Back in 2002 I wrote a story about an upper-middle-class young man who got arrested in Louisiana because his physical appearance contradicted his sex genotype: he looked male, but his genotype was XX. He ended up in a jail cell with several transwomen, some drag queens, a lesbian, and a woman who was his opposite: she appeared female but had an XY sex genotype.
This story was set in 2023.
I believed in this story, so I sent it out to every magazine and anthology I could think of. Nobody wanted it. I don’t know why they didn’t like it, but perhaps it was because it seemed too unlikely at the time. Or maybe I was just ahead of the curve in gender stories.
Fast forward to the actual 2023, where Tennessee just adopted a law restricting drag shows and many other states are in the process of following suit. My made-up Louisiana law prohibiting people from dressing or appearing in a way that contradicts their sex genotype no longer looks like science fiction.
It’s almost enough to make me send the story out again, except that these days I bet magazines would turn it down because it’s too much like the real world of today.
Thinking about it reminded me of another story of mine, one I wrote back in the 1990s. It turned on whether clones were people or property under the U.S. Constitution.
That one, called “Passing,” did get published. In fact, it won a contest sponsored by the National Law Journal. Continue reading “Who Counts as a Person?”…