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Redefining Realness

Redefining Realness

My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More

Book - 2014
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"In a landmark book, an extraordinary young woman recounts her coming-of-age as a transgender teen--a deeply personal and empowering portrait of self-revelation, adversity, and heroism. In 2011, Marie Claire magazine published a profile of Janet Mock in which she publicly stepped forward for the first time as a trans woman. Since then, Mock has gone from covering the red carpet for to advocating for all those who live within the shadows of society. Redefining Realness offers a bold new perspective on being young, multiracial, economically challenged, and transgender in America. Welcomed into the world as her parents' firstborn son, Mock set out early on to be her own person--no simple feat for a young person like herself. She struggled as the smart, determined child in a deeply loving, yet ill-equipped family that lacked money, education, and resources. Mock had to navigate her way through her teen years without parental guidance but luckily with a few close friends and mentors she overcame extremely daunting hurdles. This powerful memoir follows Mock's quest for identity, from her early gender conviction to a turbulent adolescence in Honolulu that found her transitioning through the halls of her school, self-medicating with hormones at fifteen, and flying across the world for sex reassignment surgery at just eighteen. Ever resilient, Mock emerged with a scholarship to college and moved to New York City, where she earned her masters degree, basked in the success of an enviable career, and told no one about her past. It wasn't until Mock fell for a man who called her the woman of his dreams that she felt ready to finally tell her story, becoming a fierce advocate for girls like herself. A profound statement of affirmation from a courageous woman, Redefining Realness shows as never before what it means to be a woman today and how to be yourself when you don't fit the mold created for you"--
Publisher: New York : Atria Books, 2014
Edition: First Atria Books hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781476709123
Branch Call Number: 306.768 M717M 2014
Characteristics: xviii, 263 pages ; 24 cm


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A journalist and activist who was profiled in a 2011 Marie Claire feature outlines bold perspectives on the realities of being young, multi-racial, economically challenged and transgender in today's America, recounting her disadvantaged youth and decision to undergo gender reassignment surgery at... Read More »

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Aug 22, 2020

263 pages

Dec 06, 2019

Some of you may know of Mock from her activism and/or television work [most recently she wrote, directed, and produced on Pose, which I’ve heard excellent things about and plan to watch soon], and if you read this book [or just listen to my opinion on it, or both, whatever] you’ll find that she’s also a fantastic memoirist.

The book covers roughly the first 20 years of Mock’s life, growing up in Hawaii, Oakland, and Dallas with a growing certainty that her gender identity did not match what she was assigned at birth. Her writing is gorgeous, with lovely imagery and incredible generosity for everyone in her story. Whenever she pulls back to explain something [like the process of starting hormone replacements or the devastating numbers on trans homelessness], she writes with clarity to a beginner level without watering down her own nuanced perspective.

Mar 20, 2019

It must have been tricky for Janet Mock, a modern-day trans trailblazer, to write a memoir while also providing a message of hope and addressing larger systemic injustices. I understand the need she may have felt to do it all, but my favourite parts were less didactic: the vivid descriptions of her early family life and later adolescence growing up poor and mixed race in Hawaii, hustling on the streets of downtown Honolulu to make money for surgery, her evolving sense of self and acceptance starting over in New York. There are fabulous words and phrases like swishiness, looking fish, getting clocked, pooching a ride, and living stealth. While this book provides a good sense of one person’s experience not feeling like she fit in her body, there are apt quotations and statements about identity that will resonate for everyone.

May 23, 2018

Avail at NKC

SCL_Toby Jul 10, 2017

Janet Mock's autobiography is an unflinching re-telling of her experiences as a child, teenager, and young adult. She celebrates the trans women who helped her grow, learn, and discover herself and pushes back against a transphobic society by unapologetically telling her story. At times her writing falls a little flat, but overall I quite enjoyed this book.

ArapahoeJennieB May 08, 2017

This book should be required reading for anyone wishing to learn more about the importance of intersectionality in the feminist and lgbtq+ movement and community.

Jun 04, 2015

I adore this book. I feel so much joy and compassion after reading this I can't even stand it. I have never been so moved by a book before, and I think this would be a wonderful addition to any school's curriculum. I am going to recommend this to everyone because you get an immense amount of perspective from just one person. Janet Mock is a wonderful human being! If you are looking to expand your horizons, grow in empathy and compassion, and become more open minded, this will be a gift for you to read. I am so grateful for having read this!

hbrown10011 May 26, 2015

Very well written and quite funny too. Courageous!

Mar 29, 2014

A compelling account that doesn't gloss over the reality of being a poor young transwoman of color. The author succeeds, for the most part, in blending her personal story with a call to action and greater awareness.


Add a Quote
Jun 04, 2015

"People assume that I was in the closet because I didn't disclose that I was assigned male at birth.
What people are really asking is 'Why didn't you correct people when they perceived you as a real woman?' Frankly, I'm not responsible for other people's perceptions and what they consider real or fake. We must abolish the entitlement that deludes us into believing that we have the right to make assumptions about people's identities and project those assumptions onto their genders and bodies.
It is not a woman's duty to disclose that she's trans to every person she meets. This is not safe for a myriad of reasons. We must shift the burden of coming out from trans women, and accusing them of hiding or lying, and focus on why it is unsafe for women to be trans."

Jun 20, 2014

"Being exceptional isn’t revolutionary, it’s lonely. It separates you from your community. Who are you, really, without community? I have been held up consistently as a token, as the “right” kind of trans woman (educated, able-bodied, attractive, articulate, heteronormative). It promotes the delusion that because I “made it,” that level of success is easily accessible to all young trans women. Let’s be clear: It is not."

Jun 20, 2014

"Sometimes people try to destroy you, precisely because they recognize your power—not because they don’t see it, but because they see it and they don’t want it to exist."

itohen Jun 15, 2014

You become strong by doing the things you need to be strong for. This is the way genuine learning takes place. That’s a very difficult way to live, but it also has served me. It’s been an asset as well as a liability.


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