Profile Interview: Janet Mock

Make sure to check out Janet’s new show #SoPOPular on MSNBC!

(Image description: A picture of Janet Mock, an African American & Native Hawaiian trans woman with curly brown hair, accented with blond highlights. She is wearing a shiny, shimmery top and is half smiling into the camera.) 

Introduce yourself! Who are you? What should we call you?

I am Janet Mock. I am a writer. I wrote the memoir Redefining Realness, which is my story of growing up as a young trans girl of colour in Honolulu, Hawaii. I am a media maker. I have my own show, called So POPular!, on MSNBC’s new digital network and it discusses the intersections of popular culture, art, entertainment, community and what it says about identity and where we’re going. People would say that my writing is a form of activism, though I wouldn’t call myself an activist. I am proud that my writing has resonated with people and has hopefully taught people and helped them to see themselves. I think as a storyteller, that is the greatest reward – when people say they’ve seen themselves, they’ve felt something or learned something through your words and your story.

How do you identify in terms of gender, sexuality, gender expression, etc?

I identify as a trans woman. I identify as Janet. I identify as Aaron’s fiancée. I identify as my cockapoo Cleo’s mother. I also identify as “biracial”, though I don’t really necessarily use that terminology. I identify as an African-American and an Indigenous Hawaiian/Kanaka Maoli person.

What are your personal pronouns?

She, her, hers.

Keep reading


“We humbly ask the world and all those who hold the Mauna sacred to aid us in this struggle, which is for all of us and our future generations,” says Kealoha. “Please get to the Mauna and support the brave warriors who are protesting indefinitely at the 9000 foot level.”The group is requesting donations for flights to and from Hawaiʻi between the other Hawaiian islands as well as much-needed accommodations, including food, ground transportation and other essentials. Those interested in donating may click on our GoFundMe link here: http://www.gofundme.com/SacredMaunaKea

Or contact sacredmaunakea@gmail.com

“We need your kokua (help) to continue our work on behalf of all concerned people of these islands,” says Kealoha.

“Or please support from where you are—here in the Islands or around the world,” says Kealoha. “I humbly offer my aloha and simple song for your needed charity that will be put 100 percent to good use. Mahalo.”


Media Contact: Keala Kelly (808) 265-0177

PDF of 3/28/15 Press Release:



This is to you, Poliʻahu
The Goddess who dwells in the cold of the Mountain.
Her beauty is displayed
As a blanket of white upon the Māmane trees

Poliahu on the sacred mountain
Secured by the surrounding snow
Heavenly snow of the Goddess
The Mamane caped in mist
The famous summit of all the land…

Hawaiian Values Differ From Western Traditions

by Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu - Oct. 30, 2013:

The debate over marriage equality in Hawaii has created much tension and division in our communities. It is time for Hawaiians who have been silent for so long on this issue to raise our voices against the parasitic capitalization of our culture, history, language and philosophy by those who continue to compromise, convolute and decimate us even beyond what has already been accomplished at the hands of the colonizers.

Kanaka Maoli have been conditioned for so long to think and act like foreigners that we have allowed the meaning and intent of our words, traditions and philosophies to be replaced by neo-Christian beliefs and used to further a Western political agenda on our islands.

This has become evident over the past weeks as many of my fellow Kanaka Maoli wave signs on the streets or speak on TV to insist on “traditional marriage” as a way to protect “ohana values.” In truth, pre-contact Hawaiians would have scoffed at the simplistic view of marriage as “the union of one man and one woman,” and their family arrangements often included and even depended upon relatives in same-sex relationships.

In pre-contact times, ohana was far more extensive than the Western nuclear family. They included kupuna and their siblings and cousins, makua and their siblings and cousins, children and grandchildren and all other cousins and distant and hanai relations. Our people lived in a format employing kauhale, where multigenerational and latitudinal families gathered together. Western missionaries thought us barbaric and labeled us heathens, but our extended families took care of the whole ohana.

Our people also embraced mahu (those who embody both kane and wahine ability, insight, feeling and spirit all rolled up into one body), aikane (those involved with intimate relations of the same sex), punalua (those men and women who had multiple partners of the opposite sex), and, of course, poolua children (a child with more than one father figure and the ability to claim more than one genealogy). Such people and relationships were not just “tolerated,” as in the current neo-Christian dogma, they were an intrinsic part of the social fabric.

In these challenging times, convoluted views of our native culture are being appropriated for other purposes. Hawaiians need to be consistent. Choose your water source and stay there. If you would like to drink the holy water from the Christian chalice, then that is your choice. If you would like to drink from the punawai of the wai a kane, then that, too, is yours to pursue. The problem occurs when Hawaiians want to have it both ways, drawing water from the wai a kane to further the goals of Christianity, enabling its proselytizers to continue perpetuating the wrongs of the past.

Wake up, kanaka maoli! If you support the Westernized Christian view of marriage, then so be it — but please don’t pretend that your choice has anything to do with Hawaiian thought or values. You have joined the ranks of the ones without a culture, without a language and without a soul, those our ancestors called haole. You require your soul’s mana to come from a completely outside source and have no wherewithal to find that source of life within. You would relegate our people to nothing but mere shells along the seashore, damaged by those who trample upon their fragile beauty because they want to walk in paradise.

I speak on behalf of mahu and those in aikane relationships who are too afraid, too shy or unable to articulate their profound connection to the true native concept of Hawaii — an inclusive society that unconditionally accepts, respects and loves all people, and that values the full and wondrous diversity of our relationships and families.


1993, 58 minutes
by Na Maka o ka `Aina (“the eyes of the land”)

Act of War-The Overthrow of the Hawaiian Nation 
One of the first productions funded by the fledgling Independent Television Service in late 1991 with supplemental funding from Native American Public Telecommunications, then called the Native American Public Broadcasting Consortium. It was broadcast on Hawai’i Public Television (PBS Hawai‘i) in 1993 during the centennial year observance of the U.S. armed invasion.

In that same year, the U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution admitting the illegal taking of Hawai‘i and formally apologizing to the Hawaiian people who “never relinquished their claims to their inherent sovereignty as a people or over their national lands.” President Clinton signed the resolution in November of 1993.


The Moment Native Hawaiians Have Been Waiting for is Upon Us

Through the leadership of the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission and with support from state lawmakers and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Native Hawaiian community is grabbing the reins and taking control of their future.

The struggle for Native Hawaiian self-government and self-determination has been growing for generations and is reaching a crucial point.  Rather than waiting for Congress, more than 22,000 Native Hawaiians have signed up, in less than 15-months, with the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission.  Tens of thousands of other Native Hawaiians will also transfer to the Commission’s list. 

These Native Hawaiians, and other Native Hawaiians who decide to sign-up now and until January 19, 2014, will move forward towards self-determination and self-governance.  In the process, we expect our status as indigenous peoples will afford us better legal protections and opportunities to manage and benefit from natural, cultural, and other resources belonging to Native Hawaiians.  Although we have always known in our hearts and minds that we are the indigenous people of these islands, recently, Hawaii state lawmakers and the governor have heard the call from Native Hawaiians to be recognized as the indigenous people of Hawaii. 

Now, it is our time to finish what was started so many decades ago; we must come together as a community and take charge of our lives.  We can no longer wait for others to give us what is ours.  By coming together as a community, we will claim what is rightfully ours.   

The last day to sign-up with the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission is January 19, 2014.  We hope you will join us and the thousands of Native Hawaiians who want to claim what is ours.    You can sign-up by going to kanaiolowalu.org/registernow.


VIDEOS & NEWS REPORT: Indigenous Hawaiian Activists Block Illegal Construction on Sacred Mountain, Mauna Kea

Decolonization in action.

What does Hapa mean? One way to know is to look at the ways in which the word is used.

We need to recognize that attempts to erase Native Hawaiians have been happening for a long time, that attempts persist today on purpose, and that using the word Hapa without (a) having any Native Hawaiian ancestry, or (b) any awareness of its history and significance, may make us complicit with white-dominant-colonial agendas which have maneuvered to wipe away and wipe out indigenous peoples for practically ever.


Stones - A Hawai'ian short story.

As the United States celebrates its declaration of freedom from Britain’s tyranny this Independence Day, it continues to illegally occupy Hawaii — an independent nation that deserves self-determination and restoration by its people — testifiers said Thursday.