Janet Mock’s second book, Surpassing Certainty: What My Twenties Taught Me, includes a heart-wrenching essay in which Mock reveals that she was raped in college.
The 34-year-old author and trans rights activist published the excerpt on Mic.com on Tuesday. Mock wrote that she didn’t tell anyone about the incident until now.
In the excerpt, Mock wrote that she was raped in November 2003 by a man named Anthony who she “frequently made out with during study sessions,” after he invited her over to his apartment to hang out. When Mock arrived they began flirting and watching TV. Mock wrote that things soon escalated when Anthony wanted to do more than just kiss her. There was a struggle between the two and Mock tried to fight Anthony off, but eventually he ended up raping her on his bed.
Mock wrote that she quickly realized that Anthony felt entitled to do whatever he wanted with her body.
“He felt he deserved to have my body because I had come to his room and he desired me. Walking past the threshold of his room was consent enough,” she wrote. “Having made out with him before was consent enough. Being forced into a corner so I had no choice but to yield was consent enough. Saying yes or no didn’t matter.”
My body, no matter how much I grew to accept it, could be violated, I realized. Janet Mock
Mock explained that she’s been dealing with the trauma of that night ever since. The 34-year-old wrote that she never felt “deserving” of an audience to tell her story to, so she stayed silent.
“As someone who has been open about so many of my experiences ― from my family’s economic struggles and my teenage transition to my experiences working in a strip club, I am still reeling with the fact that I remained silent about this,” she wrote. “The only thing that has made me feel confident enough to share this now is knowing that I am not alone.”
As a trans woman, Mock wrote that it took a long time to accept and love her body. And as a trans woman she will always have to be wary of that same body being violated.
“My body, no matter how much I grew to accept it, could be violated, I realized,” Mock wrote. “No matter how much I learned to embrace it, it couldn’t always protect me from unyielding force.”
Head over to Mic to read Mock’s full book excerpt.