Redefining Realness Quotes

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Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock
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Redefining Realness Quotes Showing 1-30 of 69
“I believe that telling our stories, first to ourselves and then to one another and the world, is a revolutionary act. It is an act that can be met with hostility, exclusion, and violence. It can also lead to love, understanding, transcendence, and community. I hope that my being real with you will help empower you to step into who you are and encourage you to share yourself with those around you.”
Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More
“I’ve heard parents say all they want is “the best” for their children, but the best is subjective and anchored by how they know and learned the world.”
Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More
“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.”
Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More
“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.”
Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More
“Those parts of yourself that you desperately want to hide and destroy will gain power over you. The best thing to do is face and own them, because they are forever a part of you.”
Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More
“Self-definition and self-determination is about the many varied decisions that we make to compose and journey toward ourselves, about the audacity and strength to proclaim, create, and evolve into who we know ourselves to be. It’s okay if your personal definition is in a constant state of flux as you navigate the world.”
Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More
“My grandmother and my two aunts were an exhibition in resilience and resourcefulness and black womanhood. They rarely talked about the unfairness of the world with the words that I use now with my social justice friends, words like "intersectionality" and "equality", "oppression", and "discrimination". They didn't discuss those things because they were too busy living it, navigating it, surviving it.”
Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love So Much More
“There is no formula when it comes to gender and sexuality. Yet it is often only people whose gender identity and/or sexual orientation negates society’s heteronormative and cisnormative standards who are targets of stigma, discrimination, and violence. I wish that instead of investing in these hierarchies of what’s right and who’s wrong, what’s authentic and who’s not, and ranking people according to these rigid standards that ignore diversity in our genders and sexualities, we gave people freedom and resources to define, determine, and declare who they are.”
Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More
“Kindness and compassion are sisters but not twins. One you can buy, the other is priceless.”
Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More
“The misconception of equating ease of life with “passing” must be dismantled in our culture. The work begins by each of us recognizing that cis people are not more valuable or legitimate and that trans people who blend as cis are not more valuable or legitimate. We must recognize, discuss, and dismantle this hierarchy that polices bodies and values certain ones over others. We must recognize that we all have different experiences of oppression and privilege, and I recognize that my ability to blend as cis is one conditional privilege that does not negate the fact that I experience the world as a trans woman (with my own fears, insecurities, and body-image issues) no matter how attractive people may think I am.”
Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More
“This pervasive idea that trans women deserve violence needs to be abolished. It’s a socially sanctioned practice of blaming the victim. We must begin blaming our culture, which stigmatizes, demeans, and strips trans women of their humanity.”
Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More
“Many people believe trans women choose to engage in the sex trade rather than get a real job. That belief is misguided because sex work is work, and it’s often the only work available to marginalized women. Though we act as individuals, we can’t remove ourselves from the framework of society. Systemic oppression creates circumstances that push many women to choose sex work as a means of survival, and I was one of those women, choosing survival.”
Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More
“Your disrespect for me is apparent. You never respected me when I think about it and you never liked me. But I’m the parent and you’re the child and it is not your job to love me the way I love you. My love for you is unconditional and no matter what you decide in your life I will love you. Doesn’t mean I have to like it, but I will always love you. Love, Dad”
Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More
“Self-definition has been a responsibility I’ve wholeheartedly taken on as mine. It’s never a duty one should outsource. Of this responsibility, writer and poet Audre Lorde said, “If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” Self-definition and self-determination is about the many varied decisions that we make to compose and journey toward ourselves, about the audacity and strength to proclaim, create, and evolve into who we know ourselves to be. It’s okay if your personal definition is in a constant state of flux as you navigate the world.”
Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More
“According to the media, trans women were subject to pain and punch lines. Instead of proclaiming that I was not a plot device to be laughed at, I spent my younger years internalizing and fighting those stereotypes.”
Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love So Much More
“Though I would grow up to fit neatly into the binary, I believe in self-determination, autonomy, in people having the freedom to proclaim who they are and define gender for themselves. Our genders are as unique as we are. No one’s definition is the same, and compartmentalizing a person as either a boy or a girl based entirely on the appearance of genitalia at birth undercuts our complex life experiences.”
Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More
“When I think of identity, I think of our bodies and souls and the influences of family, culture, and community - the ingredients that make us. James Baldwin describes identity as "the garment with which one covers the nakedness of the self." The garment should be worn "loose," he says, so we can always feel our nakedness. "This trust in one's nakedness is all that gives one the power to change one's robes." I'm still journeying toward that place where I'm comfortable in this nakedness, standing firmly in my interlocking identities.”
Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More
“Words have the power to encourage and inspire but also to demean and dehumanize. I know now that epithets are meant to shame us into not being ourselves, to encourage us to perform lies and to be silent about our truths.”
Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More
“Rationalizing him and the glass pipe, Dad smoked crack, but he was not a crackhead; it was just something he did. To do something didn't define you, I thought.
I saw Dad through a dusty lens that distorted our relationship, as tarnished as his pipe. He was no longer just our father; he was his own person, with an identity and label and body separate from his relationship with us. He was someone who was judged outside of the lens of fatherhood, outside of our connection. When he was in the streets, he was not Dad. He was Charlie the crackhead.”
Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love So Much More
“there in the fresh young darkness close together. Pheoby eager to feel and do through Janie, but hating to show her zest for fear it might be thought mere curiosity. Janie full of that oldest human longing—self-revelation. —ZORA NEALE HURSTON, THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD”
Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More
“The crux of our conflict lay in the fact that we each couldn't be who we wanted the other to be.”
Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love So Much More
“Though we came from our native Hawaiian mother, Chad and I were perceived and therefore raised as black, which widely cast us as outsiders, nonlocals - and being seen as local in Hawaii was currency. When we first returned to Oahu, we spoke with a Texas twang that also got us teased. Chad has strong emotions surrounding those first few months; he was traumatized by his apparent blackness, which was a nonevent in Dallas and Oakland, where we were among many black kids. In Hawaii, we were some of the few mixed black kids around. And both our parents taught us that because the world would perceive us as black, we were black.”
Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love So Much More
“If a trans woman who knows herself and operates in the world as a woman is seen, perceived, treated, and viewed as a woman, isn't she just being herself? She isn't passing; she is merely being.”
Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More
“I’ve heard parents say all they want is “the best” for their children, but the best is subjective and anchored by how they know and learned the world. The expectations my father had of me had nothing to do with me and all to do with how he understood masculinity, what it meant to be a man, a strong black man. My father welcomed two sons into the world, and one was feminine and needed fixing.”
Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More
“What I want people to realize is that “transitioning” is not the end of the journey. Yes, it’s an integral part of revealing who we are to ourselves and the world, but there’s much life afterward. These stories earn us visibility but fail at reporting on what our lives are like beyond our bodies, hormones, surgeries, birth names, and before-and-after photos.”
Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More
“Society often blurs the lines between drag queens and trans women. This is highly problematic, because many people believe that, like drag queens, trans women go home, take off their wigs and chest plates, and walk around as men. Trans womanhood is not a performance or costume. As Wendi likes to joke, “A drag queen is part-time for showtime, and a trans woman is all the time!”
Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More
“Life is uncomfortable,' Wendi said, rolling her eyes as she remained focused on the dark streets ahead of us. 'You have to get used to it or you're going to live your life trying to make people comfortable.”
Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More
“When disclosure occurs for a trans woman, whether by choice or by another person, she is often accused of deception because, as the widely accepted misconception goes, trans women are not 'real' women (meaning cis women); therefore, the behavior (whether rejection, verbal abuse, or sever violence) is warranted. The violence that trans women face at the hands of heterosexual cis men can go unchecked and uncharted because society blames trans women for the brutality they face. Similar to arguments around rape, the argument goes that 'she brought it upon herself.”
Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More
“Why tell your story if you're not going to tell it in its entirety?”
Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More
“In Hawaii, family showed itself in the way that my siblings never dared to call one another "half" anything. We were fully brothers and sisters. Family appeared in the pile of rubber slippers and sandals that crowded the entrance to everyone's home; in the kisses we gave when we greeted one another and said good-bye; in the graceful choreography of Grandma hanging the laundry on the clothesline; in the inclusiveness of calling anyone older auntie or uncle whether or not they were relatives.”
Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love So Much More

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