Redefining Realness

Monday, Apr. 14, 2014 9:18 am

Groundbreaking author and transgender activist Janet Mock will discuss her best-selling book during Pride Week.

“It’s important that people on this campus get to see someone like Janet Mock speak about her life and struggle,” says Javon Garcia ’14, a senior in gender, women’s, and sexuality studies.

Mock will give the keynote address at 8 p.m. Monday, April 21, in  Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 101. Mock is the author of Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More.

“Her writing is so beautiful,” says Garcia, a native of Laurel, Md. “Every word of it comforted me, and I wanted to read more and more.”

Pride Week features a drag show, parade, workshops, a film screening, poetry and spoken word performances, a book-signing event with Mock, and more. The events are organized by student groups of the Stonewall Resource Center to celebrate the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community (LGBTQ+).

Mock is a writer, activist, and founder of #girlslikeus: an online project on Twitter and Tumblr meant to provide a space for trans women to share their stories and connect with each other across colors, generations, sexual identities, and class.

Garcia, manager of the center, says Mock’s work really illustrates her struggle, which resonates with and helps others.

A native of Honolulu, Mock attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa and earned her master’s degree in journalism from New York University.

While working as a staff editor at People.com in 2011, Mock wrote a Marie Claire article about her life as a young trans woman of color. This sparked her work as an Internet-savvy activist who uses media to raise awareness of the struggles and strengths of trans women, expanding the idea of womanhood and holding the LGBTQ+ movement accountable to all trans and queer folk, including those from low-income communities and people of color.

Mock’s memoir was published in February and earned a spot on The New York Times’ best-seller list.

The center’s Queer People of Color and Transgender Advocacy Group and several campus offices sponsored her speech, which is free and open to the public. See Pride Week: April 19-26 for a partial schedule of events.