Looking beyond Valentine’s Day

I am neither a fan of Valentine’s Day nor of cut flowers. Despite my argument that Valentine’s Day is a capitalistic and heteronormative tradition, my friend insisted that I deliver flowers to her partner’s office. She could not use a delivery service because a  woman sending another woman red roses on Valentine’s Day in Ethiopia would have been like waving the rainbow flag in the middle of Addis Ababa. 

While I appreciated the lunch that my friend bought me for delivering the flowers, I was saddened to see that a simple and loving gesture such as giving flowers to a loved one was shrouded in secrecy and fear. The experience underscored the importance for queer people to be reminded that love is present in our lives in so many ways.  The below quotes, by fellow queer people and allies, are just gentle reminders that love will persevere. 

  1. “Love has no gender – compassion has no religion – character has no race.” 
    – Abhijit Naskar
  1. “Love should never mean having to live in fear.”
    –  DaShanne Stokes
  1. “Being a lesbian means I have the opportunity to love what is uncommon, and I’m okay with that. I do not cry myself to sleep or am upset by the life that I lead because of who I care about. Because I accept the fact that it is simply love.”
    – Jenna Anne
  1. “No government has the right to tell its citizens when or whom to love.”
    – Rita Mae Brown
  1. “Any world which did not have a place for me loving women was not a world in which I wanted to live, nor one which I could fight for.”
    –  Audre Lorde
  1. You don’t fall in love with the gender; you fall in love with the person.”
    – Sandra Alvarenga
  1. “Cut the ending. Revise the script. The man of her dreams is a girl.”
    – Julie Anne Peters
  1. “My feelings for Ellen overrode all of my fear about being out as a lesbian. I had to be with her, and I just figured I’d deal with the other stuff later.”
    – Portia de Rossi
  2. “We are not what other people say we are. We are who we know ourselves to be, and we are what we love. That’s okay.”
    – Laverne Cox

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