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Wallerstein, H. (2017). Real Gender: Identity, Loss, and the Capacity to Feel Real. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 18(1):62-71.

(2017). Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 18(1):62-71

Real Gender: Identity, Loss, and the Capacity to Feel Real

Hannah Wallerstein, Ph.D.

This article concerns gender and feeling real. Beginning with Judith Butler’s deconstruction of gender as an ontological category, it argues that the subjective experience of gender as real has been underaccounted for. By reviewing Butler’s work on gender melancholy and then elaborating psychoanalytic theories of identification and reality, this article links feeling real to the dual capacities to both separate from and connect with the object. To illustrate the implications for thinking gender identity and transformation, it concludes with a reading of Miles Walser’s poem about the name discarded in a gender transition.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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