Janet Mock | News | Transgender

Trans Activist Janet Mock Demands TV Host Prove Her Womanhood: VIDEO


Fusion TV’s AM Tonight host Alicia Menendez faced a grilling from trans activist Janet Mock about her breasts and vagina in a segment intended to expose the offensive, dehumanizing, and invasive questions transgender people often receive in media interviews.

Watch the tables get turned, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via media matters)

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  1. Cisgender should only be used for heterosexual people.

    Lesbians and Gays have our own issues with gender and to assume that we have no issues because we don't want to transition to the other gender is willfully naive and insulting.

    Just read the threads on here. Femme bashing is a sport on Towleroad. Oh yeah, but the targets are cisgender, so they have "privilege" that protects them. RIIIIIGHT.

    Posted by: qj201 | Apr 30, 2014 11:17:30 AM

  2. Cissygender?

    Posted by: Cispenders | Apr 30, 2014 11:41:18 AM

  3. Janet Mock is just astonishing. Bravo.

    Posted by: David Groff | Apr 30, 2014 11:43:22 AM

  4. Is that really the definition of cisgender? That's pretty loaded.

    Posted by: Mick | Apr 30, 2014 11:56:16 AM

  5. i don't understand the whole "i'm allowed to talk about it but you aren't allowed to ask about it" thing... on one hand, i understand the questions are probing and invasive, when most people can't wrap their heads around the idea of being trans, how do you explain it? what are the questions we are supposed to be asking? how can you foster understanding without having the conversation? there's no doubt that trans folks face a series of issues that go well beyond being asked invasive questions... but i kind of feel like we have to get through those questions in order to the "real" issues.

    Posted by: dddddd | Apr 30, 2014 12:12:36 PM

  6. This is awesome.

    Posted by: John C | Apr 30, 2014 12:16:51 PM

  7. This is a tough one all around.
    I think historically Janet Mock will be the one who pushed the conversation along so that we will become more comfortable talking about the trans situation. As an older gay man with trans friends for many years, it's still hard to understand aspects of it and we sometimes have to get to the answers by risking asking uncomfortable questions. I think this was a great interview for all sides.

    Posted by: feo | Apr 30, 2014 12:23:05 PM

  8. i think janet mock is trying to CONTROL the conversation, not push it along... until someone says "listen, i know you have questions, so i'm going to give you honest answers... no matter how uncomfortable they may be" i don't see this moving beyond an argument.

    Posted by: dddddd | Apr 30, 2014 12:27:29 PM

  9. It's a tricky subject, but people unfamiliar with trans issues often immediately focus on the genitalia, which is just one of many, many factors in the conversation. It's also incredibly personal and invasive to say, "So what's the deal with you junk?"

    Posted by: Mikey | Apr 30, 2014 12:31:56 PM

  10. I'm a cis gay male but I have to say I am awed by the total strength of people like Janet Mock and my current favorite actress - Laverne Cox.

    Posted by: mcgill | Apr 30, 2014 12:35:39 PM

  11. But the difference is that Janet is being interviewed BECAUSE she changed her body to become who she is now. To me it's like talking to a person with a tattoo on their face and pretending it's not there.

    Posted by: Frank | Apr 30, 2014 12:36:22 PM

  12. asking anyone about their junk is not cool... obviously... but to ignore the fact that sometimes a surgery is required to have your body match your "self" doesn't advance the conversation... if anything... knowing the steps people take and the pain and cost involved helps me understand how serious they are about the transition. removing that from the conversation sort of lowers the stakes... but i understand not wanting to get too specific or invasive. a friend of mine who is a transman hand a "goodbye to my boobs" party to raise money for his surgery... but i'm not allowed to ask about the surgery? he was very open about it so there wasn't a lot left for me to wonder about, but thankfully i gained understanding about the lengths he was willing to go to be his authentic self. it helped me really understand and embrace his transition.

    Posted by: dddddd | Apr 30, 2014 12:40:27 PM

  13. The thing is: information about the physical and surgical aspects of transition is freely available online. There are plenty of people who will tell you all about what you may want to know in that regard. But when you have a trans person in for an interview about something that is tangentially related, if at all (growing up trans, a new book they've written, their experiences with prejudice), then bringing all that up is really somewhat distracting. That's pretty much never what they are there to talk about (esp. Janet Mock and Laverne Cox), and that sort of question comes up more often than not. At some point it's necessary for the interviewee to say, that's not what I'm here for and if you want to know about it you need to find another source.

    Posted by: Thedrdonna | Apr 30, 2014 12:47:17 PM

  14. Transwomen have always been women mentally. The only thing that has changed is their bodies align more with their identity and mind. That is all. That doesn't mean you have to ask all these invasive questions. It's that simple. Seriously it's the same argument we have with anti-gay peeps who keep wanting to get all up in our bedroom. All you have to understand is that we are gay and are attracted to the same sex. Case closed.

    Posted by: Derrick | Apr 30, 2014 12:50:45 PM

  15. Shouldn't people be allowed to decide for themselves which questions they will answer or not? I realize that sometimes if you don't want to talk enough then a reporter isn't going to want to interview you. At the same time we all know that you don't get interviewed on tv without a "pre-interview" so it's hard to imagine that people like Katie Couric weren't told in advance which questions would be considered inappropriate by the guest. That can only lead to the conclusion that either the interviewer or the producer knew it would be controversial and had the interviewer ask intentionally for the publicity.

    Posted by: Houndentenor | Apr 30, 2014 12:51:34 PM

  16. That was Amazing!

    Posted by: AnthonyR | Apr 30, 2014 12:56:21 PM

  17. my point isn't about the anti- folks asking questions... its about well-meaning people... using katie couric as an example... who have a genuine desire to understand and advance the conversation, but get demonized for asking things, in a very delicate way... the anti- people will always be anti... they aren't the ones asking questions. they are making assumptions and simply don't care.

    Posted by: dddddd | Apr 30, 2014 12:57:20 PM

  18. Mock is just another conflict aggressive looking to make herself famous....not start a conversation....

    Posted by: styler | Apr 30, 2014 1:02:06 PM

  19. Again, though, DDD, how many times do trans interviewees need to answer that question when they are ostensibly being interviewed about something else? There is a point where it becomes tiresome, and gets in the way of actual discussions about the much greater issues that trans folks face. Given the level of knowledge about trans issues, there ought to be a point where it's no longer really acceptable for even a friendly interviewer to ask about when you turned your schwing into a ding, or vice versa.

    Posted by: Thedrdonna | Apr 30, 2014 1:08:05 PM

  20. @TheDrDonna: unless, I should have made clear, the interview is specifically about that. If everyone knows that going in then it's not a problem, obviously.

    Posted by: Thedrdonna | Apr 30, 2014 1:11:58 PM

  21. So Janet Mock works as a trans activist right?

    So she is being interviewed BECAUSE she is trans.

    And many people don't know enough about trans issues beyond the surgery.

    How does she expect an audience to understand her concerns if she is the one who controls the questions getting asked.

    And what are her thoughts on 'cis' sounding like 'sissy'?

    Is Janet Mock a homophobe?

    Posted by: MaryM | Apr 30, 2014 2:03:00 PM

  22. The term Cis-gender is offensive. It discounts and lumps a variety of people together in a demeaning way. STOP using it!

    Posted by: Dawn Chu Dare | Apr 30, 2014 2:18:12 PM

  23. Dawn, couldn't you use that same argument to describe the term "white"? I'm white, but so are the members of the WBC, as is Vladimir Putin. That doesn't mean I'm not white or that the concept of being white is inherently offensive.

    Posted by: Thedrdonna | Apr 30, 2014 2:23:30 PM

  24. Cisgender was made up by trans activists so they would have to keep referring to us as normal

    Posted by: Homo Genius | Apr 30, 2014 2:24:34 PM

  25. The first known use of the word "cissexual" was by a german sexologist in 1991. 3 years before trans people started using it on Internet web boards, in 1994.

    Posted by: Thedrdonna | Apr 30, 2014 2:35:03 PM

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