The miscommunication is seen in many different ways in The Psychoanalysis of Edward the Dyke by Judy Grahn, but I think the most significant moment of this miscommunication between Edward and Dr. Knox is seen on page 30.
First, I should explain what I mean by miscommunication in this context. Throughout this short piece of writing, it is evident that Edward and Dr. Knox are not on the same page in any respect during this meeting. Dr. Knox continually does not listen to Edward when she tries to explain how she feels or what she believes her identity to be. It should be stressed that the miscommunication is not the fault of Edward but Dr. Knox in this context because it is clear that he could really care less about how Edward feels, as seen at the end of the story when he draws a picture of his bank. He is only really in this for the money.
The miscommunication in this piece stems from the idea that Dr. Knox isn’t listening to Edward even though she explains her worries and problems. This unwillingness to listen to Edward connects to the larger concept of people in the LGBTQ community in the past and now, unfortunately not always being heard, specifically by the medical community, even when they are expressing the issues they are having while trying to embody who they believe they authentically are.
Grahn uses many different words and examples in this story to emphasize the miscommunication between Edward and Dr. Knox. However, I would argue that on page 30, when Edward starts to say words that seemingly don’t connect to what Dr. Knox is saying, it emphasizes this conflict significantly.
Dr. Knox states, “‘This oral eroticism of yours is defiantly rooted in Penis Envy, which showed when you deliberately castrated your date by publicly embarrassing him.'”
Edward responds by moaning, “‘But strawberries. But lemon cream pie.'”
This same pattern continues with Dr. Knox accusing Edward and Edward responding with random words. By choosing these seemingly random words that don’t really make sense, Grahn indicates that what Edward is saying to try and defend herself against these allegations just doesn’t make any sense to Dr. Knox because he isn’t listening to her. No matter what she says, even if it made sense in this context, he still wouldn’t listen to her. Grahn appears to be indicating that even if she says random words, Dr. Knox will always not listen to her or really try to help her.
This whole interaction on page 30 circles back to the idea of LGBTQ people not being listened to or understood by the medical community. Grahn uses this story to indicate the frustration and humiliation that occurs for many people in the LGBTQ community when dealing with medical professionals. By illuminating this miscommunication in the story, Grahn is calling out the medical community for all of the things they have done to hurt the LGBTQ community. She does it funnily and heartbreakingly at the same time, almost as though to indicate just how ridiculous it is that she has to be writing this kind of story in the first place.