Janet Mock is a writer, TV host and advocate whose memoir, Redefining Realness, broke ground as the first biography written from the perspective of a trans girl. It debuted on the New York Times bestsellers list in 2014. Her second book, Surpassing Certainty, a memoir about her twenties, will be released on June 13th, 2017 with Atria Books. She is a sought-after speaker who gave a rousing speech at the history-making Women’s March on Washington; an advocate for trans women who founded #GirlsLikeUs and #TransBookDrive; the host of the interview podcast, Never Before, with Lenny Letter; and a contributing editor at Allure, where she writes the column, “Beauty Beyond Binaries.”
A millennial media powerhouse, Mock began her career at People.com (People magazine’s website), where she worked for five years. She has since worked as a correspondent for Entertainment Tonight (interviewing Queen Latifah, Jeffrey Tambor), a contributing editor for Marie Claire magazine (for which she wrote the November 2016 cover story on Nicki Minaj), and a host for MSNBC, where she helmed the groundbreaking series — “So POPular!”— interviewing Lena Dunham, Salma Hayek, Issa Rae, and Amber Rose. She also hosted the Global Citizen Festival (2015) and will executive-produce and front the 2017 MSNBC original series, “Beyond My Body.” Mock also produced, conducted all interviews and introduced the HBO documentary, The Trans List, with photographer and director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders.
Born in Hawaii, Mock’s story of growing up trans caught the nation’s attention in a 2011 Marie Claire article. Since then she’s become one of the most influential trans women and millennial leaders in media. TIME called her one of “12 new faces of black leadership” and one of “the most influential people on the Internet” while Fast Company named her one of 2015’s “most creative people in business.”
When she released Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More in February 2014, feminist critic bell hooks called Mock’s memoir, “A lifemap for transformation,” while Melissa Harris-Perry said “Janet does what only great writers of autobiography accomplish—she tells a story of the self, which turns out to be a reflection of all humanity.” The book earned praise from Oprah Winfrey who interviewed her for “Super Soul Sunday.”
Mock has been interviewed on “Real Time with Bill Maher” (February 2015), “The Colbert Report” (February 2014) and “The Nightly Show” (June 2015), and was featured in the HBO documentary The Out List (2013). Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Marie Claire, and The Advocate, where she wrote the 2015 cover story on Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson. She wrote the foreword for famed photographer Mark Seliger’s collection, On Christopher Street: Transgender Stories, contributed to the anthology, The Feminist Utopia Project, and has appeared on the covers of OUT, C☆NDY, Top Rank and ELIXIR magazines. The Ms. Foundation, Planned Parenthood, Feminist Press, GLSEN, Shorty Awards and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project have all honored Janet for her work and she’s appeared on the Out 100, Root 100 and GOOD 100 lists.
A native of Honolulu, Mock attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa, earned her MA in journalism from New York University, and serves on the board of the Arcus Foundation. She lives in New York City with her husband, photographer and filmmaker Aaron Tredwell, and their cockapoo Cleo.
See Janet Mock on Thursday, October 12 at 2:00 p.m. in the Harris Theater. Click for details.