Janet Mock (born March 10, 1983) is an American writer, television host, director, producer, and transgender rights activist. She is a contributing editor for Marie Claire and a former staff editor of People magazine's website.
Janet Mock was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, the second child in the family. She began her transition as a freshman in high school and funded her medical transition by earning money as a sex worker in her teens. She chose her name Janet after Janet Jackson. She was the first person in her family to go to college. Mock earned a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Merchandising from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2004 and a Master of Arts in Journalism from New York University in 2006.
Mock started working at People magazine, where she was a staff editor for more than five years. Her career in journalism shifted from editor to media advocate when she came out publicly as a trans woman in a 2011 Marie Claire article, written by Kiernan Mayo in Mock's voice. Mock submitted a video about her experiences as a transgender woman to the "It Gets Better" project in 2011 and has written on a variety of topics for Marie Claire, Elle, The Advocate, Huffington Post, and XoJane.
In April 2015, Oprah Winfrey invited Mock to be a guest on Super Soul Sunday for a segment titled, "Becoming Your Most Authentic Self" where she discussed "proudly and unapologetically" claiming her identities. In September 2015, Mock was invited back to join Winfrey's Super Soul Sessions where Mock discussed, "Embracing The Otherness." In 2016, Mock was named to Oprah's SuperSoul 100 list of visionaries and influential leaders.
Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More is a memoir about her teenage years. It is the first book written by a trans person who transitioned as a young person. Redefining Realness made The New York Times bestseller list for hardcover nonfiction and contains her personal memories often alongside statistics or social theory. Mock writes her book is about her personal experience as a trans woman of colour.
This powerful memoir follows Mock’s from an early, unwavering conviction about her gender to a turbulent adolescence in Honolulu that saw her transitioning during the tender years of high school, self-medicating with hormones at fifteen, and flying across the world alone for sex reassignment surgery at just eighteen. Mock uses her own experience to impart vital insight into the unique challenges and vulnerabilities of trans youth and brave girls like herself.
This book is a powerful vision of possibility and self-realization, pushing us all toward greater acceptance of one another—and of ourselves—showing as never before how to be unapologetic and real.
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