Tor.com content by

Cori McCarthy

Fraught With Destiny: Queering L.M. Montgomery’s Anne Shirley and Diana Barry

Deep in the throes of top surgery recovery, I awoke this morning finally feeling optimistic. My love, Amy Rose, packed our child’s lunch while I brewed dark coffee. After the bus whisked our enchantingly talkative small person towards their daily destiny, we sat out on the back porch, watching June’s citrus sunshine melt the mist off the verdant Vermont mountains.

If you haven’t already gathered by the plethora of adjectives, this is about L.M. Montgomery.

It’s also about the word queer. Like many people in my age range—the quicksand between GenX and Millennial that is somehow both and neither—I grew up with the understanding that queer was a very bad word. It didn’t mean gay. Or different. It meant outcast. Loser. What was more, I never heard it in a plural form and that left young me wondering if queers didn’t come in groups, that the word and therefore the person must be inherently lonely. I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what they wanted me to think.

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