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Trans Advocate Janet Mock on Lemonade, New Memoir, & Advice to Twentysomethings


Trans activist and author Janet Mock is the latest guest on the new podcast from WNYC, Sooo Many White Guys, hosted by comedian Phoebe Robinson. In Episode #3, "Phoebe and Janet Mock Talk Lemonade," Mock shares her opinions on Beyoncé's visual album.

"I think the evolution of Beyoncé, going from the girl power, to a feminist, to black power, and centering black womanhood is so vital… I think I see and read Beyoncé more in a peer lens. I’ve grown up with her.”

Mock, who wed last fall, then discusses marriage and her experience with "happily ever after" as a black trans woman.

"When Aaron proposed to me, I was happy, that was great," she explains. "I’m getting an experience that is not the default experience for specifically a black, trans girl. For me it was the sense of 'I don’t have a blueprint for this.' My particular wedding is going to mean so much more to people outside of my 75-people guest list."

Early on in her career, Mock worked at People magazine.

"I was very comfortable living behind the telling of other peoples’ stories," she says. "The sense of 'I don’t deserve to be the protagonist of this story.' It took a lot of unlearning work to say that I’m worthy of writing myself into history, into a book, onto other people’s shelves. Making other people feel through my own unique experience.”

Mock is also the author of the bestseller Redefining Realness, a memoir about her journey as a trans woman. She's currently working on a new book, Firsts, which picks up post-op, where Realness left off. 

[Firsts is about living publically and deciding to tell my story," Mock explains. "All the stuff I didn’t feel safe enough to say in my first book as much. I’m really excited to challenge the respectability politics around what's possible for a young woman owning her body—my body. How I learned to come to the point to say 'I know I’m worthy.'”

Mock closes out the episode with some advice for twentysomethings struggling to make it work. 

"It's about being stingy with your time, with your body and with your talents. Not everyone is deserving of you. Of your body, of your story, of your time. I wish someone had told me, 'You are everything. You might not know it yet.'"

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