Child Colloquium Series

2024 - 2025 Child Colloquium Series

Program Title:Coming Out as Gender Fluid: “That’s what threw him.”
Date:Saturday, March 22, 2025
Time:10:00am – 12:00pm
Presenter:Robert Tyminski, DMH
Location:

San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis
444 Natoma Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

This is an in-person event only; remote participation is not available.

Program Fee:Free

This talk will include a case of an adolescent dealing with his identifying as bisexual and gender fluid. He feared talking to his parents about this, especially his father, whose masculinity was more traditional as in valuing competition, not showing feelings, and trying to act like a hero. I will use some theory from analytical psychology to discuss how manifestations of gender expansiveness become challenging and look at the concept of a “cultural unconscious” to understand how tolerance and acceptance can come about.

A backlash has ensued because many of the ways contemporary youth play with gender is viewed as transgressive. The case example will help illustrate these conflicting tendencies within a family and within an adolescent’s psyche. I also discuss a fictional representation of gender play from Virginia Woolf’s novel Orlando, written nearly one hundred years ago. Her book provides an early indication of later historical changes yet to come in a process of accepting gender fluidity. Woolf wrote, “in every human being a vacillation from one sex to the other takes place,” and she anticipated a move away from biological determinism of gender to its social construction later in the 20th century. The paper concludes with questions about how gender fluidity contrasts with theories many of us have learned about binary oppositions and polarities within the psyche.

Robert Tyminski, DMH is an adult and child analyst member of the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco and a past president. He is the author of Male Alienation at the Crossroads of Identity, Culture and Cyberspace (Routledge, 2018), Crooked Lines (2016), and The Psychology of Theft and Loss: Stolen and Fleeced (Routledge, 2014). He is a 2016 winner of the Michael Fordham Prize from the Journal of Analytical Psychology. His newest book The Psychological Effects of Immigrating: A Depth Psychology Perspective on Relocating to a New Place came out in late 2022.

The Child Colloquium Series are offered free of charge through a generous support of the SFCP and the Sophia Mirviss Fund.

Program Co-Chairs:
David Frankel, PhD & Yen Quoc, PsyD

Paul Brinich, PhD
Lilly Hanson, MFT
Courtney Hartman, PsyD
Kylie Svenson, LCSW

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