Sé Sullivan PhD (They/Them/Theirs) is a Queer Gender Variant scholar activist whose work examines the relationship of identity and representation through three primary locations: Structural, Institutional, and Individual. In May 2017, they completed their dissertation entitled “Conversion Therapy Ground Zero: Interrogating the Production of Gender as a Pathology in the United States.” Drawing on their research on sex, gender, race, and identity formations as a means of delineating what is “normal” and/or “aberrant,” Sullivan argues that normative expectations of Gender are constructed to be a pathology that enables medicalized violence on bodies of children who “fail” to meet this social-medical expectation of Gender performance.
Using autoethnographic methodologies, transfeminist theories, and archives—including a transcript of themselves at 8 years old being interrogated at the clinic—Sullivan was able to develop a methodology that included being both the researcher and the subject. Theoretical literature with primary data linking their own childhood memories as a patient/survivor to the development of the nomenclature on Gender Dysphoria at The U.C.L.A. Gender Identity Research Clinic (GIRC) (1963–1994).
Currently they are working on a book manuscript based on their dissertation research that links theoretical and personal narratives, and archival research to help move us beyond binary reductive Gender outcomes. Currently Dr. Sullivan teaches courses at the University of California Berkeley in the Gender & Women Studies Department on cultural representations of sexualities, queer theory and decoloniality.
- Gender Identity and Representation
- Queer Theory
- Bodies and the Medical Industrial Complex
- Critical Race Theory
- Transnational Feminism
- Post-colonial Theory