This essay contemplates an enduring form of reasoning it titles “egg theory”: the type of reasoning that trans people use, prior to transition, to prove transition's impossibility or fruitlessness. It follows this reasoning in a critical and ironic framing in the work of the novelist and critic Sybil Lamb and then, in a less ironic mode, through some essays of Eve Sedgwick and, more broadly, the tranche of queer theory that her work continues to inspire. Egg theory's hostility to the logic of transition inheres in queer theory's own insistence on universality and virtuality as key aspects of queer politics. The essay concludes by considering, through Freud's “Schreber Case” and Dalí's “Metamorphosis of Narcissus,” alternatives to egg theory for approaching the condition of the egg before it hatches, the trans person before transition.

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