real-life space. I don’t know if I have the bandwidth to create such a space but it is marinating.
THANK YOU both for the follow-up questions.
In love, sisterhood, solidarity + struggle,
Just got the new issue of GOOD magazine, in which I’m recognized as part of the GOOD 100 2013, “our list of 100 individuals we should rally behind.”
Says GOOD: “The dazzling array that follows, curated from your submissions, consists of trailblazers and truth-tellers, defenders and disrupters, inventors and inciters, but they all share one basic trait: They are DOers.”
I’m part of the “disrupters” section.
On Wednesday, I delivered the commencement address at Columbia University and Barnard’s Lavender Graduation Ceremony for the Class of 2013. Here’s a photo of me with active and graduating members of PROUD COLORS, a fly collective of queer students of color who are actively creating space for intersectionality on their campus. You can download their zines here.
Elated to hear that my dear sister reina gossett was a member during her time at Columbia. The legacy of fly brilliance is alive and well, y’all.
Hello, Miss Major! Get into her everything.
Visited the living legend, the Stonewall Riots veteran, the self-proclaimed Glamour Puss, the prison abolitionist, the Executive Director of TGI Justice in her NYC hotel room.
We shared space, talked shoes, discussed our girls, our future, our struggles, her living legacy, and what our collective lives as trans women of color really look like.
If you don’t know her, I’m judging. (Google is your friend).
Isis King snapped this photo of the Isis, Janet & me having a power kiki -the first step to girlslikeus taking over the world!
These women give me life. Yasss!
Speaking at Florida State University in Tallahassee tomorrow at 7pm.
“An Evening with Janet Mock” makes it sound all official and ish.