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’
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

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. >>

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.

I think we’re all learning this stuff. Like, even me as a trans person, I didn’t know what cisgender was until a year and a half ago. Even I’m developing this language that very much came out of a white queer and trans* space, and which we’re all adopting that rhetoric coming out of academia mostly. I think we’re all very much in process of learning and I think that most people don’t want to say that - even trans* people don’t want to say that that you know, they don’t know what cisgender is. And a lot of people still use “bio” and “real” for people’s genders. We’re on a journey together to learn this language to speak about this community, which is very varied and diverse.
—  Janet Mock on gender and language on today’s Citizen Radio.  Listen at wearecitizenradio.com or on tumblr here.

What Piers Morgan and others like him in mainstream media need to learn is that simply saying you support trans people and trans rights is valueless unless you incorporate those values into your show when you have trans people on as guests and when you discuss us on your shows. To demonstrate support, you must also demonstrate respect, and one of the easiest and surest ways to do that is to refrain from referring to a trans woman as a man, former or otherwise, for any reason, ever.

Whether Morgan or anyone else believes it’s accurate or not is irrelevant. What matters is that trans women perceive being described as former men as disrespectful, demeaning, and rude. In the end, if Piers Morgan is truly the trans supporter he says he is, then what he thinks really shouldn’t matter. Simply the fact that Janet and other trans women were offended should be enough for Piers Morgan to apologize, learn from his mistake, and promise not to repeat it.

—  Where Piers Morgan Went Wrong | Rebecca Juro for the Huffington Post Gay Voices
These spaces, even though they’re supposed to be welcoming, safe spaces, they still are infected by the ills that all other spaces are - racism and misogyny and elitism and classism, academia jargon and all of this stuff. These spaces aren’t immune. If you come into these spaces knowing that and your job is to come in and make it a better space.
—  janetmock on finding community as a trans person, especially when not all LGBTQ spaces are inclusive to trans people. Listen at wearecitizenradio.com or on tumblr here.

“[sex workers] came to merchant street and took control of their bodies–bodies that were radical in their mere existence in this misogynistic, transphobic, elitist world[…]The varied, often conflicting portraits these women presented shaped my developing composition of womanhood. When I am asked how I define womanhood, I often quote feminist author Simone de Beauvoir: "one is not born, but rather becomes a woman.”[…]This short, powerful statement assured me that I have the freedom, in spite of and because of my birth, body, race, gender expectations, and economic resources, to define myself for myself and for others.“ -Janet Mock (Redefining Realness)