February 14 wasn’t declared “St. Valentine’s Day” until the year 496 (thanks, Pope Gelasius I), but the holiday—like nearly everything we love—actually originates all the way back in Ancient Rome.
Lupercalia was a festival celebration of fertility, commemorated every year on Feb. 15, but as with most pagan traditions, it’s since been bastardized pretty hard.
For proof, just take a look at what we have today: Valentine’s Day has become a sappy, heteronormative marketing scheme led by chocolate manufacturers and greeting card companies. While the sentiment may be worthwhile—a day to celebrate and honor your ability to hold down a monogamous relationship (no easy feat, to be sure)—we’re flat-out sick of seeing red and pink-colored heart shapes at every turn.
Most frustrating, though, Valentine’s Day is just so damn … straight.
Sure, some companies have started to think outside the ‘straight folk’ box. But where are the treacly valentine cards for polyamorous relationships? We wanna see valentines with twinks and leather daddies and big ol’ hairy bears and butch dykes!
This year we’ve made the conscious decision to gay things up a bit. For Valentine’s Day 2017, own your queerness loudly and proudly. Instead of a box of sugary candies or chocolate-covered strawberries, gift your man a Clone-A-Willy Kit, or something else from our roundup of 12 Gay Sex Toys to Gift Your Man This Valentine’s Day (link is NSFW).
Even easier, let your man (or men if you’re super lucky) know that you’re thinking of them by sending them one of these amazing queer valentines we’ve had commissioned by some of our favorite gay artists. Print ’em out, email ’em, send ’em via social media. Let the world know that Valentine’s Day isn’t just for breeders, dammit!
Two valentines by Jason A. Quest, known for his JAQrabbit Tales series (website)
By Javier Larios (FB)
By Pierna Cruzada, whom we interviewed late last year (website, FB, Insta)
By Alfredo Roagui, who was included in our recent list of 100 Intriguing LGBTs to Look Out for in 2017 (website, Insta, Twitter)
Five valentines by Curtis Bathurst of West Seattle Mini Bears (website)