Queer Time and Space

“Queer time and space are useful frameworks for assessing political and cultural change in the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries (both what has changes and what must change). The critical languages that we have developed to try an assess the obstacles to social change have a way of both stymieing our political agendas and alienating nonacademic constituencies.”

Jack Halberstam’s In a Queer Time and Place; pp 4

I believe that this passage is refuting the idea queer time and space is abstract. In contrast, it reveals how queer time and space is tangible. It illustrates queer time and space have the power to influence culture in the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries.  Thus, it is essential to expand the “critical languages we have developed” to find a home for all things queer by adopting the terms “queer time and space”. Queerness does not fit into the box of “normativity”, and it opposes the conventional forms of identification. Thus, queer time and space has its very own framework with core principles that do not change. Perhaps the time and space can be fluid. However, it will always be quintessentially queer and will refute the “middle-class logic of reproductive” mindset. This logic is similar to the philosophical theory regarding the primary cause responsible for the shapeliness of motion in the natural order. This is known as Aristotle’s concept of the unmoved mover for his explanation of God. Like God in Aristotle’s argument, queerness can also exercise its influence on natural beings as their final cause.

In this passage, it is also implied that queerness is not seen as natural. In fact, later in the text, Halberstam analyses western culture. In western culture, time is governed by a woman’s biological clock, the needs of children, and familial ties. For queer time and space to exist there must be an epitome of substance that allows time and space to stay distinctly queer. It is essential to develop a new critical language that represents time, space, and places that are queer. Being queer is more than having physical relations with people of differing identities. It expands past the rainbows and gay best friends. Queerness has its own space and time that is different from the heteronormative way of life. In sum, what I am really trying to say here is that queerness is tangible and can be seen observed in cultural changes.

2 thoughts on “Queer Time and Space”

  1. In another class of mine we have been discussing how there is no real way to be objective because we all are coming from a different standpoint. It’s better to recognize that we all have partial knowledge and then work collaboratively to see how each of our different understandings contradict, intersect, and coexist. I bring this up because I think it relates very heavily to what you are discussing here about queer time and space, which challenges the hegemonic construction of time–heteronormative, patriarchal, racist, sexist, capitalistic, and so on–by insisting that there is no singular way to live. There is not one path to follow. Rather, we can all experience time and space differently. Queer time and space not only challenges time, but also our understandings of who gets to decide what kind of knowledge is “True,” what is subjective, and why subjective is often seen as false. It certainly raises a lot of interesting questions.

  2. I think it’s really interesting how “queer time” exists outside of normalcy, and how it swerves from what is the “normal” timeline of a human life. There are a lot of societal pressures to fit into a certain box, but I like your point about how this space can be “fluid.” Fluid implies that it is ever-changing and evolving, and I like this adjective as a way of thinking about a queer life and experience. Maybe we don’t have to create a new normal or new set definition of “queer space,” instead it can be ever changing and depended on the person.

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