A cisgender person is someone whose gender identity is the same as the gender they were assigned at birth. Janet sat down with cisgender “AM Tonight” host Alicia Menendez and began asking her the type of questions a transgender person is usually asked.
“So who was the first person you told you’re cis to?”
“Do you have a vagina?”
“Did you use tampons?”
“Did you feel like a girl?”
“Do you feel like your idea of self, your cisness, holds you back in any way?”
+Watch Janet Mock Flips the Script
“When I was asking you the questions, I came from the space of entitlement, of saying you need to prove to me that your identity and your body is real, and I’m going to ask you these questions because I need to investigate and really make sure that your identity and your body is real and authentic,” Janet said, because this was the role some of her interviewers have taken on while talking to her.
The fake interview also echoed an interview Janet had done with Piers Morgan that she wasn’t happy with. For instance, Janet had been taken aback when Piers said, “You used to be, yourself, a man,” and how his Twitter account had advertised the interview with the words, “How would you feel if you found out the woman you were dating was formerly a man?”
People asking these questions to a transgender person might not mean any harm, and they might not realize that these questions sound really intrusive and insensitive. So the point of this fake interview is to give new perspective on how these types of questions feel and come across. Whether you’re cis or trans, how would you feel if a person you didn’t know asked you personal questions about your body?
Head to lookdifferent.org for more examples of bias, what you can do about it and additional resources.