Total hero Janet Mock, author of Redefining Realness and a trans advocate, recently sat down for an interview with Fusion’s Alicia Menendez, only this time, she was the one asking the questions. The interview was Menendez’s idea, and stemmed from a desire to show just how ridiculous and invasive the media is with trans people, specifically trans women like Mock. After remarking to Menendez, “The amazing thing about you is if I were to look at you, I would have never known that you weren’t trans,” Mock asked her just some of the questions she’s fielded in her own interview with such bigwigs as Piers Morgan. ”Do you have a vagina?” “Did you feel like a girl?” “Do you use tampons?” etc. Some of the questions were less invasive but equally as silly-sounding — “Who was the first person you told that you were cis?” — illustrating just how much we position being cisgender as the norm, and everything else on the gender spectrum as the other. Though the interview structure was Menendez’s idea, it’s clear that the exercise had an impact on her that she didn’t expect. She explained that she initially thought some of those questions were necessary to ask Mock, “to bridge an understanding,” but after having them asked of her, she realizes “how much more intimate those questions feel.” Watch the whole interview above! [Fusion via Buzzfeed]
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. Keep reading »
Last night, Piers Morgan had trans advocate and author Janet Mock back on his show for a followup “interview” after her appearance the night before ignited controversy on Twitter and across the blogosphere. The first interview, which aired Tuesday night, featured a chyron at the bottom of the screen which misgendered Mock as having been a boy for 18 years; Morgan also misgendered Mock a few times during the interview, and repeatedly asked questions that focused on Mock’s surgery as when she became “a real woman.” To quote Avital Norman Nathman in her post on the subject yesterday, “That is not only incredibly reductive regarding gender, but missed the entire point of Mock’s new memoir, Redefining Realness: My Path To Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More about her road to girlhood, which began far earlier than one moment in Thailand at age 18.”
After the pre-taped interview aired, Mock tweeted a few criticisms about the segment and where it went wrong. Her supporters and fellow trans people also tweeted their complaints to Morgan’s attention, but instead of engaging with that criticism in a thoughtful manner, recognizing his mistakes and apologizing for misgendering Mock, Morgan was dismissive of criticism because, in his view, all it means to be an ally is saying you’re one.
Keep reading »
If there was one thing Piers Morgan got right in his interview with writer Janet Mock last night, it was when he called her, “brave, frank, and honest” about coming out as transgender. Sadly, the interview sort of falls apart after that.
From almost the start of the interview, the header “Was a boy until age 18” ran across the screen, insinuating that Mock wasn’t truly a girl or woman until she had genital reconstruction surgery. That is not only incredibly reductive regarding gender, but missed the entire point of Mock’s new memoir, Redefining Realness: My Path To Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More about her road to girlhood, which began far earlier than one moment in Thailand at age 18.
Instead of treating the topic of disclosure with the nuance and sensitivity that it deserves, Morgan went straight for the sensational, wanting to know how the various men Mock has dated have reacted when she finally told them about being trans. He treated Mock, her body, and her past as a spectacle, rather than with respect as befitting the lived experiences of a fellow human being. (You can read the transcript here, although Morgan’s responses on Twitter are a better illustration of his blowhard behavior.) Keep reading »