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Gozlan, O. (2011). Transsexual surgery: A novel reminder and a navel remainder. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 20(1):45-52.

(2011). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 20(1):45-52

Transsexual surgery: A novel reminder and a navel remainder

Oren Gozlan


This paper considers questions of gender integration in transsexuality. While, historically, the medical/clinical establishment has treated the transsexual's desire for surgery as a hysterical demand, I develop the view, with the Lacanian theories of Gherovici and Verhaeghe, that transsexual surgery may signify a means to traverse phantasy and claim one's desire. This formulation depends on Lacan's notion of “the Act.” Along with presenting clinical material, the paper asks: is it useful to think about hysteria while trying to think about gender, identity formation, and sexual difference? Can the demand for surgery be other than a demand for certitude?

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