Janet Mock Says Her Black Girl Sister Circle Was Vital To Getting Through Her Twenties

The author and trans activist shared the importance of bonding with women in your twenties.
On Tuesday, Janet Mock’s new book Surpassing Certainty: What My Twenties Taught Me (Amazon, $16.50) dropped. The non-fiction account of her navigating through her twenties as a transplant to New York City from Oahu, Hawaii is honest, open and inspiration for all women of color. The former magazine editor stopped by her old stomping grounds of Time Inc, to join us at ESSENCE for this week’s Yes, Girl! podcast. And while we touched on everything from ex-boyfriends (not always bad guys) and her activism work as a trans woman, her insightful thoughts on having a sister circle in her twenties was poignant. “When I landed my first job and my first internships at Time Inc, it was pivotal because I got to connect with other Black girls that we know in common,” she said to hosts Cori Murray and Charli Penn. “[I was] connecting with other young Black women who were not my grandmothers, who are my peers. [They] affirmed me and gave me tools, and I was able to affirm them and give them tools. Who told me I was deserving of things. Who checked me when I was problematic as hell. There were some great, defining moments that —though it was a tough space to be in— it was amazing to connect with these amazing young women.” Mock admits that it was a bit of the blind leading the blind in her twenties, but the unity and love these young women showed her shaped her personal and professional life. “We were making stuff up as we went along, as we navigated the world. There’s something about the intensity of female friendships, when you’re young that you don’t have the answers and you’re kind of all like improvising. There’s a sense of ‘none of us quite have the answers, but let’s figure this out together’ that creates these bonds.” Listen to the full episode of Yes, Girl! in the link above.