In the last two decades gender has exploded as a concept—new gender identifications have proliferated, as have new forms of embodiment and possible technological interventions. This rapid change demands new ways of thinking both in and out of the consulting room. How do we understand something that can be at once fluid and yet powerfully fixed, socially inscribed and yet profoundly personal? This two-part lecture attempts to grapple with these questions, first charting the history of the term gender in order to situate our investigation, and then outlining a theoretical framework for engaging the term’s complexity. Using the work of Freud, Winnicott, and Loewald, the second lecture proposes to think of gender as a representational form linked to subjective authorization. It elaborates implications for thinking about gender variance and transgender phenomena.