raebaeb asked: Hi Janet. My name is Rae and I've messaged you on FB before. I would like to discuss this B. Scott issue with you if possible. I need some clarity on the situation because I cannot see how you find his claim genuine.
Thanks so much for reaching out, and I want you to know that you are not alone in your skepticism. I am dealing with criticism from all sides of the issue for speaking with B. and giving them a space to tell their story [here’s a link to our conversation]. We all deserve that.
For me, I chose to trust B. I didn’t approach B. with skepticism or mistrust in regards to their intentions or timing of their announcement as transgender. I chose as a writer, a trans woman of color and as an activist to be open and to give B. the space to tell their story. I was there to listen, to share and to enlighten as well, and they came into the space doing the same.
Much of our conversation was not printed because part of it was private, and a lot of it was about helping B. understand the many intricacies and sensitivities and struggles of our community. I published the parts I felt were most resonant with people, parts that B. was also comfortable with. I did mention the public’s skepticism in regards to the timing of B.’s announcement (many think B.’s announcement steps on the backs of trans folks and profit off our pain and struggles).
What continues to resonate with me is this constant questioning of B.’s identity, and I wanted to explore our society’s questioning of identities, whether we are trans or cis.
Ultimately, I choose to give B. the benefit of the doubt on their own experience. It is not my place to say they are not being truthful about their experience and road towards self-revelation.
I wanted to have this conversation to hopefully begin healing our many communities. I think there is a legacy of pain, struggle and rage that we as a people have living in us, and I feel this makes it easier for us to view people skeptically and with detachment. I felt it was necessary to practice love and trust B. and embrace B. - ultimately because I know what it is like to be questioned on a daily basis and not to be embraced.
I wanted to act from a place as a storyteller and give B the space to tell their story. I think this is just the first of many conversations we all will have to have publicly and privately and I think time will show B.’s “intentions.”
I’m hopeful, though, and wish for (and work towards) a world where we can all be who we say we are and people will believe and embrace us.
[We can speak privately as well, but I’ve gotten a series of these messages and felt it necessary to address publicly. I can be reached privately at contact(at)janetmock(dot)com]
The well-known media personality opens up about being transgender, about proclaiming his identity and suing BET for gender identity discrimination.
Today, I had a phone conversation with B. Scott and wanted to share it with you:
I am thrilled to announce that I have joined the Board of Directors of the Arcus Foundation. I look forward to continuing this movement building work for people of all colors, bodies, gender identities and sexual orientations.
On the subject of crowdfunding…I have noticed that most campaigns don’t feature the intersections of race + trans womanhood.
It’s rare in fact that trans women of color (from low-income and/or rural backgrounds) ask the world for help.
My personal outlook is that most of my sisters are vulnerable enough and that vulnerability isn’t something they broadcast to the world because frankly they do it everyday by existing, and often visible vulnerability negates the notion of daily survival.
To say that I am disappointed that KOKUMO is struggling to raise money for her TGIF Rally in Chicago and Ja’briel Walthour is struggling to raise funds for her medical needs would be an understatement. (I’ve shared both on Tumblr previously: KOKUMO Post | Ja’briel Post; KOKUMO’s actually garnered nearly 900 notes, yet still hasn’t garnered $900.)
Combined, both campaigns have raised only $1200 - as of 5/31.
I see numerous indiegogo campaigns from folks - operating in the world with varying levels of privileges - who raise money quickly and even have extra to throw a party.
The irony of the fact that those most in need in our community are least likely to ask for help and when they do they are met with silence is appalling.
We must all do better.
These two sisters are taking on the brunt and responsibility of their organizing and medical costs, while thousands of other trans women of color are engaged in survival sex trade/work to meet their varying needs, making them all the more vulnerable to police profiling, incarceration, high exposure to HIV/AIDS and of course violence.
Let’s turn these campaigns + future ones around. Here’s how:
* Share these links on your FB + Twitter + Tumblr (ie: here’s a tweet from me)
* Write about these glaring disparities in our communities.
* Ask those who’ve launched successful campaigns to SHARE these campaigns.
* Visualize and help create a world of abundance where none of us would have to ask for help because everyone would have equal access to healthcare and non-profit funds, and that community would be more than a noun but a verb, tying us all together.
I’ve known Ja’briel via email for the past two years, and in each email she sends me positivity, love and light. She consistently tells me stories of being one of the only out trans women in her community of Hinesville, Georgia, where she drives a school bus for special needs students and consistently educates people on trans issues. She is always positive, always educating, always doing the work.
It’s our turn to lift her up. She needs us.
So proud to be a small part of this major issue, where I’m called a “hashtag hero” for #girlslikeus. Thanks Amos, Rocco + Original Plumbing family. Elated that I’m also wearing a blouse by trans designer + fellow Hawaii girl Ari of Andy South.
Sidenote: My hair is out of control long and big. <3 curly girls!
TSQ is a new interdisciplinary academic journal that will change the way the world thinks about transgender issues.
Folks, I’m proud to be on the editorial board of this journal, please support this project and share with your networks.
Yes! We need more for us, created by us publications.
This little seen documentary (sacrilege that there’s only 7,321 views!) is a testament to a legend, someone who has left an indelible mark on those she touched, entertained, loved, gave to, received from, crashed with, said hello to, babysat and fought for.
Marsha P. Johnson, how you inspire me everyday to step even further into who I am and find that slice of freedom we all deserve. Thank you for always coming from a place of compassion, kindness, love, and yes glitter and flowers.
An interview I did with TakePart about the “controversy” surrounding covering transition costs for trans inmates, including hormone therapy and yes, gender-confirmation surgeries.
Janet is among those who are fighting for change. Key to this, she believes, is allowing some “shades of grey” in how we view people.
"People can’t really be put into boxes," she says. "We need to get away from just category, and we have to allow people who were in one to move into the next category, [to] respect their right to self-determine." That also means, she adds, allowing those who have no need to identify as either male or female to be "fine to be somewhere in the middle of the spectrum".
"I’m very female, whatever that means. But I respect someone who is not and needs to draw outside of the lines a little bit."