Questions for LGBTQ Worldmaking
Edited By Dustin Bradley Goltz and Jason Zingsheim
27. Tomorrow Be-longs to Us
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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