• SPECIAL EPISODE: Janet Mock on transgender rights, Mychal Denzel Smith on war, Tupac, and Ninja Turtles
  • Citizen Radio

Author Janet Mock (@janetmock) joins the show to discuss transgender rights, and Mychal Denzel Smith (@mychalsmith) sits in to discuss Iraq, ISIS, war, Tupac’s dying words, the GOP refusing to expand Medicaid, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Recommended reading: Go pick up a copy of Janet Mock’s awesome book Redefining Realness!

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Watch Me Chat with Oprah!!!

I hope you will join me in watching this moment together tomorrow, Sundaymorning, at 11am Eastern on the OWN Channel (find OWN on your TV!) or streaming worldwide online at www.supersoulsunday.com!

In the final chapter of Redefining Realness, I actually quote Oprah Winfrey: “You are a composite of all the things you believe, and all the places you believe you can go. Your past does not define you. You can step out of your history and create a new day for yourself. Even if the entire culture is saying, ‘You can’t.’ Even if every single possible bad thing that can happen to you does. You can keep going forward.”

This is a full circle moment for me, and I’m humbled to be sharing it with you. I’ll bewatching live and live-tweeting using the hashtag #SuperSoulSunday.

@janetmock laughing w/ ATL QTPOC Honey, she said everything I needed in my personal and political life. One day our paths will cross again. Just as Janet worked on her truth until it was time to speak truth to power, so shall I #janetmock #redefiningrealness #qtpoc #atlanta #agnesscott #queer #trans #leaderstories #black #femmesofcolor #femmesofcolorvisibility

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.

TSER director Eli Erlick’s comments on Piers Morgan’s transphobic statements were featured in the LA Times: “…people in the media seem to think that just because they aren’t openly attacking trans people that they have the right to say whatever they want. Piers Morgan is the perfect example of that. Just because he is not openly shaming Janet doesn’t mean he’s not saying transphobic things.” Click here to read the article.

Tolerance, what Morgan seems to have for trans women, is not good enough. We need justice and it will not come from people "tolerating” us. Trans women, especially trans women of color, face unique hardships that tolerance will not help. When Morgan actually takes the initiative to apologize to Mock, we will be sure to mail him one of these:

Thanks @betnetworks for creating visibility for so many #LGBTQ couples of color including #JanetMock & #AaronTredwell #KordaleandKalebLewis, the super sweet gay couple whose picture went viral when they uploaded the picture of their morning routine with their daughters. #MonifahCarter and partner #TerezMychelle. #thisisluv #outandproud http://www.bet.com/celebrities/photos/2013/10/famous-lgbt-couples.html#!061015-Celebs-Famous-LGBT-Couples-Kim-Katrin-Milan-Tiq-Milan

A thought on Amy Schumer and that Daily Dot piece

No one woman is responsible for feminism. No matter how talented or famous. Not Lena Dunham, not Amy Schumer. There are thousands, like Janet Mock, Bell Hooks, Laverne Cox, and YOU. Paying attention to as big a spectrum of women’s opinions and thoughts through art, politics, academia, and the media is how we move forward and gain momentum. Putting young white women on a pedestal just so we can tear them down for not having the breadth of experience and knowledge we aspire to is a waste of time. Of course they don’t - they are young white women. They can only speak to their limited privileged experience and that’s it. Rather than expecting women on our screens like Black Widow and women in real life like Amy Schumer to simultaneously be everything to everyone because there’s no way they can, let’s focus on giving power to more voices from different places, on watching and sharing more than just clips from Amy’s show, which, no matter how brilliant, cannot capture everything for every woman. If you want better feminism, support more different feminists. We don’t move forward by think piecing one famous woman to death, but by putting more women into the arena so we finally earn the right men take for granted - the right to just be our goddamn selves without being judged on how it reflects on our whole gender.

Hiding myself for that brief period allowed me to operate under a guise of normality that made me feel temporarily secure. For many trans people, the pretending can last months, years, even decades; no two people have the same journey, yet a common fear threads us: “Being who I really am will lead to rejection.” Concealing who you are warps your sense of self and heightens feelings of hopelessness about ever being able to be your true self.

Janet Mock from Redefining Realness

(Note that in the original text, the sentence in quotation marks is italicized, but I couldn’t do that in the quote feature.)