MIT Reads: Syn Odu and Janet Mock, 2016
MIT Reads, an Institute-wide reading and discussion program, welcomed author, editor, and media professional Janet Mock...for a conversation about her memoir, Redefining Realness [Atria Books, 2014].
Seated in easy chairs on the stage just one week after the presidential election, Mock and moderator / MIT junior Syn [Cynthia] Odu ['19] started a timely discussion with Odu’s own questions and then took more from the audience...As a mixed-race trans woman of color, Mock spoke openly about the fears that the 2016 election results have provoked, in her words, in “brown folk, undocumented folk, black folk, queer folk, trans folk, and disabled people [who] are now having to fight even more to say that we deserve to be here.”
During [Q&A], the audience wanted to know how Mock worked through the difficulties of her young life, growing up poor and transgender. As an adult, Mock said, she has relied on community and self-care: “Finding spaces in which I can show up and not have to perform or be some kind of leader or figurehead. Where I just show up and be empty and not have to give anyone anything. That helps me process. Writing has always helped me process. Reading has always helped me process.”
"MIT Reads hosts author Janet Mock" by Hannah Piecuch, MIT News, 29 November 2016