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Trans Activist Turns Twitter Temper Tantrum To Teachable Moment

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Thursday Feb 6, 2014
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Janet Mock returned to CNN to talk to Piers Morgan about transphobia
Janet Mock returned to CNN to talk to Piers Morgan about transphobia  (Source:CNN)

After an incendiary interview with CNN’s "Piers Morgan Live" on Tuesday evening, trans activist and author Janet Mock turned away from a Twitter feud with the talk show host and returned to the program for a teachable moment. A recent article on Autostraddle outlined the "uncomfortable turn" that the show took after Morgan talked about how Mock "was a boy until age 18."

"This is the amazing thing about you -- had I not known anything about your story, I would have had absolutely not a clue that you had ever been a boy, a male, which makes me absolutely believe you should always have been a woman," was the first thing Morgan said on his show.

On her Twitter feed, Mock castigated Morgan for "sensationalizing my life and misgendering trans women," telling the talk show host to "get it the f*k together."

When other Twitter users also began calling him out for his gaffes, Morgan posted on his Twitter feed that he wished he’d never booked her, saying, "A lot of very irate people accusing me of ’transphobia’ because I devoted a third of my show to @JanetMock ’s inspiring story. Weird."

"As for all the enraged transgender supporters, look at how STUPID you’re being. I’m on your side, you dimwits," Morgan Tweeted in lieu of an apology.

After the Twitter war, Mock returned to the CNN show on Wednesday night to discuss the feud and the original interview. Morgan’s blog on CNN.com notes that "the host and guest were hoping to move forward from their first conversation in the mutual interest of clarity and common ground."

"I want this to be a learning and teaching moment for all of us," said Mock on the show. "There’s a lot of misunderstanding."

A Huffington Post article reported that Morgan questioned Mock on why "it is so offensive to say that you grew up as a boy and then, because you’ve always felt that you were female, you had surgery to become a woman - become a real woman, as you say in the book. Why is it offensive?"

Mock replied that, "It’s not about the past, it’s not about what surgeries I may or may not have had, it’s not about how I disclose my gender to people -- it’s about who I am right now. I’m Janet Mock, I’m author of ’Redefining Realness’ and I’m a fierce trans advocate and I will continue to be exactly that -- that’s what I was on this show to do."


Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women’s news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she writes about local restaurants in her food blog, http://brooklyniscookin.blogspot.com/

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