The Well of Loneliness and Gender Identity

Radclyffe Hall’s “The Well of Loneliness ” follow the life of Stephen a woman who finds herself to be a lesbian at a very young age and rejects the normativity of a woman’s role and dresses like a man. Homosexuality and transgender is  discussed more today and is widely acknowledged, however acceptance and understanding is no where close to acceptable.

Recently, it was International women’s day. A day to celebrate women from all over the world, to celebrate men who identify as a woman, women who like other women, and to appreciate them.

As Laverne Cox is a Trans woman of colour which makes life a lot harder from not only experiencing hate on a Trans-phobic level but race and sexism too. Laverne Cox has helped by being on Netflix’s popular comedy show Orange is The New Black by being a public figure in the media and garnering attention for problems as a transgender woman and other youth unsure of their sexuality can look up to.

Stephen Gordon is white, upper-class trying to understand her sexuality in the late Victorian era. She still none the less had been exiled and lonely. A mother who looks down on Stephen as an ever reminding disgrace of her failure to have a boy.

Just as Stephen feels comfortable dressing like a man and wanting to be one, “She would say: ‘Do you think that I could be a man, supposing I thought very hard-or prayed, Father?'” being more effeminate can feel comfortable to men.

But even today being effeminate for a man is looked down on. It’s also not another’s right to comment on the sexuality or choosing to dress like the opposite  gender.


Snoop Dogg doesn’t care about gender policing, and 50 Cent is too concerned about the sexuality of other male rappers.

Another male rapper, Frank Ocean who is openly gay has had his sexuality interfere with his work.

It’s heteronormative to assume that a person is cisgender and is weakened by adopting in some small way characteristics of the opposite stereotypical gender roles.

Just as “all generalizations are false” is a generalized statement in itself. heteronormativity is generalizing about what you think you know to be someones sexual orientation and gender. This assumption is unknown because it is just that, an assumption.

Just as Snoop Dogg shows an effeminate side, it is wrong to inspect Bruce Jenner’s gender or sexuality. Just like authorship, your sexuality is your own business unless you choose to make it public.

Work cited:

Hall, Radclyffe The Well Of Loneliness. New York: Anchor Books, 1990.


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