In this presentation, Dr. Avgi Saketopoulou urges psychoanalysts to let the debate about the validity of trans children take its place in the fossil record of analytic history. Encouraging us to stop squandering our energies sparring with colleagues who see trans existence as cause for alarm, she suggests it is time to move beyond transantagonism to create, instead, the psychoanalytic theories we need and do not yet have to work towards the flourishing of trans and queer children. Let us refuse, once and for all, the philanthropy of being “inclusive”: trans children, Dr. Saketopoulou emphasizes, deserve no less than a psychoanalysis that wants their transness and which does not treat their genders as undesirable or inauthentic. Such a project, she cautions, will require us to endure the twisting and re-making of our metapsychology’s very foundations. It is only then that we may enjoy a psychoanalysis that is responsible and response-able to queer life, and which will not feel threatened by it or work to straighten or cis-iffy our patients.
Through a series of case vignettes, Dr. Saketopoulou will address what stands in the way of a psychoanalysis that works towards the flourishing of trans and queer children, taking on key concepts in child analysis. She will explain why the notion of core gender identity nests a ticking time bomb into the clinical process and why we need to relinquish our attachment to it; how we may reflect on gender not through the rubric of identity but under the aegis of contingency; why thinking about trauma as constitutive of some queer and some trans experience does not have to necessarily capsize into homotransphobia or conversion; how the demand for coherence and continuity overlooks the workings of important heteroclite psychic processes; and how to think developmentally without collapsing into developmentalism. The implications of this presentation extend far beyond the particularities of trans and queer childhoods, and gesture towards renewed foundations for child psychoanalysis overall.