janet mock quotes

When trans students are told that they cannot use public facilities, it doesn’t only block them from the toilet — it also blocks them from public life. It tells them with every sneer, every blocked door, that we do not want to see them, that they should go hide and that ultimately they do not belong. When schools become hostile environments, students cannot turn to them. Instead they are pushed out. And without an education, it makes it that much more difficult to find a job, and support themselves and survive. That is the situation the Trump administration is creating. Despite the culture of fear, ignorance and intolerance that permeates our country right now, I am here to tell each and every student that you belong, and that nothing — absolutely nothing — is wrong with you.
—  Young People Get Trans Rights. It’s Adults Who Don’t. | Janet Mock for the New York Times

What’s difficult about being from Hawaii is that everyone has a postcard view of your home. Hawaii lives vividly in people’s minds as nothing more than a weeklong vacation – a space of escape, fantasy and paradise. But Hawaii is much more than a tropical destination or a pretty movie backdrop — just as Aloha is way more than a greeting.

The ongoing appropriation and commercialization of all things Hawaiian only makes it clearer as to why it is inappropriate for those with no ties to Hawaii, its language, culture and people to invoke the Hawaiian language. This is uniquely true for aloha – a term that has been bastardized and diminished with its continual use.

Most who invoke the term aloha do not know its true meaning. Aloha actually comes from two Hawaiian words: Alo – which means the front of a person, the part of our bodies that we share and take in people. And Ha, which is our breath. When we are in each other’s presence with the front of our bodies, we are exchanging the breath of life. That’s Aloha.

—  Janet Mock
When I think of identity, I think of our bodies and souls and the influences of family, culture, and community—the ingredients that make us. James Baldwin describes identity as ‘the garment with which one covers the nakedness of the self.’ The garment should be worn 'loose,’ he says, so we can always feel our nakedness. 'This trust in one’s nakedness is all that gives one the power to change one’s robes.’ I’m still journeying toward that place where I’m comfortable in this nakedness, standing firmly in my interlocking identities.
—  Janet Mock, ‘Redefining Realness’
In order to address the role we play in violence against Black trans women, we cannot be silent or idle. We have to accept our privilege and disassemble society’s gender expectations to ensure their safety and humanity. We have to understand that as Black cis women, we are closer to the gender conformity spectrum than our Black trans sisters. We are at a far higher advantage because of our accessibility to womanhood. When we stay silent, we are seemingly accepting that the navigation of our gender comes at the expense of our Black trans sisters. Our complicity becomes violence in itself.
—  For Angela Yee And Other Silent Cisgender Black Women | Miela Fetaw for HuffPost
Femininity in general is seen as frivolous. People often say feminine people are doing “the most”, meaning that to don a dress, heels, lipstick, and big hair is artifice, fake, and a distraction. But I knew even as a teenager that my femininity was more than just adornments; they were extensions of me, enabling me to express myself and my identity. My body, my clothes, and my makeup are on purpose, just as I am on purpose.
—  Janet Mock, Redefining Realness
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Loving yourself means taking care of your health. (rhyme. boom.)

You do lots of stuff to make sure your body is in tip top shape — like flossing and eating your veggies. Getting tested for STDs is also a basic part of staying healthy. And we wanna help you out.  That’s why we offer STD testing, treatment, and sex ed to help you take charge of your health. We do 4.5 million STD tests and treatments each year. So yeah, we kinda know what we’re doing. Make an appointment to get tested now. >>

Until cis people — especially heteronormative men — are able to interrogate their own toxic masculinity and realize their own gender performance is literally killing trans women, cis men will continue to persecute trans women and blame them for their own deaths. If you think trans women should disclose and “be honest,” then why don’t you work on making the damn world safe for us to exist in the first place? The “I’d kill a woman if I found out” rhetoric is precisely why so many women hold themselves so tight — the stigma and shame attached to our desires need to be abolished. 

We must navigate difficult conversations about desire and identity, about the fact that trans girls exist, and for as long as we’ve existed we’ve been desired by men (including high-profile ones who won’t ever own their desires) who are not working toward gaining the tools to deal with their attraction. And just so we are clear: Just because you find me and my sisters attractive does not mean we desire you. You never could.

Janet Mock Inspires CeCe McDonald

“Janet, you know how much I love you. I look up to you as a big sister. And this book really, in my eyes, made me see myself as not just the one who went through my experience alone. Every time I would read a page in your book, it would be like a black and white scene of a movie in my head of my life, of something that you experienced that I’ve experienced in some way. It’s really hard for me to express myself to people when it comes to experiences that I had whether it be good or bad. And for you to have written a book about that is really a blessing. It’s like…this is like the ten commandments for us right now. Like literally. It speaks truth. And with truth comes freedom.” - CeCe McDonald

Part of what Cece McDonald said to Janet Mock in regards to her important, exquisitely written, groundbreaking book about being a trans woman of colour, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More. Quote is from The Barnard Center For Research on Women annual salon that featured several panelists.