Interestingly, I consistently saw the narrator as a woman, albeit a more androgynous one. My reasoning for this gender assignment is complicated and somewhat of a gut or subconscious reaction. Still, I want to untangle the assumptions I'm making.
- Because the world of the novel seems to be in our world and within our time, I assume that the narrator must have a gender.
- I find the narrator more relateable as an androgynous woman who is in love with a woman than as a man (androgynous or otherwise) who is in love with a woman.
- A love story about two women is better/more interesting than a love story about a man and a woman because it is non-heteronormative and works against the under-representation/invisibility of woman-loving women.
I am invested in queer feminist culture, and I have often felt alienated by male protagonists (and their interpretations of the female characters that appear in novels with them). As a reader, I want to relate to the protagonist because "she" is very likeable (despite "her" shortcomings). Therefore, I very nearly need "her" to be a she because as a she I can feel "her" more viscerally. But at the same time, I'm also very open to the protagonist queering what it means to be gendered.