Reading Janet Mock’s ‘Surpassing Certainty’ As A Black Trans Woman
The power of Janet Mock rests in her accessibility and relatability.
Goddesses must bless Amazon’s algorithms because in late spring 2014 Janet Mock’s bounteous afro halo was featured in a little thumbnail picture of related interests thanks to my previous purchases. In her first book, “Redefining Realness,” I gained a mentor who ushered me into the early days of my transition in the nascent dawn of my recovery from addiction.
I desperately needed the guidance. In addition to hormonal direction, it was the anecdotes which chimed with my personal experiences and illuminated the path I was on with familiarity.
A fountain of veracity and authenticity – Mock spoke truth to power in a way that brought sunshine into my life – the snap of her intellect and an almighty wit was matched by the snatched image on her book cover. A vision in skin tight coral, Janet is the strong feminist trans goddess promising me with the assuredness of Olivia Pope, the determination of Maxine Waters and tenacity of Tina Knowles that it will all get much better– and soon.
In her newest book, “Surpassing Certainty,” Janet Mock claims her throne as the trans advocate and ultimate possibility model for trans women of color the world over. Her second memoir is a work of life writing dripping in sex positivity and a testament to sex worker inclusive feminism.
The gaze of the uninitiated reader is averted from the usual topics of a medical and social transition. Instead, the trans-ness of the author was woven together like a tapestry of her life as a whole.
Enshrined in the uniqueness of her story, are precise and revealing descriptions of the hot messiness of adult emotional life fueled and defined by love. The epic nature of her first love for her husband Troy, is complimented by a pursuit for meaning across state lines. There are many characters who help our heroine along the way into a popping media career peppered with pop-culture and seasoned with the sadness of too-late realizations.
We are schooled as to how to escape the weighty burdens of unconscious privilege, pretty privilege, good hair privilege, cis-passing privilege. Janet Mock just owns the deck that she was dealt and it makes her more likeable. Her self-awareness promises that our own honesty can liberate us too.
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Her arrival in the modern media landscape is sensational without any need of scandal to qualify it. She is not just any other woman but there are moments of testimony that attest to her consciousness of herself as a citizen in a community – such as her coming out as a campus sexual assault survivor and framing the story as one which follows various common themes and establishes her as one of us.
The power of Janet Mock rests in her accessibility and relatability. The dizzy giggles in the trans and gender non-conforming folk she surprises in the recently released Buzzfeed video is evidence of her at her best. Quite clearly on a mission to change the world and save lives she has earned the right to be phenomenally successful as much as she has earned my everlasting love.
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