Although today most queer and feminist theorists advocate valuing transgender persons, radical lesbian feminist Sheila Jeffreys contests that position, reviving a much older debate that actively disparages transwomen. The authors' intervention in this debate is to investigate the meaning and function of transphobia in Jeffreys's text through employing the psychoanalytic method of a symptomatic reading. This psychoanalytic reading enables the authors to pose the following questions: What motivates the fear of transwomen that permeates this radical lesbian feminist discourse? Insofar as defenders of this discourse require sexual categories to be rooted in the body and inviolable, what happens when those sexual categories are transgressed? If anxiety produces transphobia, as the authors suggest, then what is needed to free oneself from the fears and the fantasies that underlie it?

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