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There is no room for the active dehumanization of trans women, we’re done with your shit and we’re fighting back.

Last week, Janet Mock was a guest on the popular radio show, The Breakfast Club. The author and activist is on a press tour to promote her newest book, Surpassing Certainty and she bravely appeared on the historically misogynistic show. The interview was anything but professional and things went very awry when hosts DJ Envy and Charlamagne tha GOD put Mock in a hot seat of inappropriate and invasive questioning that focused heavily on her body in a way that can only be described as just plain ol’ harassment. Mock was subject to antagonizing questions such as, “what made you become a transgender as opposed to a gay male?”, “You had your penis cut off?”, “where did you get your boobs?” and at one point in the interview, Charlamagne tha GOD, bluntly asks, “do you have a clit?” in which Mock is visibly uncomfortable answering.
Related: READING JANET MOCK’S ‘SURPASSING CERTAINTY’ AS A BLACK TRANS WOMAN

We have to work twice as hard in order for us to exist in a space of our own. Yes, we may have a triple threat but if anyone can handle it, it’s us.

You may have already heard of her, but Gizelle Messina is a Los Angeles-based makeup artist for M·A·C Cosmetics who is making waves within the trans community. Messina recently was featured in the SHOWTIME documentary More than T and like many trans women, she has overcome challenges and built a powerful platform. (This interview has been edited for clarity.) Wear Your Voice: How did this documentary first come about for you and what were your thoughts going into it? Gizelle Messina: The documentary was a project created by M·A·C to continue its passion for people who don’t have a voice. M·A·C already had a campaign that started in 1994 to help support men, women and children with HIV. $1.8 million out of that fund was used for the documentary. I saw a flyer posted in the break room and I had to meditate on it because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go through with it. I wanted to make sure there wouldn’t be a lot of heavy editing because I wanted to make sure it was my voice.   WYV: Being a visible trans woman can be hard for many. How did you find the courage to step into your own truth and live authentically? GM: It’s something that I still battle every day. For me it was almost like boot camp being that I had to transition while managing a store in Century City. It was tough but it definitely helped me thicken my skin more than it already was just from growing up and not being able to identify [as] who I was. Having to go to work every day and claiming my authentic self and demanding that people respect me for who I was, helped [me] curate strength. Even today, when I leave my home I get anxiety. We never know what’s going to happen when we’re out there. But I would rather go out in the street and take that chance; just going out and demanding your respect. You may not agree with it but I’m walking. Being a black trans woman, it’s imbedded in us because of the type of community we are in.  
Related: A TRANSWOMAN OF COLOR’S GUIDE TO SURVIVAL

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. [caption id="attachment_46780" align="aligncenter" width="263"] Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More By Janet Mock[/caption] 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. [caption id="attachment_46779" align="aligncenter" width="265"] Surpassing Certainty: What My Twenties Taught Me By Janet Mock[/caption] 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.
Related: A LOVE LETTER TO SERENA WILLIAMS

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