Toronto Diary
1 min

Janet Mock highlights problem of invasive questions

In the wake of Katie Couric’s now infamous interview with Janet Mock and Carmen Carrera, the discussion of invasive questioning opened up. And as Mock shows in a brand new interview, while these questions may come from a place of simple curiosity, they are demeaning as hell.

As Janet Mock sits down with Fusion’s Alicia Menendez, the two engage in a role-playing scenario where Mock subjects Menendez to the kind of questioning she and plenty of other trans people have been subjected to in the past.

“Do you have a vagina?” Mock asks a clearly uncomfortable Menendez. “When was the moment that you felt your breasts budding?”

Menendez attempts to field the questions as best she can, but it’s obvious from her demeanour that the invasive interview is throwing her off. Finally, she and Mock break from the scene, and the two laugh it off in a moment of levity.

In a post-mortem written to accompany the video, Mendez muses on how “[t]his kind of questioning ultimately reduces a complex question of identity into one of physicality. But it’s tough to imagine just how invasive and humiliating those questions can be until you’re standing in their shoes.”