Queer futurity and childhood innocence: Beyond the injury of development:

Dyer, Hannah
Global Studies of Childhood

Because it is so often said that children are the future, queer theory’s attention to (and searing debates on) queer futurity offers something new and important to studies of childhood. Drawing on and deepening recent attempts to meld the fields of childhood studies and queer theory, I dwell on the contradiction that results from the synchronous assumptions of the child’s a-sexuality and proto-heterosexuality to show how emphasizing sexuality within a discussion of children’s education is constructive. In the service of my interest in the renewal of thought concerning children’s psychosexual development, I offer a critical reading of the It Gets Better social media campaign (particularly, its consequent critiques and revisions). I begin with engagement of Eve Sedgwick’s 1991 seminal essay on queer childhood “How to Bring Your Kids Up Gay” and then, from there, trace contemporary queer theory’s use of the figure of the child and consideration of the impact of “innocence” on childhood. In an effort to consi…