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Behind This Pen & Paper Was a Literary Hoax: JT LeRoy

We found you out, LeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeRoy!

Allen Fraser/Universal Pictures

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This modern literary hoax hid behind the pseudonym of JT LeRoy for years before being found out. However it was Laura Albert, the real LeRoy, whose work became cult hits. Yet the person pretending to be the pseudonym was not Albert, it was her friend Savannah Knoop. Many people hide behind pen and paper, creating an alias to avoid judgement or criticism for their work.

Although this isn’t Leeroy Jenkins, JT was a literary icon for awhile and has a cult following. There is a documentary that was released last year, focusing on the literary persona. And Laura Albert stars in the film. Albert was uncomfortable in her own skin after growing up with body issues and abuse as a child, which may have led to the disguise of LeRoy. Even with a disguise, this alias was subject to scrutiny: people were questioning if JT was transgender and mentally ill.

Documentary: Author: The JT LeRoy Story

The documentary focuses on the former phone-sex operator turned housewife, Laura Albert. This film takes viewers down the rabbit hole of how Albert breathed words and life into her avatar for a decade. And according to Albert, channeling her fiction through another identity was her only way to achieve self-expression.

Lastly, if you’re into pseudonyms or memes, check out Saltbae adding some flavor to Leonardo Di Caprio’s steak.

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