This weekend JT LeRoy was spotted in Los Angeles. Which was pretty confusing, since there really isn't a JT LeRoy, right? Discussion ensued among those of us who heard the news: was it mastermind Laura Albert? Ex-husband and former co-conspirator Geoffry Knoop? Was he a co-conspirator or just along for the ride (until they split up)? Turns out it was the person who made the public LeRoy appearances -- the person who the NY Magazine called "Wigs and Sunglasses" -- who is, according to reports, Knoop's half-sister. She was not wearing a wig here in LA, from what I heard.
Two things fascinate me: that while JT LeRoy doesn't exist, s/he is not dead yet: a blog still lives, the narrative voice still cries out that it's real. Can the voice survive if the biography of the author is entirely untrue? I think so. But, since the stories were based on the biography, why on earth would anyone read what comes next?
The other thing that's interesting is that the body double, who in real life was once Savannah Knoop, is now identified as JT LeRoy. Even though LeRoy is understood (by most) to be a fiction, even though Knoop's contribution was only to pose as the front, she is now JT LeRoy, even when she's not in LeRoy drag. Whether she wants that identity or not, JT LeRoy is a second identity for Knoop -- which makes JT LeRoy almost more real now than before the hoax was revealed.