Psychoanalysis is transitioning. Its history of pathologizing deviant sexuality is giving way to curiosity about the universal complexities and contradictions inherent in sex and gender. Yet it could use some pushing along, and Patricia Gherovici’s new book, Transgender Psychoanalysis: A Lacanian Perspective on Sexual Difference (Routledge, 2017), does just that. In it, she draws inspiration and courage from her clinical work with transgender patients in order to challenge long-standing essentialist notions about sex and gender. She also introduces readers to Jacque Lacan’s still-revolutionary ethics on sexual difference. In our interview, we talk about her involvement in the recent ‘wave’ of attention to transgender experience, how she applies Lacan’s ideas to her own clinical work, and the importance of putting further pressure on psychoanalysis—and Western society, at large—to let go of antiquated, discriminatory notions and embrace the infinite complexity in all human sexuality.
Patricia Gherovici is a psychoanalyst and analytic supervisor. She is co-founder and director of the Philadelphia Lacan Group and Associate Faculty, Psychoanalytic Studies Minor, University of Pennsylvania (PSYS). She is also Honorary Member at IPTAR, the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research in New York City, and member at Apres-Coup Psychoanalytic Association New York. Her prior books include The Puerto Rican Syndrome (Other Press, 2003) and Please Select Your Gender: From the Invention of Hysteria to the Democratizing of Transgenderism (Routledge, 2010). She has published two edited collections, both with Manya Steinkoler, entitled Lacan On Madness: Madness, Yes You Can't (Routledge, 2015) and Lacan, Psychoanalysis and Comedy (Cambridge University Press, 2016).
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