February 21, 2023

Queer Theory and Psychoanalytic Practice: An Impossible Split?

Fabrice Bourlez

Still from Sébastien Lifshitz, Petite Fille (Little Girl), 2020.

This essay is part of an e-flux Notes series called “The Contemporary Clinic,” where psychoanalysts from around the world are asked to comment on the kinds of symptoms and therapeutic challenges that present themselves in their practices. What are the pathologies of today’s clinic? How are these intertwined with politics, economy, and culture? And how is psychoanalysis reacting to the new circumstances?


Stretching Exercises for Clinical Elasticity

To clarify the stakes of the psychoanalytic clinic today, I would like to turn to a gymnastic exercise that I have imposed on myself for the last ten years. It is the nearly impossible split straddling the critical elucidation of queer theory and psychoanalytic practice. Such a gymnastic exercise is definitely challenging but doing theoretical and clinical stretches to gain elasticity1 seems to me a sine qua non to keep our discipline alive and in shape to welcome the contemporary.

I began to write Queer Psychoanalysis in 2013. The impetus for the project was the Taubira Law, known as the law of “marriage for everyone.” At the time, it was necessary to respond, in one way or another, to the wave of hatred in France toward LGBTQIA+ minorities. This law spurred a debate in the press, on social networks, and in the street that featured a highly reductive condemnation of ways of forming a family or modes of loving that fall outside the heterosexual norm.

Such positions were not only held in the most politically conservative circles but also in the humanities. Sociology, anthropology, history, philosophy, psychoanalysis: in all of these disciplines there could be found representatives of an abject and reactionary ideology and morality, revealing the homophobic prejudices of the French intelligentsia, as influential now as they were fifteen years earlier during the debates around PACS (Pacte Civil de Solidarité).2

I took up my pen and raised my voice because of the shock I felt at the absence of reaction from practitioners of psychoanalysis to the upsurge of what can only be called ideological stupidity. Of course, several psychoanalytic institutions, belatedly, took positions against the instrumentalization of psychoanalysis.3 They rejected attempts to justify homophobic positions (which went so far as to forecast the end of the symbolic order and a series of global upheavals) in the name of the unconscious. Faced with a law that did no more than guarantee equal rights to same-sex couples, the most open-minded among workers of the unconscious didn’t express support for marriage for all, far from it, but they also didn’t accept that Freud or Lacan could be used to refuse it outright. When it came to recognizing or evoking the presence within the psychoanalytic institutions of homosexuals who would have been concerned, even delighted by the passing of this law, there was a silence as total as it was eloquent.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell … Really?

Such was the state of affairs when I added my voice to the public forum. Psychoanalysts, of course, no longer dare to diagnose all homosexuals as perverts. But the stink of this diagnosis and its stigma adheres to their political institutions and also, undoubtedly, to their clinical cases. Certain colleagues prefer not to hear anything about social change in France at a time when neighboring countries have accepted marriage between partners of the same sex without bringing on an apocalypse.4 Other, more stalwart colleagues brandish a case-by-case approach, with attention to the uniqueness of jouissance or the singular encounter, kindly hospitable to differences of every genre; but they don’t recognize the necessity to reconsider the tenets and outcomes of their discipline or their institution. Meanwhile, no analyst has come out of the closet even to affirm that they feel directly implicated by this law as a subject with rights and that they joyfully welcome it. Personally, I was happy to be able to decide whether, yes or no, I would put a ring on my partner’s finger. Officially, no one in the entire analytic establishment seemed intimately concerned with the event.

Accordingly, the institutions of the transmission of psychoanalytic knowledge, when they accept marriage for all and pursue petitions against the instrumentalization of psychoanalysis, rely upon a logic equivalent to the one long utilized in the American military: “don’t ask, don’t tell.” If you are gay, lesbian, bi, trans, better not talk too much among our ranks about your sexual orientation or your gender identity.

We were enjoined to remain discreet because of the patients, of the transference, of psychoanalytic neutrality, and of the clinical effects that follow from this kind of declaration. No less surprising, upon reflection, is the fact that the openly declared heterosexuality of Lacan’s son-in-law never prevented him from guiding the Lacanian orientation. Likewise, couples such as the Mannonis and the Leforts don’t have any hesitation about practicing in tandem and even cowriting theoretical works. Such ringing endorsements of heterosexuality don’t appear to trouble anyone. Until 2013, then, in the field of psychoanalysis, while a certain type of private life remains consigned to silence, supposedly because of the risk to patients and of the need to establish a transferential bond worthy of the name, the heterosexuality of many analysts, declared or presumed, seems not to pose a problem for anyone.

The manner in which psychoanalytic associations formulated their positions in support of marriage for all, as well-meaning as they may have sought to be, reprised an odd gesture of expropriation whereby the people directly concerned were never asked for their input. Instead, they were authorized by what is, to say the least, an ambiguous and condescending instance of power-knowledge. In a caricatural mode, broadly, this instance might be construed to say: “You can marry now, we authorize you to do so, but stay in your place, pursue your analysis without changing a thing about our manner of approaching the unconscious.”

My book came out in 2018. For five years, in order to write it, I responded to calls for papers; I was invited to present my work in psychoanalytic research seminars; I participated in public debates in militant associations and I published a number of articles. In a systematic fashion, each time I was invited to speak or asked to write a scientific text, I made it a point of honor to begin by coming out of the closet. I had ample opportunity to study the reactions from my colleagues: sometimes enthusiastic, sometimes bothered, sometimes perplexed, sometimes condescending. Each time, I had the impression that I was reading an extract from Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s Epistemology of the Closet. This book by a queer theoretician had been published in the US about twenty years earlier, in the midst of the AIDS crisis. Nothing seems to have changed. Why was it necessary to speak of this? Hadn’t I confused the private and the political by outing myself within the framework of psychoanalytic work? Especially since private life and politics aren’t among the stakes of the clinic. Wouldn’t it be preferable to avoid such a tour de force since it accomplishes nothing excerpt highlighting a narcissism that had been poorly treated in the course of my own analysis? Sedgwick, within the field of literary studies, wanted to know specifically how the homosexuality of authors factors into the structure of literary texts. Most of the time, in response to her emphasis on this specificity, critics would complain: “Enough with such questions, stop right now, we already know all about this difference; it changes nothing, it’s meaningless.”5

On all of these occasions, as in Queer Psychoanalysis, I don’t believe that my work is limited, although it has often been reduced to this, to saying, “I am a shrink and a homo.” Nor do I believe that the stakes of The Epistemology of the Closet could be summarized in similar terms. The point is rather to interrogate, from a metapsychological and political viewpoint, the structure of psychoanalytic method. The point is to repoliticize the clinic. The point is also to spur reflection on the modalities of institutional transmission: How was I trained in psychoanalysis and what was the theoretical unthought of this training? What is signified by the prudent silence, the discreet reserve, and the appeal to neutrality that such institutions directly or indirectly address to homosexual analysts during the training process? During my public interventions and the process of writing the book, I came to understand that the field of queer theory and LGBTQIA+ minorities had engaged in an intense dialogue with psychoanalysis. On the one hand, this dialogue reminds us of the subversive potential of the Freudian discovery. But, on the other hand, it became impossible not to acknowledge my disappointment with the positions of many psychoanalytic schools which—in their diagnostics, their clinical vignettes, or their ethical positions—never really took into account the subversive élan proper to the apparatus of unconscious speech.

Facing the Quadripod: Queer Tactics and Psychoanalytic Technique

Since then, times have changed a lot … In France, and beyond, a number of events have impacted the field of questions about gender and sexuality as well as the psychoanalytic approach to them. To cite only a few, let us recall, in 2017, the #MeToo movement and the viral advances of contemporary feminism on social media; Paul Preciado’s lecture in November 2019 during the “Women in Psychoanalysis” symposium at the École de la Cause Freudienne; and, finally, the astonishing polemic and number of invectives that arose within analytic circles in response to the success of Sébastien Lifshitz’s film Little Girl (2020), which offered a portrait—quite moving, as it happens—of a trans child. Indeed, ever since the vote in favor of marriage for all, the map of feeling and love, sensibility and struggle, has been consistently reshaped with ever greater precision.

Nonetheless, I believe that it’s necessary to continue to subscribe to my elaboration, in Queer Psychoanalysis, of the quadruple failure of psychoanalysis in the face of the advances of queer theory. These four critiques function like a kind of quadripod akin to the giant robots from Star Wars: if you sever one of the quadipod’s legs, all of the other legs will collapse and bring down the whole monstrous machine. These critiques are accurate and well-founded. To refuse to take them into consideration is to refuse to reframe our ethics, to deconstruct our metapsychological certainties, to decenter our concepts, and to inscribe them in a history. It is to continue to take one’s bearings on the map of bodies, genders, sexualities, and manifestations of the unconscious without seeking to take into account the shifting of territories operated from the margins and minorities.

Today, perhaps more than ever before, I would say that heeding queer critiques should be an occasion to rethink the tact at the heart of our practice. This tact constitutes what’s fundamentally at stake in any psychoanalytic encounter. It permits us to come as close as possible to the singularity of each subject, to their point of untouchability. “Tact,” “touch,” and “untouchable” have the same etymological origin: the Latin tactus. In psychoanalysis, one never ceases to touch the untouchable but with tact. And the forms and formats of tact must be rethought in terms of infinite tactics.

In this sense, the word “queer,” in French, has a particularly felicitous homophone. It can be also be heard to say, “qu’ouïr?” This time, the same sound is written as two words: “que” [what] and the verb “ouïr,” which signifies “to hear” or “to understand.” “Queer” can thus be heard as a question: What do we understand? What do we listen for? How do we understand? How do we lend an ear to those who don’t belong to the heterosexual majority? On the basis of this signifying homophony that refers to listening, a third dimension is added to the political and metapsychological dimensions that I attempted to uphold in my book: the dimension of technique proper to the psychoanalytic clinic. This is the dimension that interests me more and more. What to understand? What to hear? Qu’ouïr? Such is the question that every analyst asks on a daily basis in their work. Such listening is essential to their work of interpretation, their work of scansion, their work of cutting and sewing with the people in their office or in the institution. Without tact, interpretation stops short: it injures or goes awry and analysis becomes a dialogue of the deaf—nothing changes on either side of the couch. And our discipline keeps on mummifying itself. Tactics become solidified into a strategy in which the analyst loses the freedom for an act worthy of the name.6

Since the 1990s, one of the primary critiques that queerfolk have addressed to psychoanalysis concerns the Oedipus complex; and it investigates, in particular, whether Oedipus pertains to a certain social order and familial organization. Staunchly to believe that the structuration of desire absolutely requires a father and a mother and that every child wishes to sleep with the parent of the opposite sex and to kill the other one (note the heterosexual polarization of all such unconscious desires), even if all this only occurs on the level of fantasy, makes it impossible to understand single-parent families, families with two fathers or two mothers, and all the other families under the rainbow. If Oedipus embodies the familial norm, how is it possible not to pathologize a priori other families?

Of course, the most rigorous Lacanians retort to such queer critiques that they read Lacan from an imaginary viewpoint and that, at least since Seminar III on the psychoses, Lacan understood the Father as a function and certainly didn’t reduce him to the status of an incarnate person. However, the queers respond, with good reason, why do so many Lacanian texts view homosexuality as a perversion? It would be better to admit, without reservations, even among Lacanians, that the radicality of the return to Freud has often been used to reinforce normative positions.

The second foot of the quadripod is the unapologetic homophobia of certain of Lacan’s own texts. In France, Didier Eribon has underlined some particularly bigoted passages in Lacan about homosexuals.7 There are also certain passages in Freud that mark homosexuality as a developmental impasse, a point of arrest in the unfolding of psychosexual maturity. Even today, it is still possible to discern in many clinical cases, perhaps a bit less than before, but in a latent manner, the shadow of perversion hovering over cases of homosexuality.

Once again, the most serious among analysts might respond that, in Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality, Freud claimed that heterosexuality had to be explained no less than homosexuality. Everyone also recalls his beautiful letter to the mother of a young homosexual man. We know that he came to the defense of the rights of homosexuals.8 As for Lacan, he hastened to welcome homosexuals into the ranks of his school, even if, in the present day, these members are begged to remain discreet. Indeed, it’s notable that in the forty years of its existence, a school as important as the École de la Cause Freudienne has only produced two Analystes de l’École, two analysts who have traversed the mechanism of the pass,9 who testified and taught on the basis of their position as homosexuals. No lesbians appear to have passed this threshold …

It is difficult not to associate such sluggishness, such delay, such faintheartedness with a sort of homophobia less embodied by certain people than by the institution itself. In the best of cases, it bears witness mainly to a heteronormativity in the functioning of the institution itself. At the same time, it is necessary to remember that the procedure of the pass is closely linked to the metapsychological and technical advances at work in clinical practice. To state it more simply, after forty years, if there are only two homosexual analysts who have anything to say about the crucial question of the end of analysis, and if their declarations are only offered in the aftermath of Preciado’s intervention, which was a salutary reminder of the queer laments about psychoanalytic method, this means that you have hardly thought anything new about sexuality since 1981, the year of Lacan’s death and of the first news items about the illness that would soon be called AIDS.

The third foot of the quadripod is the following: one doesn’t have to be explicitly homophobic or transphobic or queerphobic to remain, at the end of the day, completely heteronormative, albeit in a wholly inarticulate fashion. To have homosexual or trans friends doesn’t prevent you from reinforcing, through lack of reflection on your own presuppositions, or on your own behavior, the whole edifice of thought that can be called, with Monique Wittig, “straight.”

Must we recall that straight thought is a form of thought that does not reflect on its own concepts? As Wittig writes: “What is this thought which refuses to reverse itself, which never puts into question what primarily constitutes it? This thought is the dominant thought. It is a thought which affirms an ‘already there’ of the sexes, something which is supposed to have come before all thought, before all society.”10 It is a thought that holds language to be neutral and its categories universal. The queer interrogation of psychoanalysis seeks to situate the well-intentioned neutrality of praxis, to extract the conceptual apparatus from its apparent universality in order to show that it isn’t self-evident, that it doesn’t correspond to an eternal truth. For Wittig, straight thinking and its cortege of unthought and unthematized certainties fundamentally relies upon sexual difference which the Oedipus complex, where we began, is supposed to guarantee. The Oedipus complex underpins the desire of a girl or a boy but nothing else. The castration complex implies having or being the phallus, in the terms of Lacan’s “The Signification of the Phallus,” but does not make it possible to go beyond these two positions.11

The incapacity to go beyond sexual difference is precisely the fourth foot of our quadripod. In psychoanalysis, very often still today, sexual difference is invoked not as an anatomical or biological reference point but rather as a sort of real that characterizes two, and only two, types of jouissance. In France, with the debates around transidentities and the Lifschitz film I mentioned above, this theoretical positioning has consolidated itself with increased fervor. In Seminar XX, Encore, Lacan very clearly thematizes two types of jouissance in a logical square that carries Aristotelian thought to its limit.

In fact, if Lacanian psychoanalysis relies upon the symbolic to exit the two-body problem of the imaginary; if it does so in order to isolate an unsayable point of the real, an untouchable point that causes each subject to suffer differently, case by case, it becomes less clear why it was necessary to reintroduce two, and only two, positions of jouissance in the formulas of sexuation.

I believe that one must have the courage to ask whether the famous “there is no sexual relation,” from which these formulas derive, can be envisaged otherwise than through the prism of male/female duality. We must also dare, I think, to ask whether “there is no sexual relation” can be envisaged otherwise than for bodies that correspond to the gender that was assigned to them at birth. Can we use this “there is no sexual relation” not to reinforce or confirm a binary, heterocentric, and straight logic but rather to think the missed encounters that are proper to everyone’s life in the diversity of their bodies, genders, and the singularity of their jouissance?

Queer Psychoanalysis took the risk of attempting to pluralize the positions on Lacan’s table. To explode the square, to multiply the Aristotelian logic to infinity, to carry the positions of jouissance to the “nth” power (as there exist “n” sexes and not two sexes for Deleuze and Guattari12). In brief, my question is: how not to limit oneself to the opposition between phallic jouissance (articulable in language) and the jouissance of the not-all—a quantifier of Lacan’s invention—beyond language. In this book, I proposed in very Lacanian fashion to pass from “two” (deux) and only two sexes to “too many” (d’eux) sexes. This pun is present both in Encore and in L’Étourdit. But it can also be found in one of Sedgwick’s texts in which the queer theoretician seeks to “learn from them” (apprendre d’eux), the “very many” who differentiate themselves from the heterosexual norm:

the very many of us who may at times be moved to describe ourselves as (among many other possibilities) pushy femmes, radical faeries, fantasists, fag hags or hag fags, drag queens or kings, clones, leatherpeople, ladies in tuxedos, feminist women or feminist men, masturbators, bulldykes, divas, opera queens, butch bottoms, storytellers, transsexuals, aunties, wannabes, lesbian-identified men or lesbians who sleep with men, or … people able to relish, learn from, or identify with such folks (apprendre d’eux).13

To learn from them, to learn from “the very many of us” (d’eux) who have been at the margins of the square, who don’t figure upon it and yet always deal with the missed encounter of sexuality, albeit otherwise than in terms of the binary or heterosexual schemas, is for me as much a political question as a metapsychological and technical question. This is precisely what’s at stake in the contemporary clinic.

In my office, I receive many subjects who begin by explaining that they are neither boys nor girls, that for them this binarism no longer makes sense. My position is not to say to them and even less to think, “Oh la la! Catastrophe! Oedipal problem! Refusal of symbolic castration! Recourse to the imaginary in order to fill a symbolic defect that hides a real liable to trigger a devastating psychosis!” To rely on this type of a priori when you listen to such people is the best way not to hear them, not to understand anything of what they are saying to you. My position is much more modest: to understand how their discourse functions. Where do they suffer? How are they dealing with things that repeat, that escape them, that destabilize them? What enigmas arise in their dreams and lapses? What to do with the symptoms that are constructed from session to session?

Boxing and Kissing

If, because of our diagnostic or metapsychological categories, we decide in advance who someone is when they affirm their non-belonging to the binarism of the biological sexes or who affirm their not recognizing themselves in it; if we believe that their experience of pathological suffering derives from this non-binarism itself, then we reintroduce the biological where the symbolic should have allowed us to avoid doing so.

In addition, and this is undoubtedly the most serious issue, we thus act in accordance with our countertransference in order interpret. On this point, I remain very Lacanian. It seems to me that Lacan invited us not to analyze on the basis of our countertransference, that is, not to offer interpretations on the basis of our feelings but also not to analyze as a function of our prejudices. Prejudices, wrote Lacan, are always on the side of the analyst.14 This is especially the case in a session with a trans or a nonbinary subject who wishes to call into question, with their very existence, the particularly gendered, binary education that we all received in school and, I insist, in our psychoanalytic formation. When our representations are called into question, in no way should this prevent us from discerning with patience and prudence—in a word, with tact—the singularity of the subjective logic of the person we meet.

Once again, if the “trans question” never ceases to interrogate clinicians and psychiatrists, at least in France today, it’s important to ask in whose eyes this state of affairs poses problems. Who interrogates and who raises questions? Who asks why things are what they are and what they mean? From whose side arises the disquiet? To be completely clear, it seems to be that if the trans question exists and if it must subsist today, then the sole purpose for it to remain a “question” is to keep things open, transformable, and malleable. Self-evidence, solutions, and certainties too often constrain the plasticity of possibilities.

At the risk of being completely explicit, if the existence of transfolk—that is, subjects who don’t recognize themselves in the sex that was assigned to them at birth and who chose to modify to varying degrees their appearance and even to intervene upon their bodies and their manner of “gendering” themselves in order to speak in the first person—is to constitute a “question,” even “the” question of the psychoanalytic field at the present time, it would confront us, first and foremost, with our a prioris and our clinical representations in the sphere of gender and sexuality. The question is even more of a divisive issue for clinicians than that of so-called sexual minorities. In other terms, much like homosexuality, which too often and for too long was equated with perversion, in and through our field, transsexuality is still sometimes confused with psychosis, thanks to a strange “mental automatism” on the part of the caregivers! It is urgent that this stop. It is urgent to discover which prejudices orient our metapsychology and our technique.

From the place of my clinical experience, the transfolk and nonbinary subjects whom I encounter don’t really have questions about the status of their identity: this is how they approach life, name themselves socially, seek and find love connections and also, sometimes, encounter suffering. The questions addressed within the framework of their analytic trajectory are much more intimate, much more complex, and much more subjective than a simple question of identity. In other words, identitarian militancy and claims to recognition as the member of a minority doesn’t in any way disengage the subject from the unconscious.

Perhaps transfolk raise questions for psychoanalysts because they add a fourth vexation to the three that Freud famously elaborated.15 Not only is the earth not the center of the universe; not only are human beings the descendants of apes; not only are we not masters of our own house but also, perhaps the twenty-first century will see the dissolution, like snow in the sun, of the bastion of sexual difference in order to think the field of the sexual.16 In the meantime, what’s certain is that binarism or duality are no longer sufficient to accompany any number of contemporary subjects.

But is this such a serious problem? Does it interfere with the work of psychoanalysis? Do queerfolk and so-called sexual minorities really prevent us from speaking or thinking from the viewpoint of the unconscious? Must we be “woke” and accede to minoritarian demands and the narcissism of minor differences? When we pay attention to social discrimination and inequality, do we miss the subject of the unconscious? Certainly not. But my wager is the following: if we abandon the duality of the sexes as well as the Oedipus complex and strive not to be homophobic, but also identify the heteronormative elements of our own theory and practice, this is how we renew the ethics at work in our clinical practice.

No matter how we name ourselves, live our sexualities, or live our loves, the unconscious and jouissance, the unique differences of each subject and each history, our dreams and bungled actions never cease to surprise and unsettle us. This is why the work of the analyst is far from being derailed by queer reflections and critiques. I began by evoking the splits. But perhaps I chose the wrong sport to think the elasticity of psychoanalytic practice in work with queerfolk. If queerfolk and psychoanalysts remain opposed to one another, perhaps they meet in a boxing ring. It might be better to learn how to kiss one another in this ring. Better to find the means for both psychoanalysis and queer theory to emerge as winners, to gain from their combat and their opposition. Better to continue to work on our theoretical and practical stretching in order to establish the conditions for a transference capable of responding to the modifications of our time.

Translated from the French by Steven Miller.


The seminal reference with respect to the elasticity of psychoanalysis is Sandor Ferenczi, “The Elasticity of Psychoanalytic Technique,” in Final Contributions to the Problems and Methods of Psychoanalysis, ed. Michael Balint, trans. Eric Mosbacher & others (Karnac, 1994).


On the reactionary positions taken by psychoanalysts during the PACS debates, see the analyses of Eric Fassin in L’inversion de la question homosexuelle (Éditions Amsterdam, 2008).


At the moment of the passage of marriage for all, in January 2013, a petition, “Psychoanalysts in the Face of the Equal Rights of ‘Marriage for All,” signaled that “psychoanalysis should not come forward to moralize or to make predictions.” Jacques-Alain Miller, for his part, started a petition against “the instrumentalization of psychoanalysis.” He remarked that the “Oedipal structure that Freud elaborated is not an anthropological invariant.” The text of the petition is available here .


To recall, in the Netherlands, homosexuals have been able to marry since 2000; in Belgium since 2003; and in Spain since 2005.


Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, The Epistemology of the Closet (University of California Press, 1990).


See Jacques Lacan, “The Direction of the Treatment and the Principle of Its Power,” in Écrits: The First Complete Edition in English, trans. Bruce Fink (W.W. Norton & Co., 2002).


On this point, see Didier Éribon, Une morale du minoritaire (Fayard, 2015); and Échapper à la psychanalyse (Léo Scheer, 2005).


On these points, see Lionel Le Corre, L’homosexualité de Freud (PUF, 2017).


To recall, the pass is a procedure that Lacan instituted in which an analyst bears witness to the end of his analysis and presents it to the school in such a way that it constitutes a teaching. She or he is then named “Analyste de l’École” (Analyst of the School), the genitive intended to be both subjective and objective.


Monique Wittig, The Straight Mind and Other Essays (Beacon Press, 1992), 4.


Jacques Lacan, “The Signification of the Phallus,” in Écrits: The First Complete Edition in English.


Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Anti-Œdipus, trans. Robert Hurley (University of Minnesota Press, 1977).


Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, “Construire des significations queer,” in les Études gay et lesbiennes: Colloque du centre Georges-Pompidou, 23 et 27 juin 1997 (Centre Georges-Pompidou, 1998), 115. The formulation in question only appears in the French version of Sedgwick’s talk. The English version, “Making Gay Meanings,” is collected in The Weather in Proust, ed. Jonathan Goldberg (Duke University Press, 2011).


Jacques Lacan, “The Function and Field of Speech and Language,” in Écrits The First Complete Edition in English, 251. On the place of transference and countertransference in treatment, see Patrick Guyomard, Lacan et le contre-transfert (Presses Universitaires de France, 2011), to which these pages owe much.


Sigmund Freud, “A Difficulty in the Path of Psychoanalysis,” in The Standard Edition of the Complete Works of Sigmund Freud, ed. and trans. James Strachey et. al., vol. 17 (Hogarth Press, 1953).


According to Paul Preciado, this change of paradigm is already at work in the West. See Preciado, Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era (The Feminist Press, 2013) and Preciado, Dysphoria Mundi (Grasset, 2022).

Psychology & Psychoanalysis
Contemporary Clinic, Queer Art & Theory, Transgender

Fabrice Bourlez is a psychoanalyst in Paris. He has a doctorate in philosophy and teaches at ESAD (College of Art and Design) in Reims, Beaux-Arts de Paris, Sciences Po-Paris, as well as at the International Institute of Psychoanalysis (Brazil). He is the author of Queer Psychanalyse (Queer Psychoanalysis, 2018).


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