The exquisite regard currently lavished on prêt-à-porter identities likely has something to do with the transformation of the American economy into a froth of speculative bubbles. Identity is a stock whose value rises according to how many people can be induced to invest in it. This is why overnight Bruce can become Caitlin. We go along because otherwise the make-believe foundation that supports American self-regard might give way. Burst one bubble and the whole economic soufflé might collapse.