Journal of Medical Humanities

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 241–244 | Cite as

The Waiting Room: Ontological Homelessness, Sexual Synecdoche, and Queer Becoming

  • Hilary MalatinoEmail author


An autobiographical reflection on the experience of being diagnosed as intersex, this essay considers the waiting room an apt metaphor for lives shaped by medical understandings of queer corporealities. Drawing upon the work of Gayle Salamon, Malatino develops the concept of sexual synecdoche as a useful analytic tool for considering the operations of medical pathologization in the realm of non-normative gender. She concludes with a discussion of queer becoming as an alternative ontology of gendered being that offers a resistant, coalitional way beyond contemporary, problematic institutionalized understandings of intersex subjectivities.


Intersex Disorders of sex development Sexual synecdoche Gayle Salamon Androgen insensitivity syndrome Queer health 


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  2. Thomas Laqueur. 1992. Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Gayle Salamon. 2010. Assuming a Body: Transgender and Rhetorics of Materiality. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Gender StudiesIndiana University BloomingtonBloomingtonUSA

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