born: March 10, 1983
Janet Mock is an American writer, transgender rights activist, author and the former staff editor of People magazine's website.Mock was born as Charles Mock on March 10, 1983 in Honolulu, Hawaii, then grew up in Hawaii and Oakland, California She is of African-American and Hawaiian ancestry. She was the first person in her family to go to college, and has a BA degree in fashion merchandising from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a MA degree in journalism from New York University.
Mock underwent sex reassignment surgery in Thailand at age 18 in the middle of her first year in college. She came out publicly as a trans woman in a 2011 Marie Claire article, but took issue with how they misgendered her by stating she was born, and raised, as a boy. "I was born in what doctors proclaim is a boy’s body. I had no choice in the assignment of my sex at birth... My genital reconstructive surgery did not make me a girl. I was always a girl." In 2014, while promoting her book Redefining Realness, she said she did not choose the Marie Claire article title, which misgendered her, and found it to have many problems.Mock started her career at People magazine, where she was a staff editor for more than five years.Mock creates transgender-specific programs and education for the LGBTQ youth center of the Hetrick-Martin Institute, which operates Harvey Milk High School, a high school for LGBT teens in New York City.In 2012, she started a Twitter hashtag to empower transgender women, called #GirlsLikeUs, which received attention from several queer-media sites.Also in 2012, she gave the Lavender Commencement keynote speech honoring LGBT students at the University of Southern California. She also served as co-chair, nominee and presenter at the 2012 GLAAD Media Awards.She has also submitted a video about her experiences as a transgender woman to the "It Gets Better" project, and written about transgender issues for the Huffington Post and xojane.In June 2013, it was reported that Mock had joined the board of directors of the Arcus Foundation, a global foundation dedicated to social justice activism.She is featured in an LGBT documentary, The OUT List, which premiered on June 21, 2013 at the Olympia Theater and Office Building in Miami and screened on HBO on June 27, 2013. She is also featured in a 2011 documentary called Dressed. On November 14, 2013 Mock was honored as a member of the OUT100, Out Magazine's 100 "most compelling people of the year" and introduced Laverne Cox as the recipient of the Reader's Choice Award at the event.Mock has written a memoir which was initially announced as being called Fish Food, but was later changed to Redefining Realness, which was released in February 2014. In February 2014, to promote her book, she appeared on CNN's Piers Morgan Live. The interviews with Morgan were called, among other things, "contentious" and "controversial". The book made the New York Times bestseller list for hardcover nonfiction.In 2014 Mock accepted an offer to become a contributing editor at Marie Claire.Also in 2014 Mock joined a campaign against a Phoenix, Arizona law which allows police to arrest anyone suspected of “manifesting prostitution”, and which she feels targets transgender women of color, following the conviction of activist (and transgender woman of color) Monica Jones. Mock tweeted, "Speak against the profiling of #TWOC [trans woman of color], like Monica Jones. Tweet #StandWithMonica + follow @SWOPPhx [Sex Workers Outreach Project – Phoenix AZ Chapter] now!"Also in 2014 Mock was featured on the fifth anniversary cover of C?NDY magazine along with 13 other transgender women - Laverne Cox, Carmen Carrera, Geena Rocero, Isis King, Gisele Alicea, Leyna Ramous, Dina Marie, Nina Poon, Juliana Huxtable, Niki M’nray, Pêche Di, Carmen Xtravaganza and Yasmine Petty.Along the way, Mock has received several awards and recognitions for her work. In November 2012, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project gave Mock their Sylvia Rivera Activist Award.GBMNews.com named Mock one of the "15 Most Powerful Gay Celebrities of 2012", although she is not gay.Mock was included in the Trans 100, the first annual list recognizing 100 transgender advocates in the United States, and gave the keynote speech at the launch event, March 29, 2013 in Chicago.Mock was included in the video accompanying the Google Doodle for International Women's Day 2014.In 2014 Mock was included as part of the Advocate's annual "40 Under 40" list, as well as their list of 50 Most Influential LGBT People in Media.In 2014 Mock was also included in the annual Root 100; this list honors “standout black leaders, innovators and culture shapers” age 45 and younger.