Written by: Amy McClelland, Kayla Ross, and Susan Arai, Sadie’s Place for Innovative Inclusion.
As February 14th approaches, we are taking time to reflect on how we can make Valentine’s Day more inclusive to all. When we look at common social expectations placed on Valentine’s celebrations, such as planning a special date with your partner and giving romantic gifts, we see that these norms can put limitations on who celebrates Valentine’s Day, how they celebrate it, and excludes many different loving relationships in our communities. At Sadie’s Place for Innovative Inclusion we are remembering our values of relationships and inclusion as we celebrate Valentine’s Day with intention. Our goal this year is to celebrate all love and relationships and remove the restriction of a Valentine’s Day that is solely about romantic love. On a day meant to celebrate love we reflect on the idea that love has many meanings. To us, inclusion is a synonym for love; keeping hearts open to love all people and finding value in diversity is a form of love that we actively foster in every day. Building relationships is also a form of love; taking time to connect with other people in friendship, romantic partnership, in families, and in daily interactions with co-workers and people in community. We are expanding Valentine’s Day to celebrate all love and all relationships. Giving a card to a sibling, best friend, co-worker, or the kind barista at your favourite coffee shop celebrates all of the different types of love and relationships that fill our lives. This gesture is also a reminder that any relationship bringing fulfillment and support has value and deserves to be celebrated. Remember, love has no restriction. Love does not discriminate against gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age or ability. Love is a universal act that should never be limited or judged. Let’s celebrate love with love.
To help us get in the spirit, we are re-watching “Love has no Labels” you can check it out on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnDgZuGIhHs