Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock


Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More - Janet MockI love this book. I love everything about it. I love that during her low points, Mock reminds the reader that these moments are not unique to her story but neither is every part of her story is a part of every trans story. She went through some terrible and trying times, but she also got lucky in many ways, which Mock also points out.

As stated in the title, the book chronicles her journey. It begins as far back as she could remember, which is helpful because most stories I’ve heard about trans people have “I always knew” and “I couldn’t transition until adulthood” but don’t really get into the events that precede the decision to transition. That isn’t exactly what happened her, either. For years, I only saw transitions as part of magazine articles and this book reminded me that this is the best medium to tell a story as complicated as transitioning, especially when told by the person who transitioned. Mock’s story is not watered down for the reader nor is it given excuses or sensationalized.

This is her story with some extra details to explain which parts are common to trans stories and at what points her story diverges from expectation. For example, Mock “passes” well and can disappear in the crowd which kept her identity from being an everyday problem with people around her post-transition. This is not the case for all trans people. Many don’t pass well and are constantly reminded of the “realness” they don’t have. Also, she reminds the reader that her success is the least common part of her story. There are also many who pass well but who are met with violence when their histories are revealed, of their own choice or not.

As mentioned above, I love this book. Mock is an amazing writer and narrator (I listened to the audiobook, which she reads) and I appreciated everything she shared with the world. I appreciate her as a role model and example of perseverance and doing what you need to and so much more. I can’t get over hearing about everything she went through and everything she accomplished. I was blown away by her story in ways that I can’t even express.

I borrowed this audiobook from the library but if you’re more of the purchasing type, click on the cover image and be redirected to BookLikes for worldwide options or add to Goodreads for later.

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