By Jocelyn Colbert |Staff Writer|
New York Times bestselling author Janet Mock, advocated transgender equality at the Pride Center on Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015.
“Queer and trans-folk exist in homeless and joblessness,” said Mock to a large audience. “Our sisters are still being banished to street corners…We need you, we need your brilliance.”
Currently, she hosts the weekly culture show “So POPular! on MSNBC’s Shift network and serves as contributing editor for Marie Claire.
“We must abolish the entitlement of assigning someone a gender without asking them first or letting them tell you first,” said Mock.
Mock first told her story of growing up as a trans girl in 2011 in a Marie Claire publication.
“Without an education, it’s harder to get a job, which leads to unemployment, which leads to homelessness. People just have a prejudice against trans people,” said Mock as she explained how society pushes transgender people out of schools.
She told the audience to not wield a blind eye to justice.
“Know the power and voice you have, we need allies, and hopefully we can move forward together as people,” said Mock.
Mock spoke about Allyship, an arduous practice of unlearning and re-evaluating, in which a person of privilege seeks to operate in solidarity with a marginalized group of people.
She said Allyship is not a label or an identity. It involves action.
Mock told the audience to donate their skills and put time into working with trans people.
She is also the founder of #GirlsLikeUs, a social movement that empowers trans women and celebrates the diversity of womanhood.
“I began healing by embracing myself through the foreboding darkness until the sunlight shown on my face”, said Mock, reading from her book “Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More”, her New York Times best selling memoir.
According to Janet Mock.com, “The Feminist Press, GLSEN, Planned Parenthood and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project have honored Janet for her work. She was named one of TIME magazine’s 12 new faces of black leadership, as well as Vitamin W’s 2013 Woman of the Year and Advocate’s 50 Most Influential LGBT People in Media. She’s also been listed on the Out 100, Root 100, GOOD 100 and Grio 100.”
Mock’s memoir is not of her whole life, but includes what she chose to share about her life and eye-opening experiences as a trans woman growing up in New York City.