January 8th, 2006

ice cream dragon
  • koaloha

JT Leroy scandal...from the NY Times

koaloha: I feel rage when I think that the "People" behind the JT Leroy persona claimed that he was HIV positive and a "transgendered woman". The article is from the NY Times.

January 9, 2006
The Unmasking of JT Leroy: In Public, He's a She
By WARREN ST. JOHN

It has been one of the most bizarre literary mysteries in recent memory: Who, exactly, is the novelist JT Leroy? An answer, at long last, is taking shape.

Mr. Leroy's tale was harrowing in its details and uplifting in its arc. He was supposed to have been a young truck-stop prostitute who had escaped rural West Virginia for the dismal life of a homeless San Francisco drug addict. Rescued as a young teenager by a couple named Laura Albert and Geoffrey Knoop and treated by a psychologist, he was able to turn his terrible youth into a thriving career as a writer. JT Leroy has published three critically acclaimed works of fiction noted for their stark portrayal of child prostitution and drug use.

Along the way Mr. Leroy gained the friendship and trust of celebrities and noted writers, who supported his career financially and offered him emotional support when he declared that he was infected with H.I.V. Sales were good, and his books were published around the world. Shy and reclusive, Mr. Leroy, now 25, appeared in public often disguised beneath a wig and sunglasses.

But the young man in the wig and sunglasses, it turns out, is not a man at all. The public role of JT Leroy is played by Savannah Knoop, Geoffrey Knoop's half-sister, who is in her mid-20's.

A photograph of Ms. Knoop at a 2003 opening for a clothing store in San Francisco was discovered online. Five intimates of Mr. Leroy's, including his literary agent, his business manager and the producer of a coming movie based on one of his books, were shown the photograph and identified Ms. Knoop as the person they have known as JT Leroy.
Read more...Collapse )