Failing at Gender

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An essay by Daniel Harris in the most recent issue of The Antioch Review has sparked a backlash from the transgender community, with many members of the trans community feeling Harris missed the point completely, and worse—wishes they would just accept themselves as they are, in their “true” gender. At The Millions, Clarence Harlan Orsi writes:

Believe me, I’m not crying myself to sleep every night because Daniel Harris doesn’t think I’m a real man. I may not even want to be a real man—and here, too, is something that Harris doesn’t consider: that some of us are happy in the middle. That some of us are happy failing at gender. Because all of us fail gender in some way.


Kelly Lynn Thomas reads, writes, and sometimes sews in Pittsburgh, PA. Her creative work has appeared in Sou’wester, Thin Air Magazine, Heavy Feather Review, metazen, and others, and she received her MFA in Creative Writing from Chatham University. She is hopelessly obsessed with Star Wars and can always be found with a large mug of tea. She also runs the very small Wild Age Press. Read more at kellylynnthomas.com. More from this author →