Janet Mock Nails Discussion Of Trans Identity On “The Colbert Report,” Piers Morgan Freaks Out On Twitter

Amelia McDonell-Parry / February 19, 2014

Earlier this month, trans activist and author Janet Mock appeared on “Piers Morgan Live” to discuss her new book, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More. That didn’t go so well, thanks to Morgan’s repeated misgendering of Mock and his focus on the physical aspects of her transition. Many of Mock’s supporters — and Mock herself — were rightly perturbed and expressed as much on Twitter, which Morgan mischaracterized as “attacks.” He had Mock back on his show the following night, and this followup went even worse — for Morgan, I mean, who came off even more shrill and entitled and clueless. The real bummer was that Mock was not given the time or freedom to actually talk about the issues discussed in her book, though it must be said that when Morgan did let her get a word in edgewise, she was brilliant. So it’s kind of amazing that the news show that actually gave Mock the opportunity to address the issues of real importance to the trans community, particularly trans women, was the satirical “Colbert Report,” on which Mock appeared last night.

Colbert was his usual jokingly conservative blowhard self, i.e. eerily similar to Piers Morgan in the context of this interview, and he made a point of “defending” his fellow talk show host. “You transgendered people don’t understand what it’s like to be ridiculed and abused!” Colbert said. “I mean, they said mean things about him on Twitter. And what’s Piers Morgan supposed to do, not spend 12 hours reading about himself?”

But digs at Morgan aside, Colbert actually gave Mock the respect she deserved to direct the focus of the interview on the issues that actually matter to trans people. One such topic was the idea of not imposing gender identity on children, with Mock saying that she prefers to call people “they” or “it” in order to avoid gendered pronouns. This led Piers Morgan, who was of course watching, to tweet that Mock was a “whiner” and Colbert an “enabler.” He then proceeded to make fun of Mock’s avoidance of gendered pronouns, calling it “ridiculous,” as if the idea is from far out of the left field in general discussions of trans issues. (It’s not.) Of course, if Morgan was even 1/100th of the trans rights supporter that he repeatedly has claimed to be, making fun of a trans woman’s ideas about how to be more sensitive to those struggling with their gender identity — something she knows about first hand – would be the furthest thing from his mind. Allyship — YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG. Seriously, you can seriously stop pretending now, Piers. Your transphobia is coming through loud and clear.

Anyway, enough about Piers Morgan’s ongoing man-child tantrum! Watch Janet Mock continue to be the bad ass inspiration that she is in the interview above!