Janet Mock on Knowing Her Gender Identity with Certainty

Season 6 Episode 613
Aired on 05/03/2015 | CC tv-14
Five years ago, Janet Mock was living quietly in New York City, working at her dream job as an editor at People magazine. At the time, she kept the details of her past private. Then, in 2011, Janet shared her story of growing up as a trans girl in Marie Claire. She instantly became one of the most visible and influential trans women in the world. She is now the host of her own show on, and her powerful memoir, Redefining Realness, is a New York Times best-seller. "I always knew I was a girl with such certainty," she writes in her book.

At first, Janet says, she felt confused because as a 5-year-old, she didn't have the language to express how she felt. "As a young person, you don't have much agency or decision-making. And so you just go wherever people pick you up and take you, and say that this is the way the world is," she says. "And something internal inside of me told me constantly that what they're saying is wrong. And so it creates this dissonance with who can you trust if you know that inside, as a 5-year-old, that this is how you know yourself to be."

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