- Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association
- Published over 7 years ago
Despite recognizing that gender identity is a complex compromise formation, psychotherapists struggle to tolerate gender variance. We still tend to favor binary gender identities and clear developmental lines, rather than embracing a stance of subversive curiosity about the variability and fluidity of gender in our patients. When gender identity is fluid or ambiguous, countertransferential affective disturbances can arise that meld states of abjection and excitement, challenging theoretical constructs and threatening therapeutic neutrality. Case material from the treatment of a female-to-male trans person is presented from the perspective of the transference-countertransference matrix.
Publications on diagnosed HIV infection among transgender people have been limited to state- or local-level data. We analyzed data from the National HIV Surveillance System and present results from the first national-level analysis of transgender people with diagnosed HIV infection. From 2009 to 2014, HIV surveillance jurisdictions from 45 states plus the District of Columbia identified and reported at least one case of newly diagnosed HIV infection for transgender people; jurisdictions from 5 states reported no cases for transgender people. Of 2351 transgender people with newly diagnosed HIV infection during 2009-2014, 84.0% were transgender women (male-to-female), 15.4% were transgender men (female-to-male), and 0.7% were additional gender identity (e.g., gender queer, bi-gender). Over half of both transgender women (50.8%; 1002/1974) and men (58.4%; 211/361) with newly diagnosed HIV infection were non-Hispanic black/African American. Improvements in data collection methods and quality are needed to gain a better understanding of HIV burden among transgender people.
Queer spaces are significant for understanding transgender inclusion as “queer spaces were places where individuals were expected to be attentive to or aware of alternative possibilities for being, including non-normative formulations of bodies, genders, desires and practices” ( Nash, 2011 , p. 203). Indeed, in this interview study of members of a queer leather group called the Club, members described a flexible “sexual landscape” that easily includes transgender members. However, these same queer spaces have been criticized for the way they regulate queer bodies and organize queer subjectivities. In this study, queer members of the Club also contrasted playful queer flexibility with serious transgender bodies. This article argues that, although there is a reiterative relation between transgender inclusion and queer spaces, the idealization of flexibility within queer spaces can also serve to marginalize and regulate transgender bodies.