Thursday November 03, 2016

Laura Albert shares her truth through JT LeRoy

The mystery of author JT LeRoy, a persona created by Laura Albert, is explored in the new documentary, Author: The JT LeRoy Story

The mystery of author JT LeRoy, a persona created by Laura Albert, is explored in the new documentary, Author: The JT LeRoy Story (Daniel Bergeron)

Listen 18:01

Some see the JT LeRoy saga as an artistic project that got out of hand, some call it the biggest hoax of all time. For Laura Albert, the real person behind the author pseudonym, she was simply telling her truth.

"No one believed [in JT LeRoy] more than I did," Albert says, with conviction. "I created my truth, I expressed what was true to me. I created a being because my body couldn't articulate it."

For many years, readers believed LeRoy was a vegabond man whose backstory included tales of prostitution and drug addiction. In reality, Albert manifested LeRoy as a way to survive a troubled past, which did bear similarities with LeRoy in addition to childhood abuse.

All of that, and more, is discussed in the new film, Author: The JT LeRoy Story (out in select theatres now).

"It was a very twisted, convoluted way to create wholeness," Albert continues. "I thought, if I was a boy, I would be allowed more of a voice, to express everything. Maybe the things that had occurred would not have occurred if I was a boy." 

To those angry at Albert's deception, she does feel remorse but she explains that LeRoy and everything that came out of this saved her life. "I am available to other people, I pay it forward," she says, of what she can do now that her identity is revealed. "I couldn't be there at the time, they were coming to an avatar, someone who didn't have the experience, but I'm able to be there now." 

Albert's books, Sarah and The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things are set to be reissued. Author: The JT LeRoy Story will be available on VOD in January.

WEB EXTRA | Watch the trailer for Author: The JT LeRoy Story below.