Transsexual Identification, Gender Performance Theory, and the Politics of the Real

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Discusses the concept of realness in transsexual (TRS) identification (IDN), focusing on realness as an effect and on the real as generative of effects. Theories of TRS IDN in the books of M. Garber (1992), E. Newton (1972), and J. Butler (1990) are criticized for their purported basis in the works of J. Lacan (1977). Gender performance theories situate understanding of IDN at the level of imaginary and symbolic representations, thus excluding the Lacanian real. Lacan's account underwrites imaginary and symbolic IDNs with real IDN; for Lacan, reality is an effect constructed by imaginary and symbolic representations. C. Millot's (1983) account of Lacan's theory of TRS IDN as beyond IDN with the other sex to IDN with the phallus is also examined. The political appropriation of the TRS by feminist and gay studies to deconstruct the concept of the real is discussed.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-27
JournalLiterature and Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1993


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