At a literary soiree in Paris, James Thurber was once told how much funnier his stories were in French. "Yes," he replied sadly. "My works lose something in the original."
I thought about this line when Laverne Cox, of the Netflix show "Orange Is the New Black," was nominated for an Emmy, the first transgender person to achieve this honor in the acting category. This was just the latest success in what seems to be the Year of the Trans, a season of great progress in the movement for transgender equality. And yet commentators, both liberal and conservative, continue to struggle with the right words to describe the transgender experience.