All you need is non-conforming love


Photo credit: Rachel Tully

Jasmine Martinez

Valentine’s Day has snuck up on us once more, and with the holiday comes the same, tired media plots and advertisements that exclude queer people in favor of pandering to the majority heterosexual audience.

Every ad is just trying to serve its purpose, which is to sell a product. How does a company secure its sales? By showcasing relationships that are ideal, or in this case, straight and white.

It’s obvious at this point that Valentine’s Day has turned into a social media competition, seeing whose boo loves who more by the quality or quantity of gifts, most likely advertised as a must need for this holiday.

If you happen to stumble upon YouTube, look up recent Valentine’s Day commercials. Of course, the responsibility mainly falls on the man to make the day special.

Unsurprisingly, the love is commercialized and the humor falls flat on queer ears.

Corporate companies like Target have strayed from the norm and advertised LGBTQ love and pride, however, this did not come without a price.

The company received backlash for daring to advertise such a love, as if queer people haven’t had to consume hundreds of variations of heterosexual love stories that many times are borderline abuse.

And still, turn out as queer as ever. Amen.

Abusive relationships like in “50 Shades of Grey,” which of course has premiered around Valentine’s Day the last few years, end up being glorified. That ain’t cute.

Do you see us complaining about it? Well, duh, and for good reason.

Even queer media, according to GLAAD’s statistics mainly consists of gay men, possibly accompanied by a straight woman, entirely grateful for having a gay B.F.F.

For the record, queer people are also not a prop for your personal gain.

Nor are they a means of a gut-wrenching plot twist, so please, stop burying your gays and let them live and love for once.

Perhaps if there is accurate representation and support of non-conforming love, they’ll stop killing them in the media, and in reality as well.

Advocate for queer media, turn those repetitive plots into something refreshing. You won’t go to hell for consuming a bit of gay stuff. Live a little.

Contrary to popular belief, once again reinforced by heterosexual media, a relationship relying on mutual respect and open communication instead of having constant arguments does not mean it is boring or lacks passion.

Get rid of the notion that without consistent jealousy or fights, a relationship cannot last. You deserve a healthy connection with an understanding partner. Do not keep on relying on what popular culture feeds you.

This requires a lot of deconstructing conforming views on relationships, but it is entirely do-able.

Go back to the days where one could give valentine’s to the entire class, disregarding gender or sexuality.

And most of all, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to revolve around having a significant other and giving them the perfect gift.

Show appreciation to your beloved friends and/or family members with small tokens of gratitude. You don’t need to empty your wallet to do so either.

It’s the little things, really.

Give your friends love, affection and consideration while resisting the urge to follow up with “no homo, bro.”