Harris' androgynous build sometimes causes him problems in public, too. Although he had hoped that the days of being approached by strangers and asked if he was in drag would have ended when he began living as a man, this has not been the case.
"I still get that stuff sometimes, and people can be really rude about it. A few weeks ago, I was at an antiques show, and a black man came up and asked if I was a man or a woman. I was furious. I mean, can you imagine the nerve?"
I ask Harris what he told the man.
"I called him a coon, and I turned and walked away."
THE FACES BEHIND THE FACES
As all of this may indicate, Harris is a moody and sometimes fierce personality. I learned how fierce when I took a few days to respond to one of his e-mails and Harris furiously called the Weekly's editor, insisting that I was a charlatan who'd run off with the manuscript of I, The Hermaphrodite, that I was going to take it to a publisher and use it to make my fortune. Needless to say, I returned the book in a hurry.
Despite his flaws, I can't help but admire Lynn Harris. He has lived too many hard lifetimes in his 49 years, and yet, of the countless faces he has worn, the two that come through most clearly today are the lost, approval-seeking teenager and the gentle, middle-aged dandy. Through all the anger and the hurt, both of these faces keep peeking through, and when they do, they are beautiful.