It’s the same thing every Valentine’s Day. I have no doubt I’ll see it out again in full force this year on facebook. You know what I’m talking about. Status after status complaining about the awfulness of Valentine’s Day. It almost feels like lamenting how much February 14th has become a “Hallmark Holiday” has become, well, a hallmark of the holiday.
And I get it, you know? Valentine’s Day makes people feel curmudgeonly for tons of reasons. It’s commercialized, it makes single people feel anxiety surrounding their relationship status, but for me, the most lamentable thing about Valentine’s Day is that is takes something so profound and awesome as love and reduces it to a collection of symbols and empty gestures.
I don’t even like Valentine’s Day.
But I LOVE love.
Love is so great, you guys. And sometimes it sucks. It does a lot of things. It colors in the bits of your world. It gives your stomach something to do somersaults about when you sit at your desk on what would otherwise be an ordinary day. It drives you to ACT and do crazy things you would have never seen yourself doing before, but right now it just feels so right so you do them. It has you checking your phone more than you know is healthy. It reminds you to call your mom. It makes you say beautiful things and stupid things and struggle to say ANYthing that accurately describes the scary, awesome, wonderful tempest of ineffable feelings swirling inside of you. Love does so many things in so many ways for so many different types of people.
Love is so much better than a red plushy heart.
So, let’s reclaim the holiday by sharing our unique expressions of love. Let’s use our own voices to talk about the love we know and change the conversation this Valentine’s Day.
I’m inviting you to submit to a new zine called I Love You Queerly that celebrates queer expressions of love. In this case, “queer” isn’t being used just in terms of sexuality. It means any way you express love outside of the mainstream, outside of the romantic love narratives that society promotes and celebrates. Let’s talk about love and how it occurs for you, not them. This is our time to celebrate.
WHAT TO SUBMIT?
Anything you want. Just like with queer love, there should be no limits to structures you have to stuff your expression into. You can submit art, collage, poetry, doodles, a crossword puzzle, your own queer love lexicon, ANYTHING, just express yourself. You can talk about your first love or your hardest heartbreak, the silly or the sappy, the sexy and the sad, love as eros or love as agape. How does love occur for you right now? Show us. Don’t be afraid to love outside the lines.
The only requirements for submissions are as follows:
– Pages will be 8.5 x 5.5 inches, so please express yourself accordingly. The zine will be bound vertically but you can make something horizontal if preferred.
– If you want to do something that spans across two pages, that’s awesome, let me know!
– You can send me multiple submissions! That is totally okay and awesome and it’s exciting that you have so much to share.
– Let me know if you want your name tied to your page, if you want your name in the zine but not tied to your specific submission, or if you want to be completely anonymous. It’s all cool.
Submissions due MONDAY **February 3st, 2014**!!! Scan your page and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What happens then? More spreading the love. I’ll be printing, binding and then selling the zines starting on Valentine’s Day (though they’ll be available electronically too!) and then donating the proceeds to SAGE, a charity for the Services and Advocacy of GLBT Elders. In the spirit of spreading the love, these donations will help to support those who paved the way for us to be able to love outside of the mainstream, however that may occur for us.
If you’re interested, please comment or message me so I can get an idea of how many people want to participate. I hope you’ll join me this Valentine’s Day in changing the conversation and celebrating love in it’s many diverse forms and expressions. Also, if you have friends you think may be interested in getting involved, please pass this on! The more the merrier!
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have more ideas for the project, want to lend a hand in another way or have an issue I haven’t addressed. This project is collaborative so your input and insights are always appreciated.