I love valentine’s day. Admittedly it has it’s flaws; manipulated by businesses to encourage blind consumerism, it’s a bit cheesy and has the power to make you feel awful when single, but it also has it’s charms.
I look forward to valentine’s day because I welcome any excuse to buy/make gifts for loved ones. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a partner, as I’m sure many of us have at some point given their mum or other relatives and close friends a card on the day of love. However, this year valentine’s has felt a little anticlimactic, to say the least.
I can hear all of your sighs of concern and sympathy but worry not, I haven’t been dumped and I’m sure my mother’s card is on it’s way to me in the post. I feel disappointed because I had almost forgot that I am a sexual deviate in the eyes of society.
I suppose I had high hopes because of how much progress the equal rights movement has made in recent times. Though there is still a long way to go, in 2014 we saw gay rights recognised by the United Nations, Pope Francis gave hope for acceptance within the Christian community (although recent statement greatly undermine this), and the inclusion of gay characters in television is higher than ever.
However, valentine’s day is just one of many events that highlight the fact that, structurally, very little has changed; the ideal British family consists of a man and a woman.
Without doubt, the normalisation of heterosexual relationships, and continued radicalisation of same-sex couples, will have harmful repercussions. I won’t delve into the psychological damage that these messages will likely have on LGBTQ children and teens, or the self loathing that might ensue (though it is incredibly important). More simply, it is incredibly inconvenient.
Frustratingly, I cannot simply pop into the nearest card shop the morning of valentines and find the perfect card, as my relationship is rarely represented:
Fortunately, I am quite well organised and even manage to make social events on time/early, even after I have intentionally made an effort to arrive late. However, I, just like heterosexual couples, am entitled to the same blissful benefits (which, in this case, is mainly absent mindedness).
After all, it is only once we all stand to benefit from the same social structure, that we can claim to have achieved true equality.