Janet Mock Gives Colbert A Lesson In Trans* Culture



The vernacular of sexuality is expanding at a rate that's leaving the majority of listeners and participants confused, frustrated, and, for lack of a better word, ignorant. Janet Mock, a trans woman and author, recently sat down with Piers Morgan and faced an inarguable amount of transphobia. Morgan made Mock into the other and completely missed the point of her new memoir, Redefining Realness: My Path To Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More.

Like Laverne Cox's appearance on The Katie Show, news spread and the discussion of trans* culture began to buzz with more gusto. Stephen Colbert had Mock attend The Colbert Report earlier this week to unpack what happened post-Morgan. What could easily have erupted into a Morgan-shaming fest gracefully evolved into a genuinely informative discussion of trans* life between one cisgendered man and one trans woman.

According to Mock, Morgan was "speaking across privilege, across difference, and across experience." His other-ing was reflective of the general lack of understanding across the overall population. Mock used her Colbert interview to add a bit more clarity to the discussion. She explains the importance of "they" and "it" as pronouns over "he" and "she." Though Colbert made a joke out of Mock's insistence on simply asking someone how they identify, Mock's point — and Colbert's as well — is the importance of allowing others the freedom to self-identify rather than assuming or nurturing.

The full six-minutes is well worth the watch. It might be a small step, but it's one giant leap for trans* people. No, it's not going to change the game overnight, but it will continue the conversation. It's up to us to respectfully give it the freedom to grow. (The Frisky)

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Opening Photo: Courtesy of Janet Mock.