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.
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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 »
“American Horror Story: Coven” star Gabourey Sidibe is the latest celebrity to use a verboten transphobic slur — although in Gabby’s case, she used it while speaking out about police profiling and harassment against transgender folks. Keep reading »