Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 243
Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More is a memoir by Janet Mock. The author is a writer, contributing editor for Marie Claire, and transgender activist. The memoir traces Mock's personal evolution from childhood to womanhood and articulates the sentiments and experiences of a young African American boy growing up in Hawaii. In her early teens, Mock began the transformation into a female, both psychologically and physically.
The author's childhood setting is worthy to note because Hawaii is a multicultural state, and it is one of the few states where the "minority" is the majority of the population. Although this environment seems more accepting to the author's ethnic identity and eventual gender transformation, Mock's family had a more conservative and close-minded perspective on transgenders.
However, she had a friend who helped her with the challenges of creating her identity. This support allowed the author to break free from the mental and social constraints applied by an American culture that still misunderstood the LGBTQ community. Mock also earned money in her teens as a sex worker. This allowed her to have enough money for transgender surgery.
While not a focal point of the book, this section of the memoir provides a glimpse of underage prostitution and pedophilia among sex work customers in the United States. The memoir is perceived by critics as both feminist in nature and as a manifesto, or blueprint, for a new generation of transgender people.