Transgender advocate Janet Mock chats with People Magazine about her new memoir, Surpassing Certainty: What My Twenties Taught Me.
Here’s an excerpt:
What’s your advice for other trans women as they navigate relationships and romance?
The number one thing is to ensure that they feel safe enough to tell someone their story … It shouldn’t be the responsibility of trans women to disclose to every person that they meet, [that they’re transgender] whether it’s a romantic partner, friend, roommate or coworker… There’s a misconception that trans women are out there deceiving people. We’re not out there deceiving people. We’re not even trying to pass. We’re just trying to be ourselves in a society that has put us into boxes, and has told us that if we don’t fit in those boxes then we don’t belong and we’re not deserving of happiness, of fulfillment, of contentment. [We need to have] agency over who we tell our stories to and whether we want to tell our stories to someone at all.
What did you think of Caitlyn Jenner’s memoir? What is the danger of lumping all transgender stories together?
What’s so great about this time period that we’re in is that we can have Caitlyn’s story, we can have my story, we can have Laverne Cox’s story. We can have a mosaic that shows the complicatedness, the things that overlap. But also I think it challenges us to nullify the notion that there’s a single trans story out there — because there isn’t. [Particularly with Caitlyn Jenner’s experiences], they show that trans folk can be problematic, that trans folk can have conservative ideology and political views that don’t even align with the community that they’re advocating for. For me, as an activist and a storyteller, I’m very centered in ensuring that we show the complicatedness of the human experience that happens to be rooted in my community’s trans experiences.
An excellent read, make sure you check out Mock’s book over at Amazon and other digital download sites.