The Child: a cherubic figure that is pure, clean, impressionable, easily violated, and faultless. This figure has been abused by popular politics as a symbol of a bright, new, and united future based on a utopic past that never existed. Society expects the child to persevere to create this idyllic future by correcting the mistakes of the previous generation. This expectation transcends every generation so that each does not take responsibility for there actions but expects their children to do better then themselves, but they too will expect their own children to take on their burdens. Nothing gets done this way.
This political ideology has resulted in a fantasy of reality in which are perceived value is measured by the current organization of our existence and experience. "...politics may function as the register within which we experience social reality...it compels us to experience that reality in the form of a fantasy:..an organization, assuring the stability of our identities as subjects and the consistency of the cultural structures through which those identities are reflected back to us in recognizable form" (19). What this means for queers is that they are rejected by this fantasy organization for not assuming the standard of heterosexuality; they are not recognized in the future utopia.
The Child, as the future, must be protected from all things queer or strange for the future to exist. One of the great fears of homosexuality is that it will result in the moral dissolution of society and its apocalyptic end should sex be only lustful and children be rejected as the inheritors of the future. However, Edelman points out that this dissolution is not the true fear, but the fear that there would be a redefinition of society and social order as we know it.
Edelman also points out that queers have not been purposely trying to degrade society and have made many efforts to conform to heteronormative standards by creating relationships and adopting children to form families so that they too may have the ability to reproduce and contribute to the future. However, society still has not legitimized queer families and push them to the outer limits.
What is forgotten is that every adult was child at some point and their own child-like innocence was lost at some point, it happens to straight and queer people alike, but the resulting straight person is not rejected by the majority, while the queer becomes a threat to the identity of that majority. Queerness becomes the symbolic death of the child figure.