I recorded this episode of Life Stories with Janet Mock the morning after a particularly contentious interview with Piers Morgan, who just couldn’t seem to wrap his head around why it might be offensive to refer to a transgender woman as having been “born a boy.” So one of the first things we did in that conversation was to reframe the issue, discussing what it’s like to have a self-identity that’s so thoroughly contradicted by what the rest of the world expects you to be. The story Mock tells in Redefining Realness isn’t about “becoming” a woman, or “transitioning” into womanhood, but about the struggle to live her life on her own terms, to be the person she knew herself to be.
You can read some of the highlights from our conversation in this Buzzfeed Books feature on Mock—as always, please show your friends that URL, because it ultimately leads to more Life Stories episodes—but I really hope you’ll give this interview a listen. And if you’ve heard the previous episode with Leah Vincent, I think you’ll recognize some common ground in their stories; these two remarkable young women have overcome childhood environments that seemed bent upon preventing them from expressing their true identities, and they’ve fought back hard against that and come out victorious, but at a powerful emotional cost.
Listen to Life Stories #64: Janet Mock (MP3 file); or download this file by right-clicking (Mac users, option-click). Or subscribe to Life Stories in iTunes, where you can catch up with earlier episodes and be alerted whenever a new one is released. (And if you are an iTunes subscriber, please consider rating and reviewing the podcast!)
18 February 2014 | life stories |