Excerpt from book:
This book is my truth and personal history. I have recalled facts, from events to people, to the best of my ability. When memory failed me, I did not seek answers in imagination. I sought clarity through conversations with those who’ve shared experiences with me. When my recollection of events varied from theirs, I sided with my memory and used their voice, often direct quotes, to contextualize events.
Many people featured in the book gave me permission to use their names; others I changed or labeled with an initial to protect their privacy, whether they were guilty, innocent, indifferent, or somewhere in between.
As for terminology, I prefer to use trans over transgender or transsexual when identifying myself, although I don’t find either offensive.I do not use real or genetic or biological or natural to describe the sex,body, or gender of those who are not trans. Instead, I’ve used cis, aterm applied to those who are not trans and therefore less likely toexperience the misalignment of their gender identity and assigned sex at birth—a matter we do not control, yet one that continues to frame who is normalized or stigmatized.
Finally, though I highlight some of the shared experiences of trans women and women of color throughout this book, it was not written with the intent of representation. There is no universal women’s experience. We all have stories, and this is one personal narrative out of untold thousands, and I am aware of the privilege I hold in telling my story. Visit JanetMock.com for more information, resources, and writings.
In this New York Times bestseller—the first transgender memoir written by an African American—an extraordinary young woman recounts her coming-of-age. “Undercurrents of strong emotion swirl throughout this well-written book…An enlightening, much-needed perspective on transgender identity” (Kirkus Reviews).
In 2011, Marie Claire magazine published a profile of Janet Mock in which she stepped forward for the first time as a trans woman. Those twenty-three hundred words were life-altering for the People.com editor, turning her into an influential and outspoken public figure and a desperately needed voice for an often voiceless community. In these pages, she offers a bold and inspiring perspective on being young, multicultural, economically challenged, and transgender in America.
This “heart-rending autobiography of love, longing, and fulfillment” (bell hooks, author of All About Love) follows Mock’s quest for identity, from an early, unwavering conviction about her gender to a turbulent adolescence in Honolulu that saw her transitioning during the tender years of high school, self-medicating with hormones at fifteen, and flying across the world alone for sex reassignment surgery at just eighteen. Despite the hurdles, Mock received a scholarship to college and moved to New York City, where she earned a master’s degree and enjoyed the success of an enviable career. Now, with unflinching honesty, Mock uses her own experience to impart vital insight about the unique challenges and vulnerabilities of trans youth and brave girls like herself.
A profound statement of affirmation from a courageous woman, Redefining Realness provides a whole new outlook on what it means to be a woman today, and shows as never before how to be authentic, unapologetic, and wholly yourself.
“...intelligent and educational…. Recommended for lovers of memoirs and for readers with sincere interest in the subject matter.”
“A classic feminist coming-of-age story that’s worthy of your mantel. . . . H "Janet Mock's honest and sometimes searing journey is a rare and important look into la vida liminal, one that she manages to negotiate remarkably well, with grace, humor, and fierce grit. Mock doesn't only redefine what realness means to her, but challenges us to rethink our own perceptions of gender and sexuality, feminism and sisterhood, making this book a transcendent piece of American literature."