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González, F.J. (2019). Writing Gender with Sexuality: Reflections on the Diaries of Lou Sullivan. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 67(1):59-82.

(2019). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 67(1):59-82

Original Papers

Writing Gender with Sexuality: Reflections on the Diaries of Lou Sullivan Related Papers

Francisco J. González

In contemporary psychoanalytic writing, gender tends to be disarticulated from sexuality. While this has been a theoretically useful approach, especially as regards the critical appraisal of early traditional literature (which often assumed a facile coherence between sex, sexuality, and gender), this position too often leaves gender stripped of one of the most compelling forces in psychoanalytic theorizing, namely, its relation to the sexual. Here the diaries of Lou Sullivan (1951-1991)—a transsexual man who began writing long before considering sexual transitioning—are used to present an extended example of the intimate linkage between gender and sexuality. The diaries stand as a unique historical archive: a fairly comprehensive, prospective, first-person account of transsexuality, begun before the subject self-identified as transsexual, which documents a complex and candid subjective evolution. Situated historically during a time of enormous upheaval in both psychoanalysis and the culture at large on questions of gender and sexuality, the diaries offer an additional opportunity to consider the nexus of individual psyche and social forms.

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