MUST READ: Janet Mock’s Open Letter to Jane Doe
June 2, 2014 by Hayley Miller, Senior Digital Media Associate
“You are worthy of all our attention, care and resources.” – Janet Mock to Jane Doe
Janet Mock, bestselling author and transgender activist, penned an inspirational open letter Friday to Jane Doe, the 16-year-old transgender girl who has been in an adult detention facility in Connecticut for almost two months, despite the fact she has no charges pending against her nor was she charged with a crime.
In the letter, Mock discusses current issues and achievements in the LGBT community, such as Laverne Cox’s historic appearance on the cover of TIME magazine, and talks of how Jane reminds her of Maya Angelou, who “blazed for herself in a world not built for her.”
Writing to Jane, Mock wrote: “In your letter, you said being brutally and wrongfully placed in that adult prison made you feel ‘thrown away.’ You are not garbage. You cannot be discarded and disposed. You are life. Your existence gives me life. You are an unflickering fierce flame that reminds me every day that girls like you … are the ones our leaders should be centering in our movements. You are worthy of all of our attention, care and resources,” Mock writes.
Last month Doe wrote her own letter to Connecticut Governor Daniel Malloy pleading for her release. There has been extensive media coverage of the case, from CNN to the New York Times, and Facebook and Twitter accounts were created rallying for her release. There is also a petition on change.org. In the wake of the news of Jane Doe’s imprisonment and challenges leading to her confinement, HRC has also called for stronger laws and more training of LGBT children in foster care.
Mock also offers support and mentorship to Jane Doe when she is released. Mock writes, “When you’re uncaged, I would love to take you prom dress shopping. If there is no prom to attend, we can create our own, eating cakes, sharing laughs, dancing to Beyonce, Janet or Grace, celebrating the anniversary of your freedom.”
Mock is an author and activist who recently released a memoir, Redefining Realness. The book reached number 19 on the New York Times bestseller list earlier this year. She is behind #GirlsLikeUs, a movement that encourages transgender women to live visibly.
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