Comments on TRANS

Seemingly out of nowhere the “Trans” issue has exploded into the public eye, but the term covers so many different concepts and communities that the mere mention is as heated as politics or religion. In this book we explore the variety of meanings of the Trans movement, its history as a cultural struggle for sexual and political freedom, and its medical and psychological ramifications. Through a series of in-depth interviews and ethnographic and clinical research, we present the Trans movement in its current complexity both as community and as radical individualism. Finally we examine the future of Trans and its larger implications for the future of human evolution.


As for the topic of “trans-gender” or more importantly “trans” in general, I have heard very little serious discussion. Nothing on Freud’s theories of sexuality and the Oedipus complex. Nothing on Lacan’s theories of sexuation and the sinthome. Even less – and most relevant to this issue – on Guattari’s work on desiring production, sexual multiplicity, “becoming-woman, becoming animal….”


We have heard some hesitant comments from psychoanalysts on the dangers of jumping to the allopathic medical solution of surgery and drugs (which is just as serious a problem in the case of cosmetic surgery, cancer, psychosis, and other situations and should be discussed) and some political activism for identity politics which is a double edged sword as it is in the case of race, sex, religion, etc. 


It is true as some indicate that we cannot have a serious conversation about these choices and desires under the current “politically correct” ideological dominance but it is not helpful to hysterically derail a serious conversation – that is unless maybe that conversation is dominated by bullying from the position of the master, whether that master be “trans-gender” or other. From what has taken place so far on the list, it may be premature to stage an event unless it is for the sake of jouissance. So be it. But if anyone has anything substantial to say please write it now.


As a practicing psychoanalyst and physician politically engaged in this problem in all areas of medicine and psychiatry it is my desire and ethic to help the subject decide whether a somatic symptom or “choice” is really a choice especially because of the irreversible consequences of biopoltical medical interventions in the present environment, where mediated corporate capitalism is as much or more implicated in hypnosis and the social construction of identity and so-called “desire.” (I suggest Bernard Stiegler’s “Taking Care: Of Youth and the Generations” on this topic.) So far, Paul Preciado is the only one in the “official” transgender community to concur with this in a discussion we had. (I suggest Paul’s “Testo Junkie.”)


The embodiment of anima and animus for Jung – or masculine and feminine for Lacan – is a truly “trans” experience as opposed to an identity flip in duality. This initiates Guattari’s work in trans-versality and trans-subjectivity. . . . 


We need to count beyond 2 or 3 and introduce the complexity of variables involved in each subject’s construction of desire and identity. And this is what Lacan’s theories of sexuation and the sinthome do.


In terms of the decision to turn to surgery…. Perhaps the physical act is the initial cut that foments a collective re-writing which in turn enables the singular subject to inscribe itself in the symbolic more freely after that.


The question of “trans-sexual, trans-gender, trans-subjective” revolves around the void of freedom that opens up in the split between the pre-Oedipal narcissistic object and post-Oedipal ego identity, and the very specific meaning of the practice of desire that can take place in that void. One that requires a certain kind of writing beyond reading. A reading through Freud’s Essays in Sexuality, On Narcissism, and Dissolution of the Oedipus Complex; Lacan’s Seminars 20: Feminine Sexuality and 23: The Sinthome; Deleuze & Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus and Becoming Woman, Becoming Animal lays out the groundwork for this very complex issue. Since I am currently constructing a model of this through a series of presentations and demonstrations at Analytica and elsewhere further clarification will be forthcoming.