Two weeks ago, transgender activist Janet Mock and television blowhard Piers Morgan exchanged barbs in a follow-up interview after Mock expressed her disdain for the way Piers Morgan Live sensationalized her identity as a trans woman. While she held her own comfortably, fiercely, and impressively, Morgan screamed and yelled about how he’s always been an ally and was now being attacked (earlier in the day, he’d tweeted that he was a victim of “cis-phobia”). Following a book tour to promote her memoir Redefining Realness, Mock stopped by The Colbert Report last night for an interview with satirical television blowhard Stephen Colbert, once again nailing the subject of trans identity for a mainstream television audience.
Not only did Colbert brilliantly stay in character throughout what, in the hands of any lesser comedian, could have been an uncomfortable, transphobic interview, but the host also used the conversation to poke fun at both Piers Morgan’s bullying and the larger culture’s transphobia (or, really, transconfusion). Mock, per usual, adeptly held her own, laughing along with the segment while still standing her ground on the importance of letting those in the trans community speak for themselves rather than allowing their allies to control the narrative.
Of course, Piers Morgan has not taken last night’s interview in stride. This morning he took to Twitter again to slam Mock and her “ridiculous” ideas about not imposing a gender identity on children.
Beyond exposing how absolutely silly Piers Morgan and those who share his transphobic mentality actually sound, the segment on The Colbert Report offered the perfect opportunity for a trans woman to share her experience and identity on her own terms. While it’s a shame that it took a satirical news program to do Mock and her story justice, it was downright inspiring to see the author lay it all on the line with so much class, wit, and bravery.