Entertainment July 18, 2017
"I was always a girl."
Janet Mock is a popular transgender activist in the LGBTQ community. In addition, she is famous for her best-selling books that showcase her honesty and openness about understanding her identity, stepping into womanhood and navigating her early 20s.
However, there is so much more to this multi-talented lady, and we love the way she embraces her true self.
So, ENTITY is here to explain the five things you need to know about Janet Mock.
During Christmas break from attending the University of Hawaii in 2001, Janet Mock flew to Bangkok to make a decision that would change her life forever.
She was 18-years-old when she decided to transition, and described herself to Marie Claire in 2011 as “anxious” and “alone.”
“After high school graduation, many of my classmates were throwing big graduation parties and buying new cars,” she said. “Those kids went looking for good times and great memories, but I was desperately searching for one thing only: a chance to be in the right body for the first time in my entire life. I had traveled more than 6,000 miles to have gender reassignment surgery – a sex change.”
From that moment forward, it was goodbye, Charles and hello, Janet.
The rest of the Marie Claire article titled, “I Was Born a Boy,” goes on to explain how the former People editor knew from a young age that the sex she was born didn’t equal the gender she knew she was.
However, Janet Mock found one major issue with the article, written by Kierna Mayo: its use of the word “boy” misgendered her.
“I do wish I could change one thing in the piece: the term ‘boy,’ which is used a few times,” she wrote on her website. “Overall I’m fine with it because I was born in what doctor’s proclaim is a boy’s body. I had no choice in the assignment of my sex at birth. I take issue with the two instances in the piece: The first instance proclaims, ‘Until she was 18, Janet was a boy,’ and then it goes on to say, ‘I even found other boys like me there…’ My genital reconstructive surgery did not make me a girl. I was always a girl.”
The editor of the piece, Lea Goldman, later apologized and expressed her regret for the article title via Twitter.
In conjunction to being a journalist with a master’s degree, Janet Mock hosts her own podcast, “Never Before.” On her podcast, Mock interviews popular public figures like “Girls” actress Lena Dunham and Beyonce’s mom, Tina Knowles-Lawson.
She tackles issues of love, life and career with her guests.
During her interview with Tina Knowles-Lawson, they discussed hairstyles and what it means to be a black woman.
“Hair color is just an expression of something different that you want to have, or something creative. I’ve read some things where people are like, ‘Beyoncé wants to be white’ because she has blonde highlights in her hair, but it’s ridiculous,” Knowles-Lawson said. “You know she is who she is and she’s a very proud black woman. I know people with natural hair that are the least black inside, you know, it doesn’t matter.”
We don’t think this career-driven woman is still anxious or lonely. She not only knows exactly who she is, but she found a man who completely loves her for it. Janet Mock married her longtime love, Aaron Tredwell, in 2015.
The two met in 2009 on the dance floor of a New York bar. Mock said she was overcome by his good looks, attentiveness and generosity, and knew instantly she wanted something long-term with him.
She recalled the moment she told him she was trans to Brides Magazine:
“After our third or fourth date, I anxiously sat across from Aaron in his apartment as I prepared to open up in a way I had never done before. Breathing in deeply, I said, ‘I have to tell you something.’ I shared the broad strokes of my unconventional girlhood, coming of age as a young trans woman. I told him about knowing that I was different since I was a child, transitioning through the halls of my middle school and high school, and finally being seen and accepted as my most authentic self.”
After she disclosed her past, Tredwell simply responded by asking if he could hug her. Five years later he proposed.
Despite the awkwardness of being misgendered in the article about her life, Janet Mock is still a contributing editor for Marie Claire.
Janet Mock was celebrated for her Marie Claire cover story on Nicki Minaj.
Back in 2015, The New York Times Magazine ran a profile on Minaj that represented her in a bad light. First, it criticized her sexual behavior. Second, Minaj kicked the interviewer out of her room because she didn’t focus on her accomplishments. Instead, she questioned the singer’s involvement in the beef between Lil’ Wayne and Birdman.
Enter Janet Mock.
Mock profiled Nicki Minaj for the Marie Claire cover story. Instead of taking the same angle as The New York Times Magazine, Mock focused on how Minaj was impacted by her role models Beyoncé and JAY-Z and discussed violence against women of color.
Aside from all these accomplishments, Janet Mock is most-famous for her best-selling books, “Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More” and “Surpassing Certainty.”
“Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More” was published in 2014. In the book, Janet Mock discusses how being poor, multiracial and trans impacted her teens and early adulthood.
“Those parts of yourself that you desperately want to hide and destroy will gain power over you. The best thing to do is face and own them, because they are forever a part of you,” Mock writes in the book.
“Surpassing Certainty” was published in 2017. In this book, Janet Mock describes her life as she approaches her twentieth birthday. It is full of first loves, honesty about her time as nightclub dancer and self-discovery.
“No one can heal you. You must learn to be your own company, your own cure. You cannot retreat into someone else for fulfillment,” Mock writes in the book.
Her first book made her a New York Times best-selling author. In addition, she won the Shorty Award for Best in Activism and the 2015 Women’s Way book prize.
Janet Mock, thank you for being you. Please never stop encouraging others to do the same.
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