Lobstergirl
Lobstergirl asked:

Is Nick Carraway transgender? I couldn't tell.

To answer questions about The Great Gatsby, please sign up.
Christine I do not think that 'transgender' is exactly the word you mean. I am pretty sure Nick identifies as a man, and he has not undergone any hormone treatments is 1922!! However -- I would say there is definite evidence that Nick has homo-erotic tendencies and most likely is in love with Gatsby.

I had read the novel twice and I never thought this before. But upon my 3rd read I discovered some passages that indicate Nick's homosexual tendencies. Namely -- Nick accompanies Mr. McKee home after a night of hard drinking and possibly ends up in his bed (p. 38). There are attractive women at the party, Nick has been paired off with Catherine, yet he leaves her and follows Mr. McKee, a total stranger, all the way home! In another incident, Nick is riding the train and he fantasizes about kissing the male conductor (p. 115). In another passage, Nick laments turning thirty and the fact that his list of 'single men' is dwindling (p. 135). These incidents are coupled with the fact that Nick repeatedly turns down offers from women, including Jordan Baker, girls from his home town and office romances. Nothing ever develops between Nick and any women, nor does he express desire for them. In such a beautifully written novel, Nick's attraction to any female would surely have been emphasized. But it is not. His infatuation for Gatsby is told many times and in great detail!

These clues are subtle, the kind of thing a reader might easily pass over. However, upon my 3rd read I must say the implications are definitely THERE.

It is a very layered and complicatetd novel. I believe Fitzgerald was attempting to encompass several sections of society. Why was he so vague? Remember, the novel was published in 1925, a time when people were jailed, beat up and killed for homosexuality.
Myndi My interpretation is that he is enamored with Gatsby, but not in love with him in the traditional sense. He admires him. I saw no indication of romantic love.
Christie Doesn't come across to me, and I've read it at least ten times.
Polly Sergieva No, he is a man
Zeinab There is nothing wrong with liking another person from the same gender when you don't have any lust for them! It doesn't make you gay or I dunno transgender! Nik just admires him in some ways and he seems to be liking him in a way I would like some special friend of mine! I think there is no sign of Nik being gay!! And the book has so much more interesting things in it than making us think about Nik's orientation!!
Hanaa Rizk Why is is seen as homosexual for a man to be infatuated by another man or admire him to the point of intimidation? This is quite a common process for women to look up to other women as role models or even slight infatuations that may seem more powerful but in reality remain just that. Nick was in awe of Gatsby for everything he had accomplished, the way he held himself, dressed, spoke..he perhaps projected himself as someone like Gatsby. Nothing gay or romantic about that...
Feliks No solid evidence exists that Nick is anything other than a simple, ordinary, heterosexual male. Hare-brained, flighty, modern-day flibbertygibbets can extemporize and fantasize all they wish; but there's not a shred of valid scholarship to support such poppycock. In the 1920s--and many other decades--the simple fact was that men could and did occasionally express their innocent admiration for one another without there being the slightest sexual tint to their comments or behavior. Hard to believe, but nonetheless true. Read more history and you'll discover this for yourself.
Ryan I never noticed anything like that after reading it three times, but just tonight I stumbled across an article that blew my mind. It argues Nick is gay, in love with Gatsby, and his infatuation taints his whole portrayal of Gatsby, mirroring Gatsby's infatuation with Daisy.

http://www.salon.com/2013/01/09/was_n...

Jason I think you'd have to reach pretty far to conclude that Carraway was transgender. You'd have to rely entirely upon symbolism, rather than, y'know, the character actually behaving in ways a transgender person might--even the most basic; a personal identification as a woman.

A better case might be made for Carraway being bisexual, but arguing the possibility is a lot different than asserting that this is a correct assessment. Most of the people who put this forth as Fitzgerald's intention tend to ignore the social mores of the time, particularly among men of the upper class. A heterosexual man expressing admiration for another heterosexual man, with whom he was a friend, was much less "suspect" in the Twenties.
Michael Wang
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Jason Fiore Nick Carraway's sexual orientation is a hotly debated topic.

There are clues that he might be bisexual. You have to remember that this is written in 1923 and homosexuals were generally in the closet.
Ashley Addington My English teacher taught the book as Nick being a gay character with very strong feelings for Gatsby.
Munqith Gharib It's murky. We can't tell for sure.
Karen I don't think so, after my 3rd reading of this I conclude there is no evidence of it.
Nenia Campbell That would be really interesting!
Anthony I see nothing that would point to this conclusion, however, I do firmly believe that Nick Carraway is Bi-sexual. I feel he is attracted to Jordan but that it is also hinted at heavily that he has sex with Mr. Mckee.
Finn Transgender is the wrong word i think you mean homosexual. I didnt get that impression but now that it was mentioned i think it could of been hinted at. But the reason there are so many people who are gay these days is because more people know about. In 1925 it was seen as something you just didnt talk about. It is like if you have one option you can only choose that no matter what. But now people are being given 2+ options they are choosing different things. If you didnt really know what being gay is you cant really be gay.
Ibrahim I haven't seen anything that would indicate that he would be transgender, nor did I get the feeling that it was implied in anyway. If anything, I feel that Nick may be bisexual. Him being interested in men is repeatedly implied throughout the book. Why couldn't be out with it? It would literally ruin his life. People that were found to be homosexuals at the time were alienated if they got off easy, and imprisoned, maybe even killed at worst.
Myles T Nick Carraway may perhaps be gay. I say this due to the lack of women in his life. I mean throughout the story he's been to the Gatsby extraordinary parties private club with Wolfshiem and Gatsby, but yet he never seems to find a women. I mean i honestly think he more attracted to Gatsby more than anyone else. In the story he always seem to come back for Gatsby multiple time. Its like they had a special connection. Could Nick be in love with Gatsby? Only Fitzgerald have the answer to that question.
Helen Wait--where did you get this assumption from lol
That's the biggest jump you could get from this story, ever.
Ash Kiernan To me it seems that Nick isn't exactly trans but he does seem to be bi in a way. As Christine mentioned it seemed Nick landed up in a a guy's bed after drinking but I am not sure myself. He also has a strong attachment to Gatsby that Ive never witnessed two non gay guys have. So that could be a possibility.
Flavia Transgender is completely wrong term.

First different of the most readers here, I didn't see the movie they made or heard passages about the book i literatures classes, I had no affair with this book at all since I live in Norway I came from Brazil, yet I am from Rio de Janeiro and new high society as it's presented at the book.

Homosexuals is sometimes considered the pepperish taste. And a novel talking about rich & empty souls folks, a gay man should equilibrated all the weft. But I admitted in the beginning of the romance I saw all man characters almost like 20's fashion magazined - the models look the same but in the different outfits for the day's activities.

The last note with Nick when he ends with Jordan, make the "coin flops inside the machine", I realized that there in his "half-loved" term use meant that he couldn't keep just for facade a relation with a girl he only like as a friend & not for something else. The other episodes got more clear as Christine mentioned beautifully.
Joelle Schwartz
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Anja Why would you even think that? Besides in Fitzgerald's day that was not a thing he would have thought about.
Arletta Sloan The Great Gatsby was published in 1925. The first sex change operation was performed in 1926. So, no, whatever else was going on with Nick Carraway, he was not transgender.
Norman Nick is not transgender but there is evidence that Nick is rather confused about his sexuality, or perhaps he is bisexual. He has had a romantic interest in the "Middle Western city" he left to come to New York, but he has left her behind and wants to remove himself from "that tangle back home" as he calls it on p. 58. Jordan seems to be a love interest for Nick in NY, but any romantic elements of their relationship always seem tempered by a reluctance on Nick's part to commit or be 'in love' with her. Meanwhile his fascination for Gatsby seems to have no bounds, and his post-party (Ch. 2) behavior with McKee is ambiguous at best. I have argued elsewhere that it would be highly uncommon for one man to follow another to his apartment and wind up at his bedside with the other "clad in his underwear"...and there not to have been some kind of homosexual or homo-erotic encounter. And his thoughts on turning 30 are also rather unusual for a completely heterosexual man.
Gabby Seems to me like he interested in men, namely Gatsby but he describes all characters very sensually. Not transgender as such..
Mehrnaz I agree with Christie.it seems that Nick is a gay in a story !!!!
Philip Christman I see No reason to assume so after 3 readings.
Ketty I'm reading it now and that's not the impress I got.
Image for The Great Gatsby
Rate this book
Clear rating

About Goodreads Q&A

Ask and answer questions about books!

You can pose questions to the Goodreads community with Reader Q&A, or ask your favorite author a question with Ask the Author.

See Featured Authors Answering Questions

Learn more