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Last Updated 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...

(The entire section contains 481 words.)

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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.

While in high school Janet also met Adrian, a young man who came to be one of her first loves. Adrian is a young marine who does not seem to fully accept Janet's identity, only becoming intimate with her when he's drunk. His inability to full accept her for who she is clearly affected Janet, as she for years after carried with her a distrust of cis-men.

After high school, Janet became the first person in her family to go to college, attending the University of Hawaii. Between semesters during her freshman year she traveled to Thailand for gender reassignment surgery. While in Thailand, she became friends with a woman named Genie. Genie had been an accomplished engineer with a wife and kids back in the United States, but after coming out as trans, she lost her job, family, and community.

The memoir concludes with a more recent update on Janet's life in New York City, detailing her early career at People, her viral article from Marie Claire, and her blooming relationship with her now husband, Aaron.

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