Out of all mainstream holidays, Valentine’s Day possibly has the most heteronormative underpinnings of all. Greeting cards and gifts deluge us with messages that this is an occasion to celebrate monogamous, heterosexual relationships, when men could buy gifts and treat ladies to candlelight dinners peppered by kisses and affirmations of love and loyalty. But when same sex couples celebrate, it quite feels a bit out of place for the jealous and disapproving society. While massive strides have been made in the fight for LGBTQ rights, there are still gaps to be filled when it comes to Valentine’s Day celebration. Hallmark raised eyebrows when it released greeting cards tailored to gay and lesbian couples in the US in 2008. But love is love, and everyone has everyone has the right to celebrate it, no matter who you are.
Sabine Cariño is a freelance content writer and copywriter who is into reading, astrology, yoga, and spending quality time with her family—pets included. On most days, Sab loves to sit in silence and observe the world around and taking in life’s simplest blessings, her way of keeping it queer every day of the year. Currently, she is in a same sex relationship and is a living testament that Valentine’s Day should be for everyone. Heart’s Day, for her, is a special occasion when she can be unapologetically herself–– true to her identity, and completely free to love who she loves. “For decades, the day of love has been accepted and viewed heteronormatively. Today, Valentine’s Day is a testimony that love is seamless. It does not take one form and it looks different for everyone. I believe this is one of the best things about the LGBTQIA+ community—we have deconstructed and redefined the meaning of love. It is no longer exclusive to binaries. Rather, it is already within us all, and it’s totally up to us how we want to express and receive love,” the 22-year-old Sab gladly shared.
Sab believes that Valentine’s Day has definitely evolved through the years and sees manifestations in her relationships. “This year, in particular, it has become less about giving my all to my significant other, and more about prioritizing my own needs before anyone else’s. In this way, I tend to myself first, and then I can properly and healthily express my love for others,” she said, underscoring that self-love should come first.
She also expressed how fortunate she and her partner to exist in a space where they can hold hands in public and receive zero to few repercussions. Her hope for all Valentine’s Day to come? “I hope for this world to become even more inclusive and accepting of all kinds of love. I also hope we remember those who paved the way in solidarity for queer rights, their courage and authenticity, and allow their memory to ignite and inspire even more action to protect the queer community, so that everyone can love without limits.”
Sabine’s story is part of “The Different Faces of Valentine’s Day,” a profile series made by POP! to show the different ways people see this event and how they celebrate it. Click on the image below to return to the main article.
Click on any image below to read other Valentine’s Day stories from this series
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