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Janet Mock: Reflections on HBO's 'The Out List' & My Experiences as the Sole Trans Woman

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Voice & Visibility: A Blog (JanetMock.com)
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June 27, 2013

In September 2011, I sat on a black leather highchair, barefoot and a bit nervous. It was the first time I had been in front of the camera after sharing my story only four months earlier in Marie Claire.

I felt vulnerable as I looked into the darkness ahead of me which masked photographer and filmmaker Timothy Greenfield-Sanders‘ crew. There was one glaring light shining on the left side of my face and I was engaged in conversation with producer and interviewer Sam McConnell, whom I could see in the camera’s monitor.

Sam was tender with me. As a result, my initial nervousness left me and I was just a young woman telling my story to someone eager to hear. That’s what I witnessed last week when I watched myself on the big screen at the New York premiere of The Out List – a documentary and portrait project that shares the stories, experiences and faces of bisexual, gay, lesbian and trans Americans.

After watching the film I was struck by the undeniable power of testimony, the collective narrative of being unapologetically yourself and the fact that despite the unifying acronym there is not one LGBT experience. And that’s a good thing. Yet, I did feel lonely being the only trans person in the documentary, which is poignantly representative of the movement’s current focus that tends to see trans people as an afterthought, a gesture of inclusivity.