QUEER TEMPORALITY This chapter tracks the evolution and persistence of queer subcultural life and is drawn from a book-length study of the explosion of queer urban subcultures in the last decade in which my larger purpose is to examine how many queer communities experience and spend time in ways that are very different from their heterosexual counterparts. Queer uses of time and space develop in opposition to the institutions of family, heterosexuality, and reproduction, and queer subcultures develop as alternatives to kinship-based notions of community. In my work on subcultures I explore the stretched-out adolescences of queer culture makers and I posit an “epistemology of youth” that disrupts conventional accounts of subculture, youth culture, adulthood, race, class, and maturity.1 While I do not wish to posit a complete or absolute opposition between the projects of subcultural involvement and reproduction, this chapter does produce a polemic within which subcultural lives are the radical alternative to gay and lesbian families. Queer kinship itself has a complex relation to reproduction, cultural production, and assimilation, and I do not mean to write off the possibility of resistant models of reproductive kinship; however, my emphasis on subcultural involvement is staged as an alternative life narrative. Queer subcultures produce
alternative temporalities, I will argue, by allowing their participants to believe that their futures can be imagined according to logics that lie outside of the conventional forward-moving narratives of birth, marriage, reproduction, and death.