(book cover links to Goodreads)

Keywords: nonfiction, autobiography, LGBT


In 2011, Marie Claire magazine published a profile of Janet Mock in which she stepped forward for the first time as a trans woman. Those twenty-three hundred words were life-altering for the People.com editor, turning her into an influential and outspoken public figure and a desperately needed voice for an often voiceless community. In these pages, she offers a bold and inspiring perspective on being young, multicultural, economically challenged, and transgender in America.

Welcomed into the world as her parents’ firstborn son, Mock decided early on that she would be her own person—no matter what. She struggled as the smart, determined child in a deeply loving yet ill-equipped family that lacked the money, education, and resources necessary to help her thrive. Mock navigated her way through her teen years without parental guidance, but luckily, with the support of a few close friends and mentors, she emerged much stronger, ready to take on—and maybe even change—the world.

I started reading this four hours ago, pausing only for dinner (which spawned a great conversation about trans people and Japan’s treatment of “outsiders”). I could not put this one down. Mock presents her narrative in such an appealing, emotive, and raw way that it’s simply captivating to read. Sprinkled throughout the narrative are snippets of information, explanations, definitions, and clarifications, allowing for even the most novice person to follow and to greatly benefit from the knowledge and experience present here.

I’m a cis, white woman married to a Japanese man in Japan, I know trans people and have trans friends but I was never really aware of the struggles and challenges they faced. I had so many revelation moments while reading that I really feel this is an indispensable resource for anyone personally experiencing GD, with a loved ones they need to support, or those who just want to understand more.

A very well-articulated work that made no apologies, and never tried to hide itself. I really appreciate the raw and heart-wrenching, honest account of her story that Mock gives us. I have learned so much and am now so much better equipped with knowledge.


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