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Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More

by Janet Mock

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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6082028,761 (4.25)19
"In a landmark book, an extraordinary young woman recounts her coming-of-age as a transgender teen--a deeply personal and empowering portrait of self-revelation, adversity, and heroism. In 2011, Marie Claire magazine published a profile of Janet Mock in which she publicly stepped forward for the first time as a trans woman. Since then, Mock has gone from covering the red carpet for People.com to advocating for all those who live within the shadows of society. Redefining Realness offers a bold new perspective on being young, multiracial, economically challenged, and transgender in America. Welcomed into the world as her parents' firstborn son, Mock set out early on to be her own person--no simple feat for a young person like herself. She struggled as the smart, determined child in a deeply loving, yet ill-equipped family that lacked money, education, and resources. Mock had to navigate her way through her teen years without parental guidance but luckily with a few close friends and mentors she overcame extremely daunting hurdles. This powerful memoir follows Mock's quest for identity, from her early gender conviction to a turbulent adolescence in Honolulu that found her transitioning through the halls of her school, self-medicating with hormones at fifteen, and flying across the world for sex reassignment surgery at just eighteen. Ever resilient, Mock emerged with a scholarship to college and moved to New York City, where she earned her masters degree, basked in the success of an enviable career, and told no one about her past. It wasn't until Mock fell for a man who called her the woman of his dreams that she felt ready to finally tell her story, becoming a fierce advocate for girls like herself. A profound statement of affirmation from a courageous woman, Redefining Realness shows as never before what it means to be a woman today and how to be yourself when you don't fit the mold created for you"--… (more)
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» See also 19 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
I loved this book for its realness, and love Janet Mock for her strength and courage. She is a woman who is driven to be absolutely authentic and to follow her own path regardless of who or what stands in her way. The book itself was a bit of a disappointment as I couldn't feel her soul in the writing.

Nevertheless, this is a book to consider reading as despite lack of money, cultural norms that conflicted with her own, alienation from some family members, and judgment and lack of acceptance by some important people in her life, this powerful woman refused to compromise herself for her own dreams and visions. ( )
  njinthesun | Feb 6, 2021 |
Oh my goodness this was SO good. I almost don't know what to say. I'll be adding this title to my digital library. I can't imagine a reality in which I won't be rereading this. ( )
  LoisSusan | Dec 10, 2020 |
Review pending... ( )
  nfulks32 | Jul 17, 2020 |
A beautiful, entertaining, raw, and deeply politically aware, deeply intersectionally feminist memoir. Well worth the read for young trans folx looking for a story that might reflects theirs, especially young folx at the intersection of several identities, for cis allies looking to learn more about the journey of a young trans woman of color, and for families of trans folx.

This memoir has embedded in an engaging life story paragraphs and paragraphs of statistics, references to shaping events and legislation in the LGBTQ world, and thought out socio/political considerations of situations Janet found herself in, choices she made, the worlds she moved through. Just a fantastic memoir. ( )
  Samberry | Aug 3, 2019 |
I chose to read this book because I have never been challenged or asked to affirm my gender - and I wanted to know how someone copes with that. I am a cis-woman whose relationships don't require explanations; Janet is obligated to tell lovers she is trans. She has to (?) clarify what "kind" of woman she is. She has a way of managing the difficulties of society and her circumstances that I really admire. Janet constantly recognizes those who supported her and the acceptance she received from others. She highlights them to the point that the others are barely recognizable except as teaching moments. She looks back on her life and constantly notes how lucky she was to not be attacked or killed for affirming her gender. She spends much more time describing the positive than the many hard realities that she faced - which are many in addition to her being assigned male.

To me, it feels like Janet is writing to educate. Janet succeeds in weaving her memoir with education to help inform readers of issues affecting trans people and cis people. At one point, I especially felt that she was entreating teachers and counselors to be better allies. Throughout her memoir she cites sources (naming the sources in the text, opening the door as wide as possible so you can find out more), explains terms, and compassionately describes sexism, feminism, and the behaviors that hurt and help young men and women who are affirming their gender. Although I'm already on board with the information and intent, I think it's a good book for someone who is just learning about these issues like myself. ( )
  CassandraT | Sep 23, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Janet Mockprimary authorall editionscalculated
Putorti, JillDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tredwell, AaronCover photographsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vairo, JohnCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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You become strong by doing the things you need to be strong for. This is the way genuine learning takes place. That's a very difficult way to live, but it also has served me. It's been an asset as well as a liability.

--Audre Lorde
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"In a landmark book, an extraordinary young woman recounts her coming-of-age as a transgender teen--a deeply personal and empowering portrait of self-revelation, adversity, and heroism. In 2011, Marie Claire magazine published a profile of Janet Mock in which she publicly stepped forward for the first time as a trans woman. Since then, Mock has gone from covering the red carpet for People.com to advocating for all those who live within the shadows of society. Redefining Realness offers a bold new perspective on being young, multiracial, economically challenged, and transgender in America. Welcomed into the world as her parents' firstborn son, Mock set out early on to be her own person--no simple feat for a young person like herself. She struggled as the smart, determined child in a deeply loving, yet ill-equipped family that lacked money, education, and resources. Mock had to navigate her way through her teen years without parental guidance but luckily with a few close friends and mentors she overcame extremely daunting hurdles. This powerful memoir follows Mock's quest for identity, from her early gender conviction to a turbulent adolescence in Honolulu that found her transitioning through the halls of her school, self-medicating with hormones at fifteen, and flying across the world for sex reassignment surgery at just eighteen. Ever resilient, Mock emerged with a scholarship to college and moved to New York City, where she earned her masters degree, basked in the success of an enviable career, and told no one about her past. It wasn't until Mock fell for a man who called her the woman of his dreams that she felt ready to finally tell her story, becoming a fierce advocate for girls like herself. A profound statement of affirmation from a courageous woman, Redefining Realness shows as never before what it means to be a woman today and how to be yourself when you don't fit the mold created for you"--

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