GOOD 100: Meet Janet Mock, Building an Online Army to Defend #GirlsLikeUs
Janet Mock didn’t always sport that signature toothy smile, or that unmistakable explosion of curls. Mock, who is the current editor of People.com,
Janet Mock, who worked as the editor of People.com for five years, was actually assigned male at birth, and in 2011 courageously shared the story of her “coming out process" as a transgender woman with Marie Claire. Now she is sharing that story with the nation. Through her Twitter campaign #girlslikeus, Mock empowers trans women, amplifies the diversity in her community and fights public misconception and stereotypes about women like herself.
Mock has risen to be a prominent advocate for transgender youth, creating programming for LGBT youth at New York City’s Harvey Milk High School and blogging righteously about her life. This population of people, she puts it, live "at the intersection of many systems of oppression."
In February 2014, Mock’s odyssey of self-discovery and transformation will hit shelves. Her memoir, from Atria Books, will re-trace her struggles against family, society, and her own body as a young trans woman.
“This memoir is important not only personally—it'll be my literary debut—but because it's the first book from a trans woman of color and someone who transitioned as a young person,” Mock says. “My partner, Aaron Tredwell, has also been documenting my whole ‘coming out’ process.”
Tredwell’s documentary will dive deep into Mock’s story, chronicling her appearance in Marie Claire, to the signing of her book deal in May 2012, to her various activism projects.
“The film uses my coming out and growing influence and reach to discuss how we see gender, race, and various LGBTQ issues,” Mock says.
This year, Mock will also work on researching, developing, and brainstorming ways in which she can use her growing platform to reach the most marginalized young trans women in her community. She hopes to translate the message of #girlslikeus to an offline platform, in order to make the information readily available to young trans women. Mock says a line of t-shirts is also a possibility, and plans to donate any proceeds to a nonprofit project to mobilize her target audience.
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