top of page

Thu, Oct 05


451 Artisan Way

All She Wrote x Gender Without Identity

Join us in a conversation with authors Avgi Saketopoulou & Ann Pellegrini!

Registration is closed
See other events
All She Wrote x Gender Without Identity
All She Wrote x Gender Without Identity

Time & Location

Oct 05, 2023, 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM

451 Artisan Way, 451 Artisan Way, Somerville, MA 02145, USA

About the Event

Join All She Wrote Books for an IN-PERSON event with Avgi Saketopoulou & Ann Pellegrini, authors of GENDER WITHOUT IDENTITY on Thursday, October 5th at 7:30pm at All She Wrote Books. The event will include a moderated discussion, an audience Q&A, and a signing line.

Buy the book HERE!

"Inclusivity" isn't just a buzzword to us. We make every effort to ensure our space and events are accessible to and for everyone. If you or someone in your party needs accommodations, please email us at


What if no one—gay or straight or bi, trans or cis or nonbinary—was “born that way”?

In GENDER WITHOUT IDENTITY, award-winning psychoanalysts Avgi Saketopoulou and Ann Pellegrini challenge the argument widely embraced by rights activists and members of the LGBTQ+ community that gender identity is innate and immutable. Dismissing the notion of core gender identity as simplistic, problematic, and potentially harmful to LGBTQ+ people, the authors propose instead that gender is something we all acquire—through our ongoing development, family history, and life experiences, which sometimes include trauma.

“There is nothing wrong with being gay, queer, gender nonconforming, or trans, nor is any of these an undesirable or pathological outcome,” Saketopoulou and Pellegrini stress. “Genderqueer and sexually diverse individuals can and do live full, pleasurable, exciting lives—which is not to say that they are spared the miseries that befall everyone as part of the human condition. Indeed, trans people and queer people should get to have all the feels, including negative or bad feelings.” Calling out the “nonsensical” idea that trans and queer people are somehow wired differently from birth, the authors adds that “if we can resist the fiction that there’s something bedrock about being queer or trans,” then it becomes possible to discuss- in private life and in public debates- “the experience of gender, all gender, more openly and with less shame.”

Rooted in the work of Jean Laplanche, a French psychoanalyst quickly emerging as a fascinating thinker for queerness, and drawing on the authors’ extensive clinical experience with queer and trans people as well as their deep record of teaching gender and sexuality studies in university settings and clinical institutes, Gender Without Identity presents a radical theory of gender that has already attracted praise and incited controversy within the psychoanalytic community. (The prestigious International Journal of Psychoanalysis rescinded their offer of publishing the award-winning paper on which the book is based after the authors refused to remove lines deemed “too political.”) With a vision of expanding the narrowminded view and treatment of queer and trans people by analysts and society at large, Avgi Saketopoulou and Ann Pellegrini are well-positioned to discuss:

  • Their belief that gender cannot be confirmed or disconfirmed—it simply exists in relation to how it is experienced at the moment.
  • Their commitment to telling more complex stories about atypical genders and sexualities—without trying to “fix” or “convert” people who identify with them.
  • Why the gender identity of LGBTQ+ people is no more reason for seeking therapy than cis straight men’s or cis straight women’s may be.
  • How exploring aspects of trans and queer people’s gender formation—including traumatic experiences—in a safe space with a therapist can help them heal deep wounds, grow in self-acceptance, build and sustain better relationships, and expand pleasure.
  • Why it is politically urgent to begin talking more openly about how trauma may have a share in the formation of queer and trans experience. And how such conversations does not discredit queer and trans life but can help support its flourishing.
  • “What about the children?” At a time when trans kids are at the bullseye of the Christian right, this book gives us fresh arguments for resisting the homotransphobic logics that want all children to be cis and straight.

About the Authors:

AVGI SAKETOPOULOU (she/her) trained as clinical psychologist in New York after emigrating from Greece and Cyprus, and subsequently completed training as a psychoanalyst at the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, where she currently teaches. She also serves on the faculty of the William Alanson White Institute, the Stephen Mitchell Relational Center, and the National Institute for Psychotherapies, where she offers courses on psychosexuality and gender. Her interview on psychoanalysis is on the collection of the Freud Museum in Vienna and she is the 2022 recipient of the Scholarship Award from the American Psychological Association’s Division of Psychoanalysis. Dr. Saketopoulou is also the author of Sexuality Beyond Consent: Risk, Race, Traumatophilia (NYU Press, 2023).

ANN PELLEGRINI (they/them; she/her) is Professor of Performance Studies & Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University, teaching classes on queer theory and psychoanalysis, among other topics, as well as a psychoanalyst in private practice. They are the author/co-author of three previous books, including “You Can Tell Just by Looking” and 20 Other Myths about LGBT Life and People, co-authored with Michael Bronski and Michael Amico (Beacon Press, 2013), which was a finalist for the 2014 Lambda Literary Award for Best LGBT Non-Fiction. Dr. Pellegrini has also co-edited two anthologies and is founding co-editor of the “Sexual Cultures” series at NYU Press.


  • General Admission

    Income-based sliding scale ticketing ($0-$20): If you are someone who identifies as having little to no income, please feel free to RSVP to our event for free. If you are someone who identifies as having disposable or generational income, please pay as close to full price for our event as you can.

    Pay what you want
    Sale ended
  • Ticket + Book

    Inc. $1.87 Sales Tax **PLEASE READ**: Entry for 1 person. Includes 1 copy of the featured book, to be picked up when you check in for the event. Masks are REQUIRED for all guests at all times while at the event, regardless of vaccination status.

    Sale ended



Share This Event

bottom of page