Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 481
Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More is a memoir by author and activist Janet Mock from 2014. The main characters from the book are written in bold below.
As it is a memoir, the book's main character is Janet herself, but other key figures from her life also appear throughout the story. The book begins in the 1990s and details Janet's home life as the oldest son of a socio-economically disadvantaged family. Her name at birth is Charles, but as she ages and realizes that she is not a boy, she begins to create alternate personalities for herself with other names (Keisha is one primary example). Janet's youth is spent living between Hawaii with her mother, Elizabeth, and California and Texas with her father, Charles. Her younger brother, Chad, is also featured in the story, having lived with her throughout her upbringing.
Her childhood was difficult for a number of reasons, including the fact that her family did not immediately understand her true gender identity. Further, as a young child, the son of one of her father's girlfriends, named Derek, began sexually abusing her. Janet explains in the book that this experience with abuse abruptly ended her childhood. Coupled with the fact that she felt unsupported by her family, Janet had to become independent at a very young age.
In high school, Janet officially began to transition and present herself as a girl. At last, her mother was accepting of her coming out as "Janet," and her father too tried to be supportive. During this time she became friends with a girl named Wendi, with whom she shared a love for volleyball. At this point, she looked up to friends like Wendi and other women in her life (her mother, grandmother, and aunts) and tried to emulate their femininity.
(The entire section contains 481 words.)
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