The future is queer kids: Queering the homonormative temporalities of same-sex marriage

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Abstract

Same-sex marriage is emblematic of a crisis of vision in lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender non-binary, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ) politics, according to some queer theorists. Through the concept of homonormativity, Duggan insightfully criticizes same-sex marriage politics as spatially privatizing and depoliticizing queer difference. Brown argues, however, that Duggan herself reifies homonormativity. He calls for theorists to imagine the queer potential in non-fixed spatial relations. Given Duggan and Brown’s focus on spatiality, this article approaches queer imaginations beyond homonormativity from a temporal perspective: I ask what transformational potential same-sex marriage holds to queer heteronormative and homonormative temporalities. I argue that same-sex marriage may not only queer the public/private dichotomy, but also subvert the heteronormative temporality of straight time. Straight time produces identities, spaces, and times as fixed, pre-political, and timeless, and is constructed against queer time in which identities, spaces, and times are non-fixed, political, and sociohistorically constructed. By theorizing straight/queer time as politically produced through the reproductive relation between adulthood and Childhood, I repoliticize the temporalities of homonormative and queer imaginaries and recognize children as queer citizens of a queer future. Same-sex marriage may therefore produce two previously untheorized images of queer potential: the Child queered by their parents, and the Child queered by their sexuality.

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Stewart, C. (2020). The future is queer kids: Queering the homonormative temporalities of same-sex marriage. Politics, 40(3), 265–280. https://doi.org/10.1177/0263395719872595

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