What Janet Mock Can Teach Us About Womanhood and ‘Realness’
Redefining Realness may be about one trans woman of color, but it’s a story everyone should read, because the issues she confronts—including identity, poverty, sexual abuse, and self love—are things that are, in one way or another, within our power to change. And for that reason people should be, and seem genuinely interested in, having public conversations about the needs of trans people.
Janet Mock, in her new book Redefining Realness.
How Trans and Intersex Groups Struggle to Make Ends Meet
“The LGB groups that gain the funding for LGBTI tend to ignore the T/I, or do not know enough about T/I to do constructive work.”
- Jennifer Levi, director of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project
I live an intersectional life. My identity meets at the intersection of oppressions, and yet I find power in resisting that oppression—standing arm in arm with those who believe, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, that “an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Every time we give in to an oppressive piece of legislation, we allow a lesbian teacher at a Catholic school to get fired. Every time we remain silent as employers force their personal beliefs on their employees, we tell a woman that she has no right to govern her own body. Every time we allow the radical right to chip away at the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause, we admit that we are “less than.”
When I was coming to terms with my queerness, I was told “it gets better.” I have come to learn that it gets better only when we choose to make it better. After decades of fighting to be able to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, or by our glitter pumps, it is unacceptable to be fed watered-down legislation posing as liberation. We deserve justice everywhere—and I intend to lift my voice to call on the Senate to deliver it.— Kirin Kanakkanatt, ‘Asterisk Equality’ Isn’t Real Equality: Fighting for an ENDA Without Exemptions