Queerly Beloved // Gem Sheps
This Valentine’s Day is my first time celebrating while dating a girl, and it is wild.
I’ve never been a huge fan of Valentine’s Day because it’s always felt like yet another excuse for straight people to celebrate their undying love for each other. I know that’s a Petty GayTM point of view, but it’s not exactly untrue.
Every Valentine’s Day commercial features some cookie-cutter hetero couple getting engaged in front of a park bench or exchanging jewelry at dinner in some restaurant that they’re far too dressed up for. Even the satire commercials fit the same criteria. I’m sick of seeing it, and I’m even more sick of companies pretending that gay couples don’t celebrate the same romantic holidays as their heterosexual target audience.
I turned to Google for advice on what to get my girlfriend this year after my first plan fell through—which seems to be a theme in my life, lately. I ended up having to search “Valentine’s gift for girl from girl” because the only results I could find when I googled “Valentine’s gift for girlfriend” were overtly hetero-themed. I’m talking “his-and-hers” coffee mugs level of hetero.
It turns out my girlfriend similarly struggled with what to get for me in return. She’d decided on flowers, but felt that red roses were way too over-the-top and traditionally heterosexual. She found rainbow colored roses, but figured that those were too unnatural. She ended up going with tulips at the suggestion of a friend who knows that they’re my favorite flower.
Wanting different Valentine’s Day traditions than straight people might sound ridiculous, but it’s important to a lot of people in the LGBTQ+ community. A lot like Pride Parades, having a special recognition of overcoming the trials and tribulations of anti-LGBTQ+ history helps to celebrate and heal wounds that are still pretty raw.
At the very least, some decent suggestions on what to get my girlfriend as a gift in the future would be great. If I have to see one more advertisement for glorified friendship necklaces I’m going to lose it.