Queering generativity and futurity: LGBTQ2IA+ stories of resistance, resurgence, and resilience

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May Chazan
Melissa Baldwin


A preoccupation with heteronormative metrics of success in aging leaves many studies of “LGBT aging” focused on the needs, failings, and vul­nerabilities of older LGBTQ2IA+ people (i.e. lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, two-spirit, intersex, asexual, and people of other nonnormative sexual and gender expressions). As a result, LGBTQ2IA+ olders are fre­quently depicted as isolated, re-closeted, or simply nonexistent. Heeding calls to intervene into such bleak and pathologizing portrayals of queer/ trans aging (e.g. Ramirez-Valles 2016; Sandberg & Marshall 2017), this article explores diverse subjectivities, nonnormative aging experiences, and their potential intergenerational implications. It draws on stories of queerness, gender, aging, futurity, and social change from 13 LGBTQ2IA+ people ranging in age from 23 to 74, recorded in an intergenerational research-generation workshop held in Nogojiwanong (Peterborough, Canada) in 2018. This article argues that queer and trans stories are crucial to confronting the erasure of LGBTQ2IA+ aging, aiming to extend ongoing efforts within aging studies to queer concepts of successful aging, aging futures, generativity, and intergenerationality. Ultimately, this article aims to complicate constricted understandings of queer/trans aging, instead by depicting LGBTQ2IA+ people aging with connection, pride, learning, and purpose, as well as with struggle and vulnerability.


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