Trans activist and bestselling author Janet Mock is scheduled to speak at Carnegie Mellon University April 8 to discuss her new book, a memoir that explores everything from having gender reassignment surgery in Thailand to being a sex-worker in her teens.
The book, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More, "is my story of growing up as a trans girl. It celebrates self-actualization and self-love!" according to Mock's website.
Mock has risen to prominence over the last few years (the Washington Post described her as "the current It Girl for the 'T,'" in LGBT) — starting with her first public disclosure in 2011 that she is a trans woman. Her story has since been featured in a number of national news outlets.
The event is being coordinated by the Garden of Peace Project, a community organization that (among other things) works with particularly vulnerable populations, especially within the LGBT community.
“We were looking at the book tour stops, and we noticed there wasn't one in Pittsburgh,” says Michael David Battle, Garden of Peace project founder and director, who says it wasn't hard to convince Mock's publicists to add a stop to the tour.
Along with Carnegie Mellon University, the Big Idea Bookstore and Project Silk, Battle says he's excited to bring someone to Pittsburgh who "does a really good job of talking about the intersectionality of race and gender and sexual orientation.”
“I think she’s going to bring out people of different classes, and different races and different sexual orientations,” Battle says.
Mock will offer a reading and moderated discussion of her book at CMU's Porter Hall on April 8 at 7:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public.