6 votes

Queer Time: The Alternative to “Adulting”

5 comments

  1. [2]
    Akir
    Link
    Speaking from my perspective as a gay man, I reject the notion that queer people need different systems to distinguish maturity than straight cis people do. Here is the scoop on "adulting"; it's...

    Speaking from my perspective as a gay man, I reject the notion that queer people need different systems to distinguish maturity than straight cis people do.

    Here is the scoop on "adulting"; it's almost never used in terms of milestones, and almost always used in terms of behavior. It's not about the state of being a physically mature adult, it's about achieving a state of "adultness". In other words, it's an identity.

    On an individual level, identities do not need validation in any form. You simply need to decide that you have that identity. On a societal level, identities may have requirements attached, and if you don't have what an individual defines as a requirement to that identity, they will reject it. For most people I speak to, the only hard requirement for adultness is age, though many people are strict in their requirement that the adult be mature and/or self-sustaining.

    That being said, I have also noticed that when people bring up adulting, they are actually bringing up either life skills (such as budgeting, accounting, meal planning, etc.) or maturity. Both of those come with life experience, which is universal.

    5 votes
    1. zoec
      Link Parent
      I like your summary of the topic from the individual/societal angles. I'd just like to add that the two are also unified in a dynamical way. How an identity is accepted/rejected in one's social...

      I like your summary of the topic from the individual/societal angles. I'd just like to add that the two are also unified in a dynamical way. How an identity is accepted/rejected in one's social relations tend to influence the person's view of themself. On one hand, in some social settings, "adulting" may to be associated with policing the life of others, which is detrimental to the development of an individual identity for the "queer"; but OTOH, acceptance of more diverse identities can be valuable for self-empowering.

      And I agree that there are universal things that we gain from life's experience. It's not exactly that queer people "need" a different set of rules for maturity. It's when different groups speak to each other and become part of each other's life, that we need to be mindful our rules, which can be quite implicit and unrecognized.

  2. zoec
    Link
    I'd appreciate your comments about the bits that resonate with your own life story. For me, it's the bit about "mis-aging" by others: What about your insight into your own development, your voyage...

    What constitutes adulthood has never been self-evident or value-neutral. Queer lives follow their own temporal logic.

    I'd appreciate your comments about the bits that resonate with your own life story. For me, it's the bit about "mis-aging" by others:

    In part because of my gender presentation, personal style, and slight stature, I’m often read as younger than I am—sometimes much younger…

    What about your insight into your own development, your voyage through queer-time?

    3 votes
  3. [2]
    parenthesis
    Link
    A lot of this resonated with me given that I'm definitely not on the trajectory of getting married/buying property/having kids. I'm making less money than I did 6 years ago because I took a job I...

    A lot of this resonated with me given that I'm definitely not on the trajectory of getting married/buying property/having kids. I'm making less money than I did 6 years ago because I took a job I enjoy over more lucrative options. My partner just moved out to live with her girlfriend after living with me for a year (as planned). I've noticed people react strangely to that or assume that I'm sad about it, I expect because it goes against the typical narrative. But I've never felt I was moving towards settling down with someone, and I'm happy to be living alone again.

    I also feel like my transition has really affected my passage through time. As a teenager and into my early 20s, when I was read as female, people always assumed I was older than I was. When I started taking testosterone at 21, it felt like I went back in time. I started getting read as teen, to a greater extent than when I actually was one. I'm nearly 30 now, and I feel like I'm almost starting to catch up with my actual age. Recently, I had an appointment on a weekday, and the receptionist asked me if I had taken the day off work. It was so novel (and frankly a relief) not to be read as a 20 year old university student.

    2 votes
    1. zoec
      Link Parent
      It's really frustrating to be constantly misread, no matter it's mis-aging, mis-gendering, or something else. I can imagine the relief.

      It's really frustrating to be constantly misread, no matter it's mis-aging, mis-gendering, or something else. I can imagine the relief.