Queering Time

Queer people experience time differently, according to this viral TikTok

Everything is a little bit gay, even time.

It’s Pride month and that means we’re celebrating all things LGBTQ+. From parties to marches to simply being queer AF, this time is ours. Speaking of time, did you know that we experience it differently from our cishet counterparts?

Rainbow History Class “is a home for queer and trans stories from history that inspire, validate, bring gratitude, make you laugh and even help you win an argument.” Put together by likeminded queer and trans folks looking to educate themselves and others on LGBTQ+ history, Rainbow History Class is spreading the gay gospel, one lesson at a time. In one of their viral TikTok videos, they gave a lesson on time is different for queer and trans people.

“Did you know that queer and trans people actually experience time completely differently to cishet people,” Rainbow History Class co-creator Hannah McElhinney said in the video. “It’s a concept call queer temporality and it basically has to do with the face that historically, as queer and trans people, our lives have started much later and for a whole bunch of reasons ended earlier than our cishet counterparts.”

So what does that mean for queer and trans people?

“So as a result, our experience of time is compressed,” McElhinney added. “It also has to do with the fact that those milestones that we’ve been socialized to use to mark the passage of time, so things like marriage or having children or, you know, working, retiring, inheritance, things like that haven’t been accessible to us and that linear timeline has a name, heterochronology. And as queer and trans people, our experience of time often sits outside that.”

While we’re all catching up to this news, queer temporality isn’t a new concept. In the 2005 book In a Queer Time and Place, professor and author Jack Halberstam discussed the concept of queer time and queer space. Halberstam states that queer time develops “in opposition to the institutions of family, heterosexuality, and reproduction,” and that within different queer subcultures “produce alternative temporalities by allowing their participants to believe that their futures can be imagined according to logics that lie outside of those paradigmatic markers of life experience—namely, birth, marriage, reproduction, and death.”

Therefore, our existence, our time, and the space we inhabit are queer by association. Here’s the video explaining it all.


Sorry we didn’t reply, we were on queer time xoxo This week’s episode on queer temporality is out now 🎧 #pridemonth #history #historytime #coolfacts #gaytiktok

♬ original sound – 🌈 Rainbow History Class 🌈

Learn more about queer temporality in Rainbow History Class’ podcast episode “In Search of Time.”

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