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Queer Praxis

Questions for LGBTQ Worldmaking

Edited By Dustin Bradley Goltz and Jason Zingsheim

Amidst rapid advances of mainstream gay and lesbian platforms, questions of essential sexual identities, queered rituals of family, queered notions of intimacy, queer considerations of time, and the possibility and value of queered systems of relation are largely absent. Resisting the public face of a normative and homogenous gay and lesbian community, and embracing a broadened conception of queerness, this book brings together 29 writers – a diverse community of scholars, lovers, and activists – to explore queer theory and embodied experiences within interpersonal relations and society at large. Enacting a critical intervention into the queer theoretical landscape, the book offers an alternative engagement where contributors centralize lived experience. Theoretical engagements are generated in relation and in dialogue with one another exploring collectivity, multiple points of entrance, and the living nature of critical theory. Readers gain familiarity with key concepts in queer thought, but also observe how these ideas can be navigated and negotiated in the social world. Queer Praxis serves as a model for queer relationality, enlisting transnational feminist, critical communication, and performance studies approaches to build dialogue across and through differing subjectivities.
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27. Tomorrow Be-longs to Us

Extract



JEFFREY BENNETT AND ISAAC WEST

For many queer studies scholars, sustained attention to queer temporalities as a site of academic inquiry surfaced first in the debates surrounding the antisocial or antirelational thesis. The antirelational thesis bubbled up from a number of projects with a shared anxiety about how one’s relation to actual and imagined collectivities prefigured the fields of socialities to privilege the future over the present, the common good over individual desires, and assimilation into established ways of living over the crafting of queer lives (Caserio, Edelman, Halberstam, Muñoz, & Dean, 2006). In the interest of space and because of its popularity, Lee Edelman’s (2004) No Future will stand in as the representative text for this unruly field of argument.1 Edelman’s trenchant critique of the figure of the Child and its representation of our obligations to future generations charges the spectre of children with impeding the enjoyment of pleasures in the here and now. Edelman’s nonpartisan indictment cites both the religious right’s invocation of the dangers of same-sex marriage on the traditional family and LGBTQ advocates’ demands for tolerance and acceptance in the name of queer youth as equally guilty of allowing the future to inveigh itself on the present. In both cases, according to Edelman, unknown and even unborn children dictate our actions in the here and now. In the former case, children must be protected from “alternative lifestyles” for their own good. In the latter case, LGBTQ youth, who are assumed to...

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