Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Louisa May Alcott May Have Been Transgender

Little Women author Louisa May Alcott 'may have been transgender or non-binary' and her 1868 book contains 'proof', New York Times article claims

PUBLISHED: 10:20 EST, 27 December 2022 

Louisa May Alcott 

The author of feminist novel Little Women may have been transgender or identified as non-binary, an article by a trans New York Times writer has claimed.

Louisa May Alcott, who penned the semi-autobiographical book in 1868, likely did not identify as a woman, according to the president of the Louisa May Alcott Society.

Quoted in the New York Times, Dr Gregory Eiselein says he is 'certain' that the author of the popular novel identified as non-binary, and that she never fit 'a binary sex-gender model'.

The NYT article author, Peyton Thomas - who is a trans man and novelist himself - goes on to claim that Alcott could have even been transgender.

In the opinion piece, Mr Thomas draws on a quote given by Alcott in the early 1880s, where she says:

"I am more than half-persuaded that I am a man's soul, put by some freak of nature into a woman's body".

He writes: 'She may not have known the word "transgender", but she certainly knew the feeling it describes.'

He also draws on her journal entries, in which she wrote: 'I long to be a man,' while in a letter she penned: 'I was born with a boy's nature, 'a boy's spirit' and 'a boy's wrath.' 

For decades, academics have shied away from arguing that Alcott was transgender, stating it would be an inappropriate use of the term. 

Many have rightly agreed that a woman in that era wanting to be a 'man' is more likely them desiring to be taken more seriously in terms of rank, opportunity, and education - rather than a want to change gender. 

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