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A Trans-Psychoanalyst Questioning Harris’s "Gender As Soft Assembly" In Men’s Locker Rooms. The Rebirth Of Shame

  • PPSC 80 5th Avenue, Room 1408 New York, NY, 10011 United States (map)

"A Trans-Psychoanalyst Questioning Harris’s Gender As Soft Assembly In Men’s Locker Rooms. The Rebirth Of Shame."

Luc Olivier Charlap, PhD

This paper will attempt to address the experience of transitioning later in life and the impact of female socialization in everyday life on this male identified transgender psychoanalyst. Despite valid efforts to maintain a sense of gender fluidity, society’s unrelenting call for a binary expression of gender has never been so stark. Society’s lack of “gender mentalization” and its insistence on defensively and unconsciously concretizing it, as it threatens basic organizing principles, reintroduce a sense of shame, shame which I meant to escape in the first place. I am now hiding in fear of misrecognition, in a new way. Yes, gender as an internal experience, is a soft assembly, but in everyday encounters it is mostly rigidified and concrete. Going through multiple gendered/ungendered self states, I experience this most vividly, since I now pass as male, in men’s locker rooms that I am now required to use. Using Harris, Orange and Bromberg I will discuss this forced return and unrequited adoption of the binary and its psychic implications in terms of gender, mentalization, shame and trauma- in seemingly benign exposures to everyday encounters such as in the bare exclusivity of male only spaces.

Dr. Luc Olivier Charlap PhD is a psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City. As a faculty member of various psychoanalytic institute he has taught classes on Trauma and its Treatment; Gender and Sexuality; Object Relations; Klein; and Envy, Narcissism and Borderlines Conditions. He is also a faculty member at NYU Silver School of Social Work. At present, as a faculty member and training analyst at the Contemporary Institute of Psychotherapy, he teaches in the Four-Year psychoanalytic program and supervises psychoanalytic candidates.

*This talk has been approved by New York State for 2 hours of Continuing Education Credit for LMSWs and LCSWs.