LOST IN TERMINOLOGY

“Why Is It So Offensive To Just Say That Transgender Women Grew Up As Boys?”

Trans activist Janet Mock returned to Piers Morgan Live last night to discuss her accusations that Morgan was “transphobic” and tried to “sensationalize” her life during an interview about her new book, Redefining Realness, which sensationalizes her life on her own terms.

Bothered by his reference to her as “a boy until age 18,” Mock spent the evening following her initial interview discussing Morgan’s “bad judgement” and “reductive thinking about gender” on Twitter. Disturbed by claims that he was “cisphobic,” Morgan invited Mock back on his show to discuss how, exactly, he had offended her.

We were anticipating another great “teaching moment,” but Mock’s return to Piers Morgan Live last night rang more like a petty playground argument than anything remotely productive.

“I was surprised,” Morgan begins, “because you never said anything during the interview to indicate you were remotely dismayed with the terms I was using…and the interview was done five days ago. So I ask you, Janet, to explain to me why you didn’t say anything…because I feel pretty peeved about it.”

Morgan continued:

I want to learn why it is so offensive to actually just say that you grew up as a boy and then, because you’ve always felt that you were female, you had surgery to become a woman, to become a real woman as you say in your book. Why is it offensive?

Mock responded, clarifying that this situation was somehow much different than an unoffensive 2011 Marie Claire article profiling her under the title “I Was Born A Boy“:

I think that we need to have a discussion about what gender is and gender expectations in our culture. I think that we are born and we’re assigned a sex at birth. That is something that none of us have control over, but we do have control over our destinies and our identities. We should be respected. It’s not about the past, it’s about who I am right now.

And later on:

Morgan: “Do you dispute that you were a boy?”

Mock: “I was born a baby who was assigned ‘male’ at birth.”

And there you have it, folks. Another media personality learns the hard way that transgender people are more than just bodies.