Janet Mock says she will continue to speak ‘truth to power’ in Trump era
Trans broadcaster Janet Mock has said she will speak “truth to power” while Trump is President.
In a new interview, Mock says she has a renewed energy to deal with social issues, given the current administration.
“It created an urgency in me … [to be] even more exact, even more clear, even more conscious of speaking truth to power in the way that’s inclusive,” Mock tells Rolling Stone.
Earlier this year, after featuring Mock on their show, a comedian in the US refused to apologise after making a ‘joke’ about killing trans people on a radio show.
Lil’ Duval was a guest on the channel, ‘The Breakfast Club’, and was asked about trans activist Janet Mock and her book, Surpassing Certainty.
Duval, whose real name is Roland Powell, talks with others on the show about trans people and someone asks what Lil’ Duval would do if he were to sleep with a trans person without knowing their gender identity first.
“If you’re transgendered, if one did that to me,” he starts.
A separate person clarified: “If you had sex with one and you didn’t know?”
Lil’ Duval, who is also a “comedian”, continues: “and they didn’t tell me, I’d be so mad I’m probably gonna kill them.”
Despite attempts by a female producer to steer the conversation away from the subject, Duval went on to criticise Mock’s appearance.
Duval has now refused to apologise, tweeting the words “Lil duval they waiting on you to apologize” with an image of himself sat looking straight at the camera.
"Lil duval they waiting on you to apologize"
— lil duval (@lilduval) July 31, 2017
Janet Mock has written a column for Allure defending her appearance on the show, writing: “I was hopeful that I could use the show’s vast platform to speak directly to their predominantly black and Latinx listeners, who are often excluded from the conversations held in mainstream LGBT spaces”.
“I hoped I could make listeners aware of the lived realities of their trans sisters, and let them know that we deserve to be seen, heard, and acknowledged without the threat of harassment, exclusion, and violence.”
She goes on to criticise the producers of the show for “using my image as a literal prop” just days after her apparance in the same studio.
Mock adds: “Their fragile masculinity would not allow them to recognize a simple truth: I am an accomplished, beautiful black trans woman. Your willful ignorance will not stop me from being exactly who I am. My sisters and I are here and we exist, and you will not diminish our light and our brilliance.”
Laverne Cox also hit out at the show, writing on Twitter: “Some folks think it’s ok to joke about wanting to kill us.
“We have free speech but that speech has consequences and trans folks are experiencing the negative consequences with our lives. It hurts my spirit cause this isn’t funny. Our lives matter. Trans murder isn’t a joke.”
After taking several deep breaths I just got teary thinking about all my sisters experiencing violence, beaten, raped, murdered and some https://t.co/QyNXp11ysL
— Laverne Cox (@Lavernecox) July 30, 2017
The short segment showing Lil’ Duval’s transphobia has caused outrage on Twitter.
One person wrote: “Maybe not joke about murdering trans women or laugh at such jokes especially if a trans woman was just on the show.”
Another added: “The show has long been a homophobic, misogynistic cesspool and folks still made excuses. Now @breakfastclubam is advocating violence.
“I’m sad that our trans family has to deal with this sh*t. That ppl claiming to advocate for them also support those who consign their death.
“I’m just appalled and we all have to do better. This is life and death and @breakfastclubam is pushing a deadly agenda. It has to end NOW.”