Saturday, February 13, 2010

Open Forum: V-Day, Queerdom, and You...

Valentine's Day rolls along every year and most people love it or hate it depending on their marital status and whether they are content with their partner(s). For the heterosexual majority Valentine's Day means a possible romantic escapade and gift sharing with your partner. V-Day however can take on a whole new meaning for gay people whose love and affections are not as well embraced by society. Queer couples can either hide in their places or venture out with their lover(s).

Whether single or partnered does Valentine's Day inadvertently become an activist calendar day for you? What implications does V-Day hold over queer couples and what is its broader impact on the LGBTQ community?

11 comments:

swtsies said...

I have never liked v-day. I've been single/unpartnered my entire life on this cursed (for me) day! Being that I've only VERY recently identified as Queer - at least outwardly - I can say very little about what it says for me as a queer individual.... But I am an extra amount of happy for my parntered queer friends

Isaac said...

I've always find it an excuse for oppressing the aromantics.

CrackerLilo said...

I wrote a bit about this last night. Ever since I was a girl, I've been struck by the origins of Valentine's Day. I know there are several stories, but they all seem to center on romantic love triumphing over societal opposition and repression. Valentine's Day is becoming more popular in societies where romantic love of all kinds has long been rigorously discouraged, like in India and the Middle East. Religious fundamentalist leaders there have tried to ban Valentine's Day, but everyday people are ignoring them. I think that when we read Valentine's Day that way, as a celebration of the triumph of love over repression, it seems a lot queer-friendlier.

I think that it's generally good to have a holiday devoted to romantic love, to taking a bit of time out to celebrate the one you love, if you have one. I think it's particularly important for people in same-sex relationships. We have to defend and guard our lives so much, even in the "friendliest" areas. I think L'Ailee is the best decision I ever made in my life, and it's so galling to have my relationship with her treated like the worst. I have to tell her she's the best decision I ever made, too, not just opponents and people who need to be "educated." In our defenses of our love, love itself can get lost in the shuffle. It dies that way. We can't allow it.

Valerie Plame Wilson said something truly amazing about the toll the Republican vendetta against her and her husband had on their marriage. She said (I'm paraphrasing) that the Republicans had taken her and her husband's jobs and reputations. They decided they weren't going to let their enemies take their marriage, too. I think we as queer people need a similar attitude.

So I sent flowers to L'Ailee's work this morning, and we're doing the standard fancy dinner and a movie tonight. (We actually haven't done that for some time.) When we do go to the nice restaurant, people look, but I know this one will be okay because my bisexual, same-sex-married best friend is their pastry chef. We hate having that little thought that sometimes it may not be okay, but we've decided a long time ago not to let that stop us.

We laugh at so much of the cheesy commercialism around this holiday. We decided we won't be seeing that movie "Valentine's Day", because we both hate romantic comedies. We like to buy chocolate half-price on the 15th. Remember those "open heart necklace" ads with Jane Seymour? We had a game with those--Jane would start to say, "My mother told me...", and we'd shout out our own ending to that sentence. (We particularly enjoyed "...there's a sucker born every minute" and "...everything's classier in a British accent.") But if those things speak to somebody, we don't judge. It's good that somebody else is happy, even in a way we personally wouldn't choose. We want others to extend that to us, after all.

libhom said...

VD is the holiday just before that wonderful holiday:

Cheap Chocolate Day!

Brahm said...

hee hee hee -- I love the Jane Seymour game!

outoutout said...

A long time ago, we mutually decided that we didn't need a special (and highly-commericalised) day on the calendar to show love and affection to one another, so, we don't really "do" Valentine's Day.

Queers United said...

I just realized Valentine's Day in short is VD (venereal disease) so wrap it before you tap it folks.

Nox said...

lol... ahhh my 2nd favorite holiday of the year... Cheap Chocolate Day =) (halloween being the first favorite... FREE Chocolate Day =)

Anonymous said...

Quoting CrackerLilo:

"In our defenses of our love, love itself can get lost in the shuffle. It dies that way. We can't allow it."

Well said.

Kelli Anne Busey said...

libhom said...
"VD is the holiday just before that wonderful holiday:

Cheap Chocolate Day!" LOL
Everyone happy freedom to love whom your heart aches for day and cheap chocolate day too:)

Scott Vigil said...

I love Valentine's Day especially last year when I got my boyfriend a necklace and stuff from something he particularly liked and I was happy enough from his smile and didn't require any gift but that and it was all fine because although he didn't really like the holiday and never celebrated it I still wanted it special for me and him and here it is a year later and my boyfriend just broke up with me the Wednesday before this holiday :( was so sad and heartbroken thoughts chocolates could ease pain for like an hour or two and initially gave up chocolate for him because it upsets his stomach.
Anyway nevermind my pain and suffering just really hard when your young gay couple, I'm still barely 19 but hope any couples out there now together are happy and loved the day. Wish you all the best

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