Valentine's Day & Queer Relationships
Valentine's Day is a holiday that is traditionally associated with romance and loved up couples. However, for many members of the queer community, the holiday can be a source of discomfort or alienation.
Some LGBTQ+ people feel that Valentine's Day, with its emphasis on heterosexual romance, does not acknowledge or include them. They may feel left out or invisible when surrounded by images and messages that don't reflect their own experiences of love and relationships.
Others may have negative associations with the holiday, stemming from past experiences of discrimination or rejection. For example, a gay man may have memories of being bullied in school for not having a Valentine, or a trans woman may have been rejected by a romantic partner who could not accept her gender identity.
Some members of the LGBTQ+ community may choose to avoid Valentine's Day altogether, while others may choose to celebrate it in their own way, with a focus on self-love or platonic love.
how does the lgbtqia+ community feel about valentine's day?
We asked our queer friends and followers to tell us how they feel about Valentine's Day and here are some of their responses:
I'm aro ace, and I love how Galentine's/Palentine's has taken off in the last decade or so. Tell your friends you love them! Tell them what about them makes you proud or happy! Prioritize platonic love!
I think for me personally it (Valentine's Day) highlights how limited we are for queer gifts and especially same sex themed gifts. Luckily places like etsy exist with a market created by queer creatives. Iit is extremely difficult to find something so simple as a card that fits your own needs and reflects your relationship(s). Being so limited is extremely taxing on your mental health and how you are able to participate in expressing your love language towards your partner(s). We really need to push for this to be more available, as it affects everything from Valentine's cards to weddings.
As someone who used to live in a remote area, going out to celebrate Valentine's with your partner can often come with some serious concerns around making yourself visible in a public setting on Valentine’s Day as it’s a clear indicator of your sexuality. As I’ve gotten older, and living in a more queer city, those anxieties dissipate significantly but I can wager that this is still a point of concern for a lot of queer people who live in an area in which other queer people aren’t as visible or where there aren’t safe queer spaces to celebrate the day.
I've never really liked it (Valentine's), but I'm a romance averse aromantic so 😆 I never understood romance and a lot of it makes me feel icky. I do like getting chocolates though 😄
Don’t really bother with Valentine's tbh. Feel a bit alienated by it as a queer person. I’m also demi and the ideas of love at first sight that get peddled around Valentine's Day I just can’t relate to and make me feel like I’m weird.
I love Valentine's. I think it’s a beautiful celebration of love. When I’m single, I celebrate it with friends that I love also. Whilst obviously you can show love and affection all year round, I think it’s beautiful there’s a special day set aside to remind us to love one another.
Not optimised for people who are poly, in long distance relationships, or broke 😆 I simultaneously feel a desire to do the valentines thing as an act of love, and feel bad for giving in to the pressure to conform to a commercial holiday, and feel bad either for taking time away from my metas OR for not including everyone I am dating! I should probably just skip it, aha.
Fun ways to celebrate valentine's day
As some of our friends discussed above, Valentine's doesn't have to be about celebrating romantic love through gestures such as flowers, chocolates, and candlelit dinners, it can be whatever you want it to be. Here's a few ideas of fun ways to celebrate all of the love in your life this Valentine's Day:
- Hosting or attending a LGBTQ+ themed Valentine's Day party or event, such as a speed dating night or a dance party
- Organizing a group outing or activity with your queer besties, such as a movie night, a game night, or a group trip to a local attraction
- Creating a "Galentine's" or "Palentine's" tradition, where you gather together with your closest friends and loved ones, whether they be romantic or platonic, and share what you love about each other
- Observing the holiday as a day of self-care; treat yourself to your favourite food, visit your favourite place, do the things that make you feel good about yourself
- Use the day to share love with the LGBTQIA+ community by volunteering with a local queer charity or initiative
It is important to remember that every LGBTQ+ person will have their own way of celebrating Valentine's, and some may not wish to participate in Valentine's Day at all, and so it's important to respect each individual’s choices.
Ultimately, the most important thing is to find a way to celebrate love and relationships that feels authentic and meaningful to you.