On writing (other people’s) stories “authentically”

Hi, all–

I’m sure by now some of you have heard about evangelical Christian Timothy Kurek. He’s the guy who was homophobic and then decided to live life as gay for a year to find out what it was all about. He realized that his views were wrong, and then documented his year in a book.

Sounds like it was something that seems to have helped him figure a few things out. But on the other hand, he spent a year lying to LGBT people and to his family and friends from his real life. Which perhaps might give him a flavor of what it’s like for LGBT people, some of whom HAVE to lie in order to keep their jobs, their kids, their lives. But Kurek isn’t gay (he says). And he could go back to his heterosexual privilege whenever he wanted (he stuck it out for a year). I’m seeing some critique of what he did along those lines.

And it has to do with privilege and, perhaps, “authenticity.”

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