If you’d never heard of JT Leroy before watching this documentary, I wouldn’t be surprised if you paused it about halfway through to check Wikipedia to see whether all this really happened or whether they’re making it up. It’s an almost unbelievable tale that’s perfect fodder for a good doc, and Author provides it, even if you can’t help wishing there was a little more context.
If you don’t know, in the late 1990s and early 2000s Jeremiah Terminator Leroy was a bit of an enfant terrible of literature, gaining a huge following for his tales of living with a junkie truckstop prostitute mother, becoming a teen hustler and having to survive terrible abuse, all of which was semi-based on his own life. Initially terribly reclusive, Leroy eventually started making public appearances, gaining a cadre of celebrity fans and admirers – from Tom Waits to Courtney Love – and becoming a worldwide cult icon. He was gay, trans (today he might have been described as genderqueer as his gender identity shifted depending on how he felt) and looked almost like a teen Andy Warhol, complete with blond wig. [Read more…]