Transgender rights activist Janet Mock
appeared on OWN's Super Soul Sunday, where she explained to
Oprah Winfrey why she kept her transgender identity quiet.
Mock came out publicly in 2011,
starring in an It Gets Better video and telling her story in the
pages of Marie Claire. At the time, few people were aware
that she was transgender.
Referring to Mock's memoir Redefining
Realness, Winfrey said Mock kept her identity quiet because
“you didn't want to become othered.”
“You feel that you've now been
othered or have you transcended that?” Winfrey
Mock said that growing up she was
taught to be “silent and shamed” about her gender identity.
“I still think that for most people
the most interesting part about me is my transness,” she said.
“And so for me I still feel there's an othering about that. But I
think there's a lot of power in saying that I will proudly and
unapologetically embrace that part of my identity for once. The one
part of my identity that I was taught growing up to be silent and
“To own that label and to say that it
is mine … I think that there is power in that, but there's still an
othering,” she added.
Elsewhere on the program, Mock said
that it was “confusing” for her to identify as female from an
early age while being surrounded by adults who told her otherwise.
“Something internal inside of me told
me constantly that what they're saying is wrong,” she