The notion of mourning without loss describes a situation in which a subject feels the urge to grieve for a loss he or she cannot claim as one's own. In the US TV series Transparent, such a loss emerges when Maura Pfefferman comes out to her children as a trans woman. The author uses the narrative of Transparent as a springboard to consider how loss figures (and fails to figure) in the “event” of coming out as transgender. Maura “loses” Morton, and her children “lose” their father, yet faced with Maura's presence, their loss remains opaque. Maura's coming out thus hints at the subjectivity of loss: in one and the same situation, loss might occur for some, vaguely, and for others not at all. The author performs a close reading of a scene showing the grief of Maura's son Josh to query theories of mourning rooted in the Freudian tradition. These models frame loss as the severance of a significant attachment, but Transparent fails to dramatize any such rupture, owing to Maura's sustained presence. The author proposes an alternative by considering Bracha Ettinger's notion of metramorphosis. Because for Ettinger attachments are never fully realized nor fully abandoned, her notion of transsubjectivity can help us make sense of affectively felt losses that aren't quite losses. These affects are legitimate, even if their objects might reasonably object to them: Maura, after all, was never lost, never not Maura.

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