Kampen om barnets bästa
The present article explores how situated queerness takes place in relation to the construction of child and childhood. Lee Edelman (2004) argues that the child is opposed to, and in need of protection from contact with, homosexuality, which means that the queer cannot be part of the political fantasies of the future in which the child is central. In view of this, but unlike Edelman, I argue in this article that the child is part of different future fantasies, where the child is not necessarily separated from queerness. Here, I present contemporary connections between the child and queerness and analyze how possibilities and limitations appear in relation to this. Through two case studies, the article takes on a multi-sited approach (Marcus 1995), following when queerness is introduced on arenas where childhood is constructed. The first case is located to a preschool where the staff recently carried out hbtq-education and -certification and the analyzed data is one group interview with five preschool teachers and their principle. The second case is located in social media and consists of reactions on the presence of lesbian characters in the children’s comic Bamse, where 326 commentary posts around this topic are analyzed. Based on critical perspectives on age and sexuality, this article discuss what normalizations about childhood and heterosexuality are being made, and how these normalizations condition how queer sexuality can be present within the two childhood arenas represented in the material. Conclusions drawn are that both in the preschool and in the adults’ reactions to children’s culture, heterosexuality passes unnoticed, while queerness is made something remarkable. The relationship between queer and childhood can here be understood as both requested and questioned, which I present as conditioned queerness, and the child and childhood as spaces where different discourses about the child’s best and desirable future are negotiated.
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