Janet Mock

Janet Mock

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa graduate and award-winning author Janet Mock will present a free public lecture on Thursday, April 16, 7 p.m. at the UH Mānoa Campus Center Ballroom. The moderated talk will be followed by a book signing facilitated by the UH Mānoa Bookstore.

Mock is a writer, cultural commentator and advocate for transgender women’s rights. Her coming of age memoir, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love and So Much More, debuted at number 19 on the New York Times Best Sellers List in February 2014.

A native of Honolulu, Mock graduated from Farrington High and UH Mānoa, earned her MA in journalism from New York University, and worked as a staff editor for People.com for five years.

Mock first told her story of growing up as a transgender in 2011 in Marie Claire. Her memoir has been featured on CNN’s Piers Morgan Live, The Colbert Report and Melissa Harris-Perry.

In 2012, Mock launched #GirlsLikeUs, a social movement that empowers transgender women and celebrates the diversity of womanhood. In 2013, she joined the board of directors at the Arcus Foundation, a leading global organization advancing social justice and conservation issues.

Her work has been recognized by the Stonewall Community Foundation, GLSEN, Anti-Violence Project, ADCOLOR Awards and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project.

“We are fortunate to welcome Janet Mock home to our campus. Her story is an inspirational one, and touches upon an issue that is important to the university and the broader community—providing a safe environment for all students through a culture of equality, inclusion, acceptance and respect,” said College of Social Sciences Dean Denise Eby Konan. “We hope Janet’s story opens the door to increased dialogue about this critical topic and has a lasting impact, not only on campus but throughout the state.”

Added Camaron Miyamoto, coordinator for UH Mānoa’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Student Services, “Janet Mock’s ability to write with such unflinching honesty will save lives. Redefining Realness is a poetic title for a book that challenges us to look at our own privilege when we are shocked by the reality of her story and reassures us that we are not alone when her emotions ring true in our souls. For me, the blend of self-determination, dignity, rage, entitlement, compassion, grace and transformative power speaks to qualities that many need to survive in oppressive situations and discriminatory institutions. The sense of urgency and the message of hope will inspire many of us to dream, persevere, achieve and uplift others.”

For more on Mock, read the UH Mānoa news release.